Spicy Yet Sweet!

Did you know that February is National Sweet Potato Month? I didn’t either. One thing that I like to do and encourage others is to become creative in the kitchen. I personally don’t like to follow a recipe but I like to look at a recipe as a guide and as a base to create something of my own. While this recipe from the American Heart Association is great, I personally would add my own bit of spice and flare to it such as green onions, red and yellow peppers, corn, jalapenos and cilantro!! Deciding on what I will add depends upon what I have in my refrigerator and pantry, which is all a part of decreasing food waste. In addition, these dishes tend to be the tastiest!

Below is a close up of what I happened to have on hand. The sweet potatoes are below the

topping but just hard to see in the picture.

Sweet Potato Nachos!!

From the American Heart Association (Click here for recipe)

Now, I must tell you about the health benefits that go along with this delicious recipe.

Sweet potatoes are a great source of Vitamin A (Beta-carotene)—one medium sized potato provides 435% of the daily value for Vit A!! They are also a great source of Vitamin C, Potassium and fiber. Health benefits include eye health and decreased risk of chronic disease.

Black beans are a great source of iron, B vitamins, fiber and protein. Just half a cup has 8g of fiber and 8g of protein!

Tomatoes contain lycopene, which is a phytochemical that may decrease risk for certain types of cancers. In addition, one small tomato is high in Vitamins A and C.

Avocado is a very popular and trendy “superfood” and is high in fiber, Vitamins C, E, K, B6, and potassium. They are also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids known for their plant sterols that help maintain a healthy cholesterol profile. Omega-3 fatty acids also contribute to brain and heart health.

If you want to learn more about the health benefits of sweet potatoes and other interesting facts, visit the link below for research articles. To wet your appetite (pun intended), topics include antioxidant and phytochemical properties, cholesterol effects, and protein fortified pasta created from a sweet potato!

Research on health benefits of sweet potatoes

Picture of the black bean mixture that topped the sweet potatoes before cheese, guacamole, and jalapenos added. I often make this up weekly so my daughter can easily make quesadillas, put on top of a baked potato or eat with chips.

Happy creating!

Remember all foods can fit with balance and it is important to find a place for treat foods too.

Alison is a Registered Dietitian and is an instructor with the Dietetic Internship Program at Iowa State University and is a certified Intuitive Eating Counselor.


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