Sweet potatoes in baking? Well why not? I hadn’t ever thought about baking with sweet potatoes but I have often used carrots, bananas or apple sauce in cakes and muffins. So why not sweet potatoes. I was inspired to start looking for recipes by a friend of my husband, Jonathan, who has diabetes and tries to eat sweet potatoes, pumpkin or squash daily to help regulate blood glucose. Interesting…I just had to find out more!
What is a sweet potato? It’s not a potato – or not in the sense of the usual ‘white’ potato which is in the nightshade family. Sweet potatoes, a sweet, starchy root vegetable, are in the bindweed family. The are often orange but you can get purple and white varieties.
So what exactly are the “super food” qualities of the sweet potato? A quick internet search reveals lots of reliable evidence on the great nutritional benefits of the sweet potato.
I found the following information on the website www.healthline.com and copied it straight:
“One cup (200 grams) of baked sweet potato with skin provides:
- Calories: 180
- Carbs: 41.4 grams
- Protein: 4 grams
- Fat: 0.3 grams
- Fiber: 6.6 grams
- Vitamin A: 769% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin C: 65% of the DV
- Manganese: 50% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 29% of the DV
- Potassium: 27% of the DV
- Pantothenic acid: 18% of the DV
- Copper: 16% of the DV
- Niacin: 15% of the DV “
They are also high in antioxidants that protect from inflammation and chronic disease. Look at the amazing Vit A content! Vitamin A (beta carotene) protects your eyesight and may help prevent certain types of cancer. Sweet potato also been found to help maintain a healthy gut, and support the immune system. The high potassium content is helpful for regulating blood pressure. Sweet potatoes have a low glycaemic index, which means they can help to regulate and control blood sugars in people with diabetes, because they don’t cause sudden spikes in blood glucose, which play havoc with insulin levels.
It’s vegan, and stuffed not only with sweet potatoes, but bananas (more potassium!), flax and hemp seed (protein packed!) and oats (reduce cholesterol! help your heart!).
But would they taste good?
The recipe is easy to follow and straightforward. They do taste good! I made 30 rather than 24 because I made them in my little pink silicone moulds. (That’s why I’m calling mine muffin bites – they are quite small.) Each one is about 15 g of carbohydrate, and just over 100 kcal. They definitely taste like a healthy snack rather than an indulgent treat. That’s ok though – sometimes that’s what we want. They are a bit like a baked version of an energy ball – see here for an example. They freeze well apparently so I will freeze most of these and then they are handy for taking to work as a little snack. They might even work on a run?!
Talking of which – next Sunday 12th May is my next run in the beautiful Derbyshire countryside. It is 26 km long – further than a half marathon – and in the hills! To say I am nervous is an understatement. I have never done anything like this, and fully expect to be last one back! Watch this space for a race report. And if you would like to sponsor me for encouragement you can click here. Thanks for reading! Have a great May day Bank Holiday if you are in the UK. (I will be going for a run.)