Sweet on potatoes, but worried about the calories they contain?  It’s time for you to try a healthier alternative.

Sweet potatoes, best known as shakarkandi in India, don’t actually belong to the same tuberous family as the potato, but their starchy and creamy texture makes them an ideal substitute for regular potatoes in most dishes. Recently labelled as a superfood, sweet potato is good for the eyes, controls blood pressure, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Sweet Potato contains plenty of goodness

Sweet potatoes aren’t just full of flavour – this superfood also packs a powerful nutritional punch! A 150g sweet potato, when roasted contains only 135 calories (31g carb, 3.8 g fiber and no fat) making it a low-calorie, virtually fat-free source of energy.

Some of the health benefits of sweet potato include:

Best source of vitamin A

Sweet potatoes have the highest amount of beta-carotene among all fruits and vegetables which, when digested, is converted into vitamin A. One medium-sized spud contains over 400% of your daily need for vitamin A, an antioxidant that helps keep the skin healthy, promotes eye health and builds immunity.

Packed with potassium

A medium sweet potato contains almost 500 mg of potassium, which is good for the nervous system and lowers blood pressure.

Maintains healthy blood sugar levels

Sweet potato when eaten in moderation, can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels even for those with diabetes, because of its low glycemic index.

Full of fiber

One medium sweet potato with skin provides roughly between 4 to 6 grams of fiber, which is good for digestion and preventing ailments like heart disease, diabetes, diverticular disease and constipation.

Improves fertility in women

According to a Harvard Medical School study, plant-based iron, like that found in sweet potatoes, can even promote fertility.

Good source of choline

Choline, a micronutrient in the B-vitamin family, is found in sweet potato. It helps improve sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory, and even reduces chronic inflammation.

Wondering how you can munch on this healthy potato? We’ve got the recipes ready for you!

Healthy Sweet Potato recipes

Interestingly, some of the best recipes that feature this versatile produce – which can be boiled, baked or even sautéed – are savoury, as a little bit of heat best brings out its sweet-spicy flavour.

Sweet Potato Tikki

shakarkandi tikki
Image source: http://scdn.archanaskitchen.com/
  • 3 medium-sized sweet potatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed
  • 1 onion, finely-chopped
  • 1 green chilli, finely-chopped
  • A handful of coriander leaves (hara dhania), chopped
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp gram flour (besan)
  • 1 tbsp rice flour
  • Salt to taste
  • Olive oil for basting
  • Mix the mashed sweet potato with onions, coriander leaves and green chilli.
  • Add salt, chilli powder and flour to prepare the dough.
  • Form small tikkis (the size of your palm) of medium thickness with the dough. Brush with olive oil and grill on a flat-based pan until golden brown.
  • Serve hot with green chutney.

Shakarkandi Kheer

sweet potato sweet dish
Image source: http://ksmartstatic.sify.com/

The best part of using sweet potato to make kheer is that you don’t need to use sugar. In this recipe, dates provide additional sweetness.

  • ¾ cup sweet potato, peeled and grated
  • 3 cups low-fat milk
  • 8 dates, soaked in ¼ cup of hot milk for 15 minutes and ground to a paste
  • 10 almonds, soaked in warm water, peeled and ground to a paste
  • ¼ tsp cardamom (elaichi) powder
  • 5-6 cashews and 10 raisins, soaked and drained
  • Heat the milk and bring it to a boil. Add grated sweet potato and let it cook while stirring constantly to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Once the milk has reduced slightly, check if the sweet potato is cooked (it should feel soft).
  • Once cooked, add almond paste and cook for a few more minutes.
  • Add cardamom powder, dates, cashews and raisins. Mix well and remove from heat.
  • Let it cool and then refrigerate.
  • Serve chilled.

Sweet Potato Chaat

Shakarkandi chaat
Image Source: http://whatscookingmom.in/

This one’s a great evening snack recipe.

  • 1 ½-2 cups sweet potato, boiled, peeled and chopped  
  • ¼ tsp black pepper (kali mirch) powder
  • ½ tsp cumin (jeera) powder
  • Red chilli powder to taste
  • Dry mango (amchur) powder to taste
  • Chaat masala powder to taste
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • A handful of coriander leaves (hara dhania), for garnish
  • Salt to taste
  • Add all the ingredients, except lemon juice, to a large bowl and mix
  • Drizzle lemon juice over the ingredients and mix again
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve

Sweet Potato and Quinoa

Sweet Potato and Quinoa salad

  • 1 cup sweet potato cooked, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup coconut, shredded
  • 1 onion, finely-chopped
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • ½ cup cashews
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt to taste
  • Heat oil in a kadhai. Add bay leaves and onion, and fry till the onion is translucent.
  • Add pepper, chilli powder, sweet potato and coconut.
  • Fry all the ingredients till the aroma of the coconut kicks-in
  • Add raisins and cashews
  • Fry till the cashews brown.
  • Add the cooked quinoa and mix well.
  • Cook on a medium flame for 5 minutes
  • Serve hot

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Written by Team HealthifyMe

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