If y ou ever venture down south of the Mason-Dixon Line, you will find that everyone loves their tea sweet and their potatoes the same way. F rom mashed, to pies, to baked, to fries, southerners really do love their sweet potatoes. Today this love has swept the nation and even the world, with the average American enjoying over 6 pounds of sweet potatoes a year. While most are attracted to the taste, others are attracted to the unrivaled health benefits. Sweet potatoes have fewer calories, carbs, starch and more than 1,000x the amount of vitamin A than regular potatoes. Super tasty, check. Super healthy, check. It is no wonder why the sweet potato is considered a ”Super Food”. So how can this super food get any better? One word- versatility. Many people do not realize how versatile the sweet potato can be. Was your 2016 New Year’s resolution to try new things and eat healthy? We’ve got you covered; here are three new ways to eat sweet potatoes in 2016.
1.Sweet Potato Flour- Alternative flours are predicted to be the biggest food trend of 2016. This is great news for those of you who are looking for a healthy alternative to grain based flour or have a gluten allergy or intolerance. Sweet potato flour is naturally gluten free, kosher, and can be used to replace flour in any recipe. Did I mention it tastes great too? Need a healthy, tasty breakfast recipe for your kids on the weekend? Try whipping up some sweet potato pancakes. So good you won’t even need syrup. Or gluten!
2. Grilled Sweet Potatoes- What is more American than a barbecue?.... Sweet potatoes of course. Whether you prefer beef or pork, tomato or good ole Eastern Carolina vinegar based, grilled sweet potatoes make a tasty and healthy side to any barbecue. Just cut into wedges or chips, place on the grill for 4-5 minutes, and dip into a sauce of your choice. The best part; since sweet potatoes are high in Vitamin A, C, and E they help with muscle recovery, which is perfect for the strenuous and often risky trips from the grill to the cooler and back.
3. Sweet Potato Cocktails – Don’ forget to focus on your metaphysical health in 2016 too. If you are like me, you tend to enjoy a nice adult beverage every now and again. Well, sweet potatoes are here to help you. Covington Vodka, made from southern grown sweet potatoes, goes perfect in almost every cocktail. Just mix a shot with your favorite Bloody Mary mix and garnish with a vegetable of your choice for the perfect fix to your metaphysical well being. If you are feeling guilty about cheating on your diet, keep reminding yourself you are drinking a super food. Just watched Steel Magnolias or Gone with the Wind? Mix a serving of Covington in a glass of sweet tea. Careful though, too many of these will cause you to start saying things like: “Bless your heart”, “Over yonder”, and “Fixin to”. While temporary, this condition may cause confusion.
The versatility of the sweet potato not only helps the end consumer, it also helps local farms. Before these new sweet potato products were introduced, many farms would have to discard blemished potatoes resulting in a loss of revenue. Currently, if a potato is not esthetically pleasing for super market shelves it can be sent to a processing plant to make one of the products described above. Now every time you take a bite or sip of a sweet potato product pat yourself on the back, as you are simultaneously improving your physical and metaphysical health, while supporting hard working local farmers.