Sweet potatoes are starchy root vegetables with a sweet taste (obviously) that are grown worldwide.
But fun fact: sweet potatoes actually aren’t potatoes at all!
They’re not yams, either, but they are a part of the morning glory family.
Whatever they’re scientifically classified as, the fact remains that sweet potatoes are a popular food thanks to their delicious taste and versatility! They’re certainly one of my favorite ingredients to use.
Not only are they tasty, but they offer several health benefits, such as the following:
Sweet potatoes are considered a superfood because they’re packed full of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, and fiber, all essential nutrients for your body to function properly. A single sweet potato contains almost 400% of your daily vitamin A requirements! Orange and purple varieties of sweet potatoes are also rich in antioxidants.
Promotes a Healthy Gut
The previously mentioned fiber, specifically soluble fiber, helps support digestion and absorbs water in order to aid in easy bowel movements. (Go here to learn why fiber is vital for your health).
Additionally, the antioxidants found in sweet potatoes assist in good gut bacteria production, which contributes to overall gut health.
Improves Eye Health
Beta carotene is an antioxidant found in many vegetables, including sweet potatoes. Once ingested, your body converts it into vitamin A, which might help prevent vision loss and improve eye health.
In addition to improving eye health, beta carotene helps reduce inflammation by “cleaning” the body’s cells of free radicals (that’s what causes inflammation).
Paired with vitamin C, an antioxidant in its own right, sweet potatoes can definitely aid in alleviating discomfort caused by unnecessary inflammation.
Aids in Weight Loss
So, yes, sweet potatoes are a starch with a high carbohydrate count, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help you maintain a healthy weight! In fact, complex carbs are essential and come with an array of health benefits (read more about that here).
Dietary fiber and the other possible sweet potato health benefits, such as reducing inflammation, helping control blood sugar, and supporting fat loss, are excellent for weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight.
Strengthens Immune System and Might Help Avoid Some Health Issues
First and foremost, with any health concern, always consult your doctor first! And though all of these still need more scientific studies, we know a few things for certain, one of which is that vitamin A is critical to a strong immune system, and sweet potato contains a good amount of the vitamin.
With that being said, it is highly possible that eating sweet potatoes can help protect you against several chronic illnesses.
Also, sweet potatoes can aid in controlling blood sugar, and their mix of nutrients might promote cardiovascular health, both of which are important for helping protect against or manage symptoms of diabetes and heart disease.
Now that we know WHY sweet potatoes are great, let’s look at some fantastic recipes to use them in!
Here are just 21 of my favorite sweet potato dishes:
Here’s a nutritious and time-saving soup for you! I genuinely don’t think you can eat too much soup, and honestly, many of us could be enjoying it even more often! It’s an incredibly convenient, healthy, and hydrating meal that’s great for meal prepping.
These smashed + roasted sweet potatoes combine all the best things: a sweet and creamy center with lightly salty and crispy edges. You can try making these potatoes with different variations of fresh or dried herbs, and you’ll have a brand-new flavor each time!
I LOVE sloppy joes, and this recipe takes everything great about that childhood favorite meal and makes it something new and exciting!
These bowls have a hint of sweetness from the tomato sauce and maple syrup, a complex and tangy finish thanks to the mustard and coconut aminos, and bursts of flavor from the freshly chopped vegetables.
I’m ending with this recipe because mashed potatoes are a favorite and a classic, and this sweet potato version only adds good things to the dish.
The flavors are complex and indulgent enough to serve guests the next time you’re entertaining, but you might also want to add this recipe to your regular dinner rotation.
There you have it, 21 creative, tasty, simple, and nutritious ways to enjoy sweet potatoes year-round!
It was REALLY difficult to narrow this list down to twenty, but I hope you like the ones I decided to share. If you want more, simply use the search bar on our website to scroll through our other recipes.
If you share your meals online, be sure to tag me so I can see all your wonderful sweet potato creations!