When my family switched our eating habits, we carried our love of vegetables and whole grains into the holidays as well. At first, the other members of my extended family were hesitant, but after a few years, they realized that while the food was heavily loaded with vegetables, it was still delicious. These simple sweet potatoes would easily grace our table during the holidays.
One medium sweet potato will provide well over 100% of your daily needs for vitamin A, as well as 37% of vitamin C, 16% of vitamin B-6, 10% of pantothenic acid, 15% of potassium and 28% of manganese. You’ll also find small amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin and folate.
Sweet potatoes are a great source of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant known to give orange vegetables and fruits their vibrant color, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. Consuming foods rich in beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer, offer protection against asthma and heart disease and delay aging and body degeneration.
Keep the skin on! The color of sweet potato skin can vary from white to yellow, purple or brown but no matter what color it is, make sure you do not peel it off. A sweet potatoes skin contributes significant amounts of fiber, potassium and quercetin.
Serves 3 to 4
I really enjoy these Hasselback sweet potatoes for their simplicity and ease. (Once you get good at the cutting, that is. I’m forever accidentally cutting them in half! Note the chopstick trick in the recipe instructions — it’s a potato saver.)
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, plus extra for serving
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoons *brown butter, or an equal amount of olive oil (See Recipe Notes)
Preheat oven to 375˚F. Wash the sweet potatoes and cut off a small sliver on the bottom of the potato to give it a stable surface. Cut the sweet potato into rough 1/4-inch slices, leaving 1/8 inch intact at the bottom. (You can do this by sight/feel, or by placing chopsticks on either side of the potato and slicing until you hit the chopsticks). Place in a roasting pan.
Strip the leaves from the thyme and carefully tuck the leaves in between the fans of the sweet potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then drizzle the brown butter on top, using a brush to spread butter evenly and into the fans as well.
Roast in the oven until the sweet potatoes are soft in the middle and easily pierced with a paring knife, 45 to 55 minutes depending on the size of your sweet potatoes. Serve immediately while hot.
Making brown butter: Melt 3 tablespoon brown butter over medium-low heat on the stovetop and cook until browned and with a nutty aroma. Read more about “How to Brown Butter” in recipe titled Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Apples, Hazelnuts, and Brown Butter Dressing posted on November 16, 2015.
Make it a goal to source locally grown organic produce, organic pastured eggs, raw dairy products, oils, and grass-fed meats as much as possible.