Thursday, October 23, 2014: 6:05 am
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Sweet and Simple

Let the flavor of sweet potatoes speak for themselves

If you keep the marshmallows and gobs of butter and mounds of sugar off your sweet potatoes, it’s a very healthful food. Baked in its skin, it’s low in sodium, and very low in saturated fat and cholesterol. The sweet potato also is a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin B6 and potassium, and a very good source of vitamin A, vitamin C and manganese, according to various nutrition-based references. A medium-sized sweet potato has about 100 calories.

According to The Life Force Diet by Michelle Schoffro Cook, the natural sugars that make them taste sweet are slowly released into the bloodstream, resulting in a balanced energy source rather than a blood sugar spike that can lead to weight gain or fatigue.

Sweet potatoes can be used in many ways: in soups and stews, roasted, grilled, steamed or baked. They can be a side dish or used in salads or even desserts or baked goods.

Sweet Potato Knot Rolls

1 package dry yeast (about 21⁄4 teaspoons)

1 cup warm 2% reduced-fat milk (100° to 110°)

3⁄4 cup canned mashed sweet potatoes

3 tablespoons butter, melted and divided

11⁄4 teaspoons salt

2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten

5 cups bread flour, divided

Cooking spray

Dissolve yeast in milk in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Add sweet potatoes, 1 tablespoon butter, salt, and egg yolks, stirring mixture with a whisk. Add 41⁄2 cups flour; stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel very soft and tacky). Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press 2 fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down. Cover and let rest 5 minutes. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide dough into 24 equal portions. Working with 1 portion at a time (cover remaining dough to prevent drying), shape each portion into a 9-inch rope. Carefully shape rope into a knot; tuck top end of knot under roll. Place roll on a prepared pan. Repeat procedure with remaining dough, placing 12 rolls on each pan. Lightly coat rolls with cooking spray; cover and let rise 30 minutes or until doubled in size. Preheat oven to 400°. Uncover rolls. Bake for 8 minutes with 1 pan on bottom rack and 1 pan on second rack from top. Rotate pans; bake an additional 7 minutes or until rolls are golden brown on top and sound hollow when tapped. Remove rolls from pans; place on wire racks. Brush rolls with 2 tablespoons butter. Serve warm or at room temperature.

SOURCE: Cooking Light

Sweet Potato Casserole

From Cooking Light

193 calories and 2.4 grams of saturated fat per serving

Ingredients

Potatoes:

21⁄4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 cup half-and-half

3⁄4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 large eggs

Cooking spray

Topping:

11⁄2 cups miniature marshmallows

1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour (about 21⁄4 ounces)

1⁄4 cup packed brown sugar

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces

1⁄2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375°.

To prepare potatoes, place potatoes in a Dutch oven, and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until very tender. Drain; cool slightly.

Place potatoes in a large bowl. Add half-and-half, 3⁄4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and vanilla. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add eggs; beat well (mixture will be thin). Scrape mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

To prepare topping, sprinkle miniature marshmallows over top of casserole. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, 1⁄4 cup sugar, and 1⁄4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in pecans, and sprinkle over potato mixture and marshmallows. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until golden brown.



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