Sweet potatoes are one of our go-to ingredients in the kitchen – their versatility, ease of use, delicious flavor, and wide range of nutritional benefits mean they can brighten just about any dish.
To begin with, sweet potatoes are surprisingly low in calories – one medium spud is only 100 calories. Additionally, because they are made up of complex carbohydrates, they help you store energy that will keep you going throughout the day and avoid that late afternoon crash.
Sweet potatoes are also high in Vitamin A, which plays an important role in vision, as well as proper bone and immune system development; Vitamin C, which is essential for healthy tissue development and healing wounds; and manganese, which helps the body process nutrients and keep blood sugar low. This, paired with sweet potatoes’ low glycemic index, makes them a good dietary choice for diabetics. *If you don't like sweet potatoes, you can easily recreate this recipe with any kind of potato you like.
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The healthy perks don’t stop there. Sweet potatoes are a good source of fiber, which helps keep you feeling fuller longer. The nutrient-dense tuber is also higher in antioxidants than many veggies, which may help reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases.
Beyond the sweet potato’s myriad of health benefits, they are also mouthwateringly delicious and easy to incorporate into different dishes. For all of these reasons, sweet potatoes are commonly used in cuisines all over the world.
In particular, sweet potatoes are delicious when paired with Mexican ingredients. In this recipe, fluffy baked sweet potatoes are topped with a salsa of black beans, corn and tomatoes, all of which are tossed in a vibrant lime vinaigrette. Finish the stuffed sweet potatoes off with some mozzarella cheese, a cooling dollop of greek yogurt (which is just as tasty but healthier than sour cream), and a generous sprinkling of fragrant cilantro.
Each layer of flavor in these colorful Mexican-stuffed spuds packs a nutritious punch, and makes for a wholesome vegetarian dinner that can easily be whipped up any day of the week.
4 sweet potatoes, washed, scrubbed and dried
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained (or slow cooked beans)
1 can corn, rinsed and drained
1/2 white onion, chopped
1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, halved (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1/2 cup shredded cheese, such as part-skim mozzarella or reduced-fat cheddar
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
Limes, to serve
Preheat oven to 400ºF.
With a fork, poke sweet potatoes all over. Wrap in foil and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake until sweet potatoes are cooked through, 45-60 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes.
Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, toss black beans, corn, onion and tomatoes with lime juice and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Once potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove the foil. Using a paring knife, cut sweet potatoes down the middle lengthways, without cutting all the way through, and gently peel open. With a fork, slightly mash up the flesh of the sweet potatoes. Top sweet potatoes evenly with black bean salsa, cheese, greek yogurt, and cilantro. Serve immediately with lime wedges.