Sweet potatoes are something that I've had to learn to like through the years. Held in a higher regard and deemed healthier than white potatoes,* I used to only enjoy sweet potatoes when baked and slathered with mounds of butter and honey (and no Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner is complete without a sweet potato casserole piled high with melted gooey marshmallows, am I right?) But surely all of the added fat, sweetness and calories cancels out anything remotely healthy about the tubular root.
Up until a few weeks ago, I would've described my feelings for sweet potatoes as "Take 'em or leave 'em. I just eat them because they say I should." But then I started ordering organic produce from Backyard Produce and having it delivered right to my door. I included something called garnet sweet potatoes in one of my orders and fully expected a bunch of impressive looking gourmet ruby-colored potatoes to show up on my doorstep. Instead, they were your Average Joe regular looking sweet potatoes. But as I sat down to enjoy my dinner that evening, I realized they were far from just an average sweet potato that had done nothing much to win my affections before.
A garnet sweet potato, I learned after a bit of research, gets its name not because of its flesh color but instead its skin has a more reddish hue than other varieties of potatoes. And let's just say that I was blown away by the amount of flavor packed into these spuds. Organic foods have more flavor than non-organic or genetically modified items because they aren't pumped full of the equivalent of steroids to make their production larger and bulkier. When you interfere with the natural process, you essentially grow any flavor right out. These potatoes had the perfect amount of sweetness and flavor and I chose to roast them with fresh rosemary and a drizzle of olive oil which concentrated the flavors even more.
Thank you Backyard Produce for delivering right to my door and for introducing me to how sweet sweet potato love can be! To find out more about Backyard Produce's delivery service and see if you are in one of their many delivery zones, check out their website and get signed up today.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Fresh Rosemary
Sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into medium-sized chunks
Olive oil for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Fresh rosemary, leaves removed from stem and chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle potatoes with olive oil (about 2 or 3 tablespoons, depending on how many potatoes you use. You just want a light coating of oil) and sprinkle generously with salt, pepper and fresh rosemary. Toss potatoes to coat and spread them on a baking sheet in a single layer.
Roast for about 15-20 minutes, stirring once, or until potatoes start turning golden brown. Season with more salt and pepper, if desired.
*When the health benefits of a sweet potato versus a white potato are studied a bit closer, it seems that both have benefits in their own right and one isn't necessarily more healthy than the other. There is not alot of difference between the spuds nutritionally - calorie, fat and protein counts are relatively similar. Sweet potatoes contain anti-oxidants, beta-carotene and Vitamin C whereas white potatoes contain folate and have more dietary fiber. The glycemic index of both depend on how it's prepared for consumption. I may not be a doctor and I've certainly never played on on TV, but I'm prescribing my theory of "all things in moderation" when it comes to incorporating either sweet or white potatoes into my diet.