Roasted Sweet Potatoes - Healthiest and Tastiest Snack
Even though I just said in my 15K running post that “Don’t set up a specific/tangible goal (for your workout), such as losing certain weight, or slimming waist down to certain inches. My goal of exercising is to keep me healthy and fit.” I still bear in mind that I need to watch my weight. Exercising helps me to maintain a healthy weight. Meanwhile, I believe that eating habit plays a key role in weight control.
I need some snacks between meals to recharge my body and fuel up my energy level through the day. One of the healthiest and tastiest snacks is sweet potato.
Not only do they taste like dessert, but they provide some surprising health benefits. Many people think about sweet potatoes as being nothing more than plain old potatoes that can tweak our taste buds with some extra flavor. Yet cutting-edge research on sweet potatoes tells us that nothing could be further from the truth as they have so many unique nutritional benefits to offer!
One difficulty in describing the health benefits of sweet potatoes is knowing where to begin. There are a surprising number of nutrient categories responsible for the health benefits of this underappreciated tuber. Among these categories are antioxidants, anti-inflammatory nutrients, and blood sugar-regulating nutrients. Each category brings with it valuable health benefits. -- Source
Among all the benefits of sweet potatoes, I am especially impressed by the Potential Improvement of Blood Sugar Regulation that sweet potatoes provide.
Many people think about starchy root vegetables as a food group that could not possibly be helpful for controlling their blood sugar. That's because many people realize that food starches can be converted by our digestive tract into simple sugars. If foods are especially concentrated in starch, there can often be a risk of too much simple sugar release in our digestive tract and too much pressure upon our bloodstream to uptake more sugar. (The result in this situation would be an overly quick elevation of our blood sugar level.) What's fascinating about sweet potatoes is their ability to potentiallyimprove blood sugar regulation—even in persons with type 2 diabetes— in spite of their glycemic index (GI) rating of medium. (Sweet potatoes are one of four WHFoods vegetables that have a GI ranking of medium. The other three vegetables are beets, corn, and leeks.) The 6.6 grams of dietary fiber in a medium sweet potato are definitely a plus in terms of blood sugar regulation, since they help steady the pace of digestion. But recent research has also shown that extracts from sweet potatoes can significantly increase blood levels of adiponectin in persons with type 2 diabetes. Adiponectin is a protein hormone produced by our fat cells, and it serves as an important modifier of insulin metabolism. Persons with poorly-regulated insulin metabolism and insulin insensitivity tend to have lower levels of adiponectin, and persons with healthier insulin metabolism tend to have higher levels. While more research on much larger groups of individuals to further evaluate and confirm these blood sugar regulating benefits, this area of health research is an especially exciting one for anyone who loves sweet potatoes but is nevertheless concerned about healthy blood sugar regulation. -- Source
The summer heat is gone and it is now the perfect time to turn on my oven to roast a big batch of sweet potatoes.
Place sweet potatoes on baking sheet lined with foil on the middle rack of your oven.
Turn the oven on to 400 F.
Bake for 45 minutes. Then check for doneness: Depending on the size of your potatoes, it may take between 1 hour to 1.5 hours for them to be done. Check at 45 minutes by inserting a fork or a chopstick into the center. They should feel quite soft and the form should easily glide all the way through. If not, return to the oven and check again in 15 minutes. The sweet potatoes are done when the flesh is perfectly tender and it separates from the skin, making it extremely easy to remove the skin.
When the sweet potatoes are done, carefully move the baking sheet to the top rack. Turn oven heat to broil (500 F), and broil for 2-5 minutes, or until potato skin is caramelized. This step will fully bring out the syrup and all the sweetness from the sweet potatoes. It simply makes your sweet potatoes taste divine.
Usually I roast two dozens a time. Enjoy a couple now or save the rest for later.
Keep one-third in fridge. Just pop them into a plastic bag or glass container and put them into the fridge. They will keep for several days.
For the remaining two-thirds, I wrap them individually with plastic wrap and freeze them for future use.
Just reheat in a microwave and then broil it for a few minutes in a small counter-top oven to bring back the nice caramelized flavor and sweetness.