Ah…the humble sweet potato. A fall staple, one of my favorite foods, and my recent re-obsession.
Now I very well recognize that November is more sweet potato season than May but the past couple of days these guys have been the star of multiple meals. Why the surge in SP love? Plain and simple : root vegetables are extraordinarily grounding foods. Let me explain.
I’ve been a bit sporadic with my blogging and that is a perfect reflection of the upheaval I’ve experienced in all areas of my life recently. I blogged about it briefly so you would know I was still kicking. The short, simple, hurried structure very much represented that impact this transition has had on my mental, physical, and spiritual state over the past couple weeks. In other words, its been pretty brutal.
I feel a bit like I’m floating with little more than a piece of silly string connecting me to the earth. My mom’s house, where I’m currently residing, is full of boxes. There is barely enough room to sit on the floor in my room to meditate (I have East-facing windows) and I’ve yet to establish a set schedule for my vacation from life. All in all, life is pretty chaotic right now.
What I expected to be relaxing and rejuvenating has turned into something more stressful than I imagined. I’m lucky to be loved by so many who want to hang out, catch-up, and be together…but every fiber of my being is craving hibernation. I want to sleep late, work out, watch trashy TV (aka re-watch the entire season of Once Upon a Time and order Mad Men) and read even trashier books (the Fifty Shades and Hunger Games trilogies). I want to cook and spend time with my family and pretend for a little bit that I’m not moving 5+ hours away from home. <–yes, me the girl who’s eschewed family connections for the entirety of her life Because fact of the matter is, my next big adventure is equal parts exciting and terrifying. All major change is. Anything can happen but one thing I know for sure is that my next step won’t be a walk in the park.
New city. New schedule. New lifestyle. Back to strict budgeting and stricter time management. The rewards will be great but I know I’ll have earned them.
So that brings me right back around to this humble little root vegetable. While I figure out which yoga studio will feed my soul for the next couple of weeks, and which plans I can cut back on so that my time is more my own, I’m doing whatever I can to ground. And that means eating root vegetables. And walking outside barefoot. And drinking calming tea. And hugging the ones I love.
Now back to those taters… not only do you enjoy the benefits of a grounding vegetable, SPs are also really good for you. I’m not going to go into too many details but lets just say they are among the highest sources of beta-carotene in the plant world and contain a host of other cancer-blocking, anti-inflammatory, blood sugar-regulating nutrients. Its important to eat them with a little bit of fat to ensure maximum uptake of the beta-carotene. Like, you know, the nut butter of your choice. Its also important to purchase organic whenever you can as root vegetables are particularly susceptible to absorbing all sorts of nasty stuff from the surrounding soil.
Here’s my fave sweet and fave savory ways to prepare the versatile and amazing sweet potato.
Bake potato (microwave or oven). Mix 1 Tbsp nut butter (I use TJ’s sunbutter) with 1 tsp each milk and maple syrup. Stir in a couple of drops vanilla extract and a few shakes each of cinnamon and nutmeg. Microwave for ~30 seconds, checking every 10 seconds to ensure it doesn’t burn. Add more milk if the mixture is too thick. Drizzle over baked or roasted SP.
Wash and chop SP. Toss with cooking spray and some salt and pepper and transfer to a greased casserole dish. Try not to overlap. Bake at 400 for ~30 minutes, turning once. While the SP is baking, make
your my fave cheese sauce. When there is 10 minutes left, pour sauce over SP and continue to bake. The SP is done when its easily pierced with a fork.
Neither of these recipes are particularly pretty. Instead they are quick, easy, delicious, and filling. And what more can a girl ask for when multiple seasons of
Don DraperMad Men are calling her name?