Healthy Sweet Potato Recipes – Hawaiian Diet Part 2
Just how nutritious is this traditional Hawaiian food? Sweet potatoes are ranked by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) as the #1 Vegetable. A great source of complex carbs (the good carbs), Vitamin A, Vitamin C, fiber, the sweet potato is also gaining recognition as a good food for diabetics. Not only does it raise blood sugar 30 percent less than white potatoes, studies are indicating that the sweet potato also reduces insulin resistance (a big plus for diabetics).
The main difference between how this healthy Hawaiian food was cooked in old Hawaii and it is cooked now, is sugar. Before Western contact and sugar plantations, Hawaiians sweetened this starchy vegetable with coconut milk. Given the inherent sweetness of these potatoes, they were probably also eaten plain. I find that by sprinkling with cinnamon (another good food for blood sugar) and just a tiny bit of sugar, my sweet tooth is satisfied.
Cooking Tips: If you want to fry sweet potatoes, microwave them to soften a bit, which makes slicing them much easier. I slice with peeling intact because the peeling ads more fiber and other nutrients.
A super quick and easy way to prepare this vegetable is steak-house style: bake, and then top with butter or margarine and a light sprinkling of brown sugar and cinnamon. Yum. How can something that tastes so good be so good for you?
I have also made a sweet potato casserole where I layered sweet potato slices with pineapple and banana layers, sprinkling with brown sugar and dotting with butter. I don’t recall the oven temperature or timing but it was a big hit at a Thanksgiving potluck in Hawaii. One of my creative moments that I’ve not been able to duplicate, but I’m sure there are similar recipes online.