by Dr Helen Flaherty, Head of Health Promotion and Education at Heart Research UK
Sweet potatoes make a tasty alternative to white potatoes and they are very versatile.
Unlike white potatoes, sweet potatoes count towards your 5 a day and they are packed with vitamins and fibre to keep you healthy. Sweet potatoes can be mashed, baked, roasted and boiled in the same way as white potatoes.
Here are some tips to help you include sweet potatoes in your meals.
For a healthy lunch, why not swap your regular baked potato for a baked sweet potato (without butter). Choose a healthy filling, such as vegetarian chilli, tuna, baked beans or cottage cheese and serve with a healthy salad.
Try switching from regular mashed potato to mashed sweet potato. Alternatively, you could make your mash with 50% white potatoes and 50% sweet potatoes. Instead of adding cream, butter or salt, try adding a splash of milk or low-fat crème fraiche and a pinch of nutmeg before mashing. Mashed sweet potato makes a great topping for shepherd’s pie or fish pie, or you can serve it alongside a roast dinner.
Sweet Potato Wedges
Ditch your deep-fat fryer and switch from chips to sweet potato wedges, baked in the oven. Cut your sweet potatoes into wedges (keep the skins on for extra fibre), toss them in a small amount of oil and add some dried herbs and/or spices, such as Cajun spice mix, cumin or paprika. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Serve with a dollop of reduced calorie crème fraiche.