One of my guilty pleasure is eating French fries. It's crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
The crunchy joy had been definitely my diet weakness. But when I learned about McDonald Fries and their 17 chemical rich ingredients, and how a combination of excessive use of bad, unhealthy oil and nutrition less white potatoes does to your body, it made me cringe.
It became a choice between my commitment to healthy eating and guilty pleasure indulgence.
But neither choice worked. I needed a healthier alternative to my all-time favorite fries.
So there I found sweet potatoes.
And turns out, I love sweet potato fries.
In fact I can’t get enough of eating them —and I bet once you learn how healthy and delicious sweet potatoes really are, you’ll want to eat them all the time.
Sweet potatoes are one of the healthiest foods you can eat.
Sweet potatoes are super healthy and loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Almost every restaurant now offers a healthier version of French fries—Sweet potatoes fries! Some even go further and serve baked sweet potatoes fries which avoids all the extra fat from the frying oil.
Right about now you’re probably thinking, "But aren’t sweet potatoes high in carbs?"
Well, one medium-sized sweet potato only has 27g of carbs. That number may be a little bit higher than most veggies, but don’t be so quick to knock them off your low-carb recipes.
Let’s take a quick look at the nutrition found in sweet potatoes:
The carbs in sweet potatoes break down into sugars and starches, with 32% of the total carbs consisting of simple sugars like fructose, glucose and sucrose, while 53% of the carbs are starches.
Sweet potatoes rank medium to high on the glycemic index (GI), which measures how foods cause blood sugar levels to rise.
They rank anywhere between 44 and 94 depending how they are prepped and cooked.
Keep in mind that the GI scale goes from 1 to 100, and the higher the number of a food, the more it raises blood sugar levels. So you can see why sweet potatoes often get a bad rap and can be so confusing.
A ranking of 44 isn’t too bad, but a 94 is almost like eating raw sugar and white bread.
But the glycemic index is another topic. For now, just know that sweet potatoes are perfectly healthy, and are one of the most nutritious low carb foods you can eat.
Another big misconception I often hear about is that sweet potatoes are synonymous with yams, but that’s actually incorrect.
Yams are a totally different species and only grown in Africa and Asia.
Sweet potatoes are moist and sweet; yams are dry and starchy and not nearly as nutritious as sweet potatoes.
One baked, medium-size sweet potato contains a whopping 348% of your daily value of vitamin A, while a white potato only contains 1% of vitamin A.
100 grams of sweet potatoes provides 33% daily value of Vitamin C, 4% calcium, some potassium and iron.
All this, and only 90 calories.
What’s more shocking is that even though they are low in calories, they deliver an impressive 4 grams of dietary fiber — which is about 16% of the daily value — and absolutely zip in terms fat.
Today I’m going to share 9 of my favorite delicious and mouthwatering sweet potato recipes. And I’m sorry, but you won’t find a single casserole with those sugary mini-marshmallows, either!
You’ll love these sweet potatoes recipes!
1. Oven baked sweet potato fries
Craving for a healthier version of French fries? Why not give oven baked sweet potato fries a try!
Like many of you, French fries are a big weakness of mine, but there are other, healthier versions of French fries besides those McDonald’s fries cooked in hydrogenated vegetable oil.
A healthier way to satisfy those cravings is with sweet potato fries. This healthier and mouthwatering recipe delivers a delicious, fresh taste.
If you're you wondering how to make sweet potatoes fries, don’t worry, girl, we got you covered!
All you need is a few ingredients and you’re good to go.
- 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch matchsticks
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
- Combine the sweet potatoes and all remaining ingredients in a large bowl and toss well to coat.
- Place the sweet potatoes in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake at 450 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or until soft and lightly browned and crisp, turning after the first 15 minutes.
Let it cool down and serve immediately.
There you have it! Healthy, baked sweet potato fries sure to satisfy those French fry cravings.
2. Sweet potato & cauliflower mash
This is my favorite dish. When I need a healthier option than mashed potatoes, I swap them for this recipe. It’s a tasty, mouth-watering dish.
I love this sweet potato and cauliflower mash recipe because this dish is packed with much needed vitamins and minerals.
I mentioned earlier how healthy sweet potatoes are. Cauliflower can easily be described as a super food, too, being a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables, even though it is often overshadowed by its green cousin, broccoli.
Cauliflower contains an impressive array of nutrients including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other phytochemicals.
1 cup (100g) of cauliflower contains 77% percent of the recommended daily value of Vitamin C.
Cauliflower is also a good source of Vitamin K, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, fiber, Vitamin B6, folate, potassium and manganese.
Here’s what you need to make 4–6 servings of mash!
- 3 pounds sweet potatoes
- 2 pounds of cauliflower florets
- 1/4 cup milk of choice
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Fresh chives, chopped
- 1¼ teaspoons kosher Salt
- Peel and cut sweet potatoes into 1½ inch chunks.
- In a large pot with a steam basket, steam sweet potatoes and cauliflower using 1-2 inches of water. Vegetables will be ready in about 15 to 20 minutes, or when fork tender.
- Place them in a large bowl or use a mixer if you have one. Mash the potatoes and cauliflower with the milk.
- Stir in the Greek yogurt and the remaining ingredients. If too thick, add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is achieved.
Serve and enjoy!
3. Healthier sweet potato casserole
Sweet potato casserole has always been one of my all-time favorite Thanksgiving dishes.
But the traditional sweet potato casserole brings a pile of unhealthy and unnecessary sugar and fat to the table.
Here’s a little twist to make it healthier without skipping the delicious flavors.
Here’s what you need to make healthier sweet potap casserole!
- 5 medium sweet potatoes
- 1/2 cup organic, canned coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1–2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon packed, dark brown sugar
- juice of half an orange
For the Pecan Topping:
- 1/4 cup chopped raw pecans
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon melted coconut oil
- Bring a inches of water to a boil in a pot with a large size steamer basket in place.
- While the water comes to a boil, peel and dice sweet potatoes into chunks. Put sweet potatoes in the basket, cover, and steam until tender, about 20 minutes.
- While the potatoes are being steamed, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mist an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.
- Transfer the potatoes into a bowl and let cool for a bit. Add all remaining ingredients. Using a hand mixer, blend until potatoes reach desired consistency and flavor. You may like to add a little more coconut milk, spices, or maple syrup based on your taste.
- In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, pecans, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a bowl; sprinkle over the potatoes.
- Bake in preheated oven until topping is browned, about 20-25 minutes.
4. Loaded Paleo nachos
One food I really missed when I was following the Paleo diet was nachos.
If you’re not familiar with the Paleo diet plan, it is geared towards people who want to lose weight and improve their health through healthy and wholesome foods, so there’s nothing processed in the diet.
In fact, the Paleo diet plan forbids gluten and all things processed with added chemicals.
You can click here to learn about the Paleo diet plan.
But thankfully, this loaded Paleo Nachos recipe from Lexi at lexiscleankitchen.com solves this problem for me. This recipe is super healthy and it’s gluten free, dairy free, egg free and nut free.
And you don’t have to follow a Paleo diet in order to love and enjoy these nachos!
Instead of using fried tortillas for the nachos —which are salty, processed and less nutritious – this recipe calls for thinly-sliced, baked, sweet potato chips.
Here’s what you’ll need to make Nacho Chips!
- 1–2 large sweet potatoes
- 2 organic chicken breasts
- 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
guacamole (psst recipe below!)
To make the sweet potato chips!
- Preheat oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with foil. Spray the sheet with coconut oil.
- Slice sweet potatoes thinly, using a mandolin.
- Place sweet potatoes on the baking sheet and bake until crispy (time depends on how thick you sliced your potato chips). Remove, let cool, and place on plate.
To make the chicken:
- Cut chicken into bite-size pieces. Combine spices and coat chicken with the mixture.
- In a skillet, heat oil, add chicken, and cook until done.
- Place the sweet potato chips on a plate. Top with chicken, salsa and guacamole.
- Add other desired toppings (jalapenos, scallions, cilantro). I like adding black beans for extra fiber and protein!
Serve and enjoy!
Avocados have a wealth of nutritional health benefits.
They are high in noon and polyunsatured fats, a great source of fiber, and high in potassium and vitamins foliate, E and C. We covered more about the benefitsofavocados in a previous post on avocado nutrition and calories.
Guacamole is a great way to reap the health benefits of avocado, and you get to add a little extra delicious flavor to this fatty green fruit.
- 3-4 avocados, ripe
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 roma tomatoes, diced
- 2-4 garlic cloves, minced (we like lots of garlic)
- 1 large bunch cilantro, minced
- 1 Tbsp. lime juice, fresh squeezed is best
- Salt, to taste (roughly ½ tsp)
How to make fresh guacamole?
- Cut the avocados in half. Remove seed. Scoop out avocado from the peel and put in a mixing bowl. (I find it really easy to score the inside of the avocado with a blunt knife and scoop out the flesh with a spoon.)
- Using a fork, roughly mash the avocado. (Don’t overdo it! The guacamole should be a little chunky.)
- Sprinkle with teaspoons of kosher salt and lime (or lemon) juice. The acid in the lime juice will help delay the avocados from turning brown.
- Add the chopped onion, cilantro, black pepper, and chilies
- Place plastic wrap on the surface of the guacamole, covering it to prevent air from reaching it. (The oxygen in the air causes oxidation which will turn the guacamole brown.)
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
5. Roasted sweet potato salad
Love this roasted sweet potato salad recipe from Averie at overcooks.com, and if you’re sick of mayo-smothered potato salad too, then you are going to fall in love with this recipe.
We swapped the white potatoes with sweet potatoes and added corn, black beans and red peppers before tossing with a refreshing dressing that’s mayo-free.
This recipe is a heart-healthy, roasted sweet potato salad that is packed with fiber and bursting with flavor.
Here’s what you’ll need!
- 1¼ pounds sweet potatoes (about 2 jumbo), washed and cut into one inch pieces
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced (use the white and green)
- 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced small
- 1 cup corn
For the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
- pinch cayenne pepper, optional, and to taste
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, minced (about half of 1 bunch)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly spray a baking sheet with a nonstick coconut spray and add the sweet potatoes in an even, flat layer. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and bake for about 40-45 minutes or until golden crisp. Flip potatoes halfway through baking to ensure even cooking.
- In a large bowl, add black beans, green onions, red pepper, corn and cilantro; set aside.
- In a large measuring cup or small bowl, add honey, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, optional cayenne pepper, and whisk to combine; set aside.
- After the sweet potatoes are cooked and out of the oven, add them to the bowl with the beans and vegetables. Add the dressing and toss to combine. Potato salad can be served warm, at room temp, or chilled. It will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days. Serve and enjoy!
6. Breakfast stuffed sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes make a great healthy breakfast option.
Having one for breakfast is, in-fact, a perfect way to start your morning and kick start your metabolism into high gear.
One medium-sized baked sweet potato with the skin on will only set you back about 100 calories. Plus, it’s ultra filling and loaded with fiber and nutrients, including beta-carotene, vitamins A and C, and antioxidants.
So you’ll be sure to stay satisfied for awhile.
Instead of having sugary breakfast cereal, try these stuffed sweet potatoes for breakfast. You’ll have a nutritious vessel for those creamy, delightful eggs.
Here’s what you need for 2-4 servings!
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 1 cup fresh cut veggies of your choice for topping (broccoli, bell-peppers, tomatoes, leafy greens, kale, green onions and snap peas all go well)
- 4 large brown eggs
- 1 Tablespoon organic butter or coconut oil to cook eggs
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Dash of ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400F. Wash and dry sweet potatoes and prick them all over with a fork before placing them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake one hour or until soft and tender.
- Remove from oven and let stand until cool enough to handle.
- Slice each sweet potato in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh, leaving about a half-inch border around the skin intact. Transfer flesh to a bowl and save for future use.
- Reduce oven heat to 350F.
- Crack 1 egg into each sweet potato half. Season with salt, pepper, and shredded cheese (if desired).
- Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 15-20 minutes or until white has set.
- If you like your yolks runnier, start watching them at 12 minutes and remove when desired level of doneness is reached.
Serve immediately with toppings of your choice.
7. Sweet potato and ginger creamy soup
This soup is so yummy! It contains two of the healthiest vegetables you can eat: sweet potato and ginger.
You already know sweet potatoes are healthy and a great source of fiber, beta-carotene, vitamin A and healthy carbohydrates.
Ginger provides a nice sweet, yet spicy, flavor to the soup that makes it even more delicious and yummy.
Ginger has been proven effective in relieving nausea and motion sickness, and helps with loss of appetite and dizziness. So if you’re feeling under the weather and need some comfort, this ginger sweet potato soup is perfect.
Here’s what you’ll need.
- 3 cups water
- 3 cups peeled, diced sweet potatoes
- 1/4 cup peeled, julienne-cut fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add remaining ingredients. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.
- Place half of sweet potato mixture in a blender; process until smooth. Return pureed mixture to saucepan; cook over medium heat until thoroughly heated.
8. Sweet potato, kale & shrimp skillet
I love this healthy recipe because it combines two of my favorite foods: sweet potatoes and super food kale for an amazing heart-healthy punch.
Sweet potato has twice as much potassium as banana does, and if you remember from our our post on high potassium foods, banana was one of the highest containing over 400mg of potassium, which is equivalent to 12% of daily value.
Swiss potato contains double that amount.
Potassium helps keep our blood pressure down, regulates our heartbeats, and even reduces swelling.
Shrimp is perfect here because it’s low-calorie, high protein, and high in vitamins and minerals.
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- red pepper flakes to taste
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups sweet potatoes, diced
- 2 cups fresh shrimp
- 3 cups trimmed and coarsely chopped kale leaves
- Ground black pepper
- kosher Salt
- Add the olive oil to a saucepan and heat over medium heat.
- Add onions and red pepper flakes. Cook until onions are soft and golden.
- Add garlic and cook about 30 seconds.
- Add sweet potato and cook until soft, about 15-20 minutes. If you need to, add a few tablespoons of water to help steam the sweet potatoes.
- Add shrimp and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until they turn pink.
- Turn the heat to low and add kale, stirring until wilted.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
9. Sweet potato, spinach, & tomato hash with a fried egg
Eggs are my go-to protein in the morning. In fact I often eat them throughout the day, sometimes for all three meals.
I know what you’re thinking. When you think of eggs and hash you’re probably picturing chunks of white potatoes, peppers, and onions.
But I want to upgrade your hash with healthier ingredients.
What’s needed for four servings is:
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and finely diced
- 1–2 small to medium tomatoes
- 2–3 cups fresh spinach
- 2 shallots, finely diced
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt, to taste
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin of coconut oil
- Heat half of the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the sweet potatoes, shallots and spices. Season well with salt and pepper.
- Cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes and spinach and cook until sweet potatoes are tender, about 5–8 minutes longer. Taste and season if needed.
- When the hash is almost done, heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Fry the four eggs. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place an egg on top of each plate of hash and enjoy!
There you have it! Nine of my all-time favorite sweet potato recipes.
I hope these recipes inspire you to create loads of healthier dishes highlighting the super nutritious sweet potato.
Remember, it is perfectly okay to leave your sweet potato skins on to maximize the health potential in your spuds.
Are you going to try any of these recipes?
Have a sweet potato recipe I’d love? Share your thoughts with me in the comments!