Sweet potatoes are versatile, sweet, nutritious and affordable!
Oh, how l love the sweet potato which is also known as kumara or yam. Not much to look at in the shops, but once cooked the flavour is enticing.
Sweet Potato is a good source of complex carbohydrates, dietary fibre and beta carotene, and this root vegetable also has modest amounts of Vitamin C, Iron, Calcium, Vitamin B6 and Magnesium.
Since l stopped eating processed sugar l like to include foods which are naturally sweet as part of my everyday diet. The sweet potato is a lovely addition to a meal because of its beautiful sweet taste, soft texture and bright colour. It is extremely easy to cook with and difficult to ruin. I am amazed at the lovely flavour it adds to baked goods such as cakes and pancakes and although l prefer it cooked it can be a good addition raw to a smoothie.
I can’t remember when l first ate a sweet potato but it certainly wasn’t until l was an adult. It has some similarities in flavour and colour to the pumpkin but holds together better when cooked and is especially delicious cut into chips. Sweet Potatoes can be bought quite small or enormously large, and the surprising thing is that in my experience the flavour is the same whatever size you buy. They are also available with a red skin and a white flesh and this is one of those times when your taste buds can get very confused as the taste is the same as the orange version. I have to admit here that l have on occasion tricked my children into thinking they were eating normal potato when in fact it was the red sweet potato just to get them to try a new vegetable.
How many ways can one vegetable be used in recipes?
Here are a few more pictures of how l have used the sweet potato in my cooking:
I hope you can enjoy the sweet potato as much as l do and make it a regular part of your meals.
If you have enjoyed this post please share with a friend. You can follow me daily on Instagram at holistic_paleo.
Here is a link to a great online book store where you can purchase some Paleo and wellness books.
Mental and practical roadblocks people use to not have a green smoothie in their life.
It it scary to drink a green smoothie
I don’t want to drink vegetables, especially green ones
There are things in there l won’t like
I’ve never had a chia seed
I don’t have a blender
The ingredients are expensive
It will taste awful
I’d rather have a normal fruit smoothie
Do any of these sound familiar? They can all be overcome if you can think out side of your comfort zone. If you don’t have a blender they can be purchased very cheaply or you can borrow one, and if you grow your own green leafy vegetables that is another one crossed off the list.
Take the plunge and try a simple recipe for your first smoothie that is guaranteed to be delicious. You can even leave the chia seeds out.
Cos lettuce (fill up half the blender with this, but make sure it is well washed), one small banana, one navel orange, 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional), some fresh mint and enough plain coconut water to give a good consistency to drink or you can eat it with a spoon.
A green smoothie is different to a green juice. A juice has most of the fibre removed and is much lighter to drink and digest. When l was very unwell last year l loved having a green juice as the nutrients were quickly and easily broken down and absorbed for use in the body, whereas a smoothie was too heavy for me and l just couldn’t digest them.
Part of the joy of drinking a green smoothie is that it is green!
A green smoothie can quickly turn a not so nice colour if you add certain ingredients to it such as raspberries, blueberries or blackberries. It could go a brown colour and will taste great, but won’t look so appetising.
Choosing your ingredients:
1. Start by picking your choice of greens. You can have just the one such as cos lettuce, kale, spinach or silverbeet or a mixture. Cos lettuce is so sweet and lovely and l love the smaller green spinach leaves.
2. What liquid are you going to have in your juice? I would advise either plain coconut water or filtered water.
3. Choose the fruit you are going to add. This could be banana, apple, peach, apricot, pear, mango, pineapple, orange and mandarin as examples. Citrus is wonderful as it will help your body absorb the iron from the greens.
4. Add a few interesting things to your smoothie. Limes and lemon’s with the skin on will give the smoothie a kick, while fresh ginger and herbs such as parsley and mint will help to enhance the flavour.
5. Add additional nutrients such as chia seeds, green powders or nuts.
A way to combine a green smoothie with a more colourful ingredients and still have it looking good is to have some fun putting it together as in the one below. Both the green and pink sections tasted wonderful, but when mixed together were a not so nice brown colour.
The green section is cos lettuce, banana, green apple and coconut water. The pink layer is strawberries, blueberries, acai berry powder, chia seeds, banana and coconut water. I make the green part first and pour it into two glasses and wash the blender, then make the pink part. The decorative pointy bits l do with a stainless steel straw and it looks nice to drink!
A smoothie can easily be a meal if you add in good sources of protein such as chia seeds and nuts. I drink them slowly as it is a lot of liquid going into the stomach all at once and adding the nuts and chia seeds make it a bit heavier and thicker as well as slowing down the digestion of the sugars in the drink. Sometimes l have a handful of nuts with the smoothie if it has a lot of fruit in it and this balances out the snack.
The best way to get started on your smoothie adventure is to fill up your fridge with lots of healthy fresh food. Here is a quick snapshot of my fridge as it looks most of the time.
If you have enjoyed this post please share it with a friend. You can keep up to date with my daily meals and wellness tips on Facebook: holistic wellness for life, Instagram at holistic_paleo as well as Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr and Pinterest.
You can’t go wrong with this versatile and healthy vegetable.
Cos lettuce or alternatively known as Romaine lettuce is my new favourite lettuce. After spending years eating Iceberg lettuce and then sorting through the many new varieties on the market, l have now settled on Cos lettuce as my new favourite. I have seen short stemmed and long stemmed varieties, but prefer the long stemmed ones for the versatility of their leaves. I really like that the leaves are so big and soft and then the lower part is really crunchy. You can just pick off one leaf as you need it, especially if you are growing your own, or cut the bottom off the whole bunch and watch the leaves just move apart. I used to battle with the Iceberg lettuce trying to make lettuce cups as the pieces were hard to pull away in tact, and it was so difficult to store as it was a big round shape. The Cos lettuce can be laid flat and fits nicely in lots of small places in the fridge.
Grow your own.
It is so easy and handy!. Not sure about the cost saving but definately a healthier option for you and fun for the whole family.
The leaves are so versatile
The challenge for me lately has been to find a suitable lettuce, not to put in salads as those are plentiful, but to use as an alternative to wraps. Removing grains from the diet does pose a meal planning challenge to those who like to have wraps as a meal and the Cos Lettuce is marvelous for this purpose. The first photos show the larger leaves laid out to use as wraps, while the second photo uses a smaller Cos lettuce where the leaves have a natural cup shape to them and are perfect to fill with your favourite ingredients.
Low Calorie and great taste
High in Vitamin A(Beta-Carotene), Calcium, Vitamin C, Iron, B Vitamins and a good source of Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids
A complete protein so that it has all 8 essential amino acids
Composed of 17 % Protein
Is heat tolerant so great on top of those home made pizzas just out of the oven
Excellent to use in smoothies
Low in the anti-nutrient Oxalic Acid
Rich in the minerals Selenium, Zinc, Copper, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium and Phosphorous
What’s not to love! Do yourself a favour and add this delicious and nutritious food to your daily diet.
If you have enjoyed this post please share with a friend. I am also on Facebook at Holistic Wellness For Life and Twitter at Holistic Wellness@carolynlgray
Live & eat mindfully. Gluten & dairy free recipes.