Monday, September 12, 2011

Starting With The Roots

Sweet potatoes make great building blocks to any nutritious meal.  This all-star is one of the best vegetables you can eat.  These bright orange treats are nature's best source of beta-carotene and are loaded with carotenoids, vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, calcium, and fiber.

Although most commonly orange-fleshed, this is not always the case... some are a spectacular purple color.  The purple sweet potatoes have important antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.

Both hues of sweet potatoes lower the potential health risks posed by heavy metals and oxygen radicals.  These underappreciated tubers provide anti-inflammatory and blood sugar-regulating qualities.

These tasty tubers contain fibrinogen, a key product in the body that is required for successful blood clotting.

Some nutritional benefits can only be achieved by steaming or roasting the sweet potato.  Sweet potatoes don't take a long to prepare. Cut them into 1/2-inch slices and steam them for just 7 minutes to maximize their nutritional value.  Add cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves for extra flavor.

- Choose sweet potatoes that are firm and do not have any cracks, bruises or soft spots.

-Sweet potatoes should be stored in a cool, dark and well-ventilated place.

Sweet Potato Pancakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoons cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
2 cups milk
4 teaspoons melted butter, plus more for greasing skillet
2 whole eggs
1 sweet potato, cooked until tender, peeled and pureed

-In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix together and whisk until smooth.
-Cook batches in buttered skillet on medium high temperature until bubbles form on the surface, then turn over and cook until dark golden brown.

                                                        Sweet Potato Gratin
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 cloves of garlic, pressed
2 pound peeled and trimmed sweet potatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 cups Brie
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
-In a small pot bring cream and garlic just to a simmer. Remove from heat and set aside.
-Butter a 9″x13″ shallow casserole dish or gratin dish of similar size and set aside.
-Thinly slice the sweet potatoes and layer Sweet Potatoes and Brie
-Poor heavy Cream on top
-Bake for 1 hour

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