Our little organic veggie garden has been gifting us with an abundance of sweet potatoes lately (and fresh turmeric, but I'll cover that in another post!), so we have been eating them most days.
I love using spices to boost the flavour and nutrient profile of my favourite dishes. This recipe is so simple but so delicious. I use mixed spice for this dish, which is a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and allspice, but you can use whatever combination of spices you prefer. Even cinnamon on its own is divine!
Sweet potatoes are a wonderful source of beta carotene, potassium, vitamin C and B6. And even though they taste sweet, they are a slow-release carbohydrate and shouldn't spike your blood sugar if you consume them in appropriate amounts as part of a varied meal.
Cinnamon is rich in antioxidants and studies have shown it has anti-inflammatory properties and can improve glycemic control and insulin sensitivity, making it an ideal addition to carbohydrate-rich foods like sweet potatoes.
Ginger is one of the most widely-used and well-studied of the culinary spices. It is used for nausea relief, to alleviate inflammation, for menstrual cramps and to assist digestion.
The health benefits of nutmeg are often overlooked, but studies have indicated a number of positive findings including brain health, vasodilation and blood pressure, but less is definitely more! Make sure you use it sparingly a there have been cases of nutmeg poisoning from excessive intake.
So as you can see, there are LOTS of healthy ingredients in this one simple dish. But the most important thing is that it is DELICIOUS!!!! We enjoy it hot from the oven, on its own or mixed with quinoa, and also use cooled spiced sweet potato in salads.
Oh, and the "health nerd hack"?? Well, if you cook "carby" foods like potato, sweet potato, rice etc and then refrigerate them overnight, a proportion of the starch in the food converts to a super-healthy type of fibre known as Resistant Starch. The benefits of this are that your blood sugar and insulin won't spike so high, and the resistant starch actually feeds your healthy inner bacteria, protecting you from colon cancer! You can then eat it cold, or reheat again - in fact, reheating has been shown to have an even lower glycemic impact! Click *here* and *here* for more details!
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed*
2 teaspoons mixed spice (or cinnamon)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
Toss all ingredients together until sweet potato cubes are well covered
Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Toss the cubes at the half way point to make sure they cook through evenly.
Serve and enjoy!
* You can use as many sweet potatoes as you like. Just use 1 teaspoon of mixed spice per sweet potato.