If I'm being real honest here... I'll admit that when he was little my son ate a metric-ton of those tiny, nutritionless crackers. You know the ones... shaped like a small, cute fish?
Anyhoo... cut to years later, after I've learned about nutrition, and how HUGE an impact it has on our health, and now I don't let those buggers anywhere near our house. Except Santa does occasionally sneak them into a stocking every now and again.
Anyway... as a way to replace those horrific crackers, while at the same time filling that need to crunch and munch... I discovered SWEETIES. The super yummy snack kids absolutely go crazy for.
And boy-oh-boy don't I wish I had known about these babies sooner. I mean... just look at all of the vitamins and essential minerals found in a single sweet potato (find this info below in the Nutritional Benefits section).
And the best part? They're only 2 ingredients! Oh... sure, you can modify these puppies a million different ways... but this here is the bare-bones recipe that does just fine all by itself.
Single Mum Tip: Sweet potatoes have tough skins that are removed prior to cooking. These two things make them less likely to hold onto, or even need, pesticides or herbicides. Therefore, if you're on a tight budget and organic is off the list, sweet potatoes make for a good choice.
1 Sweet Potato (I used the jewel variety)
3 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Optional Seasoning Ideas:
Preheat oven to 450 F. At the same time, peel and chop your sweet potato into bite-size nuggets. Toss sweet potato bites with EVOO on a cookie sheet, and then place in the center of oven. Cook for 20 minutes stirring every 10 minutes. Then cook for another 10 minutes stirring every 5 minutes. Then... add time in 2-or-3 minute increments - stirring as you go, until it looks like each piece is packed with the perfect crunch.
I cooked this batch a total of 33 minutes.
Did you Know:
Sweet potatoes come in a plethora of colors, shapes and sizes. And some of them are better suited for frying or boiling (because they’re drier than other varieties).
Vitamin A – Sweet Potatoes have 284% per serving
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) – vital for metabolism, boosts brain junction, protects heart
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) – helps body break down carbs, proteins and fats
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) – a coenzyme with more than 400 enzymes dependent upon it
Vitamin B5 (AKA Pantothenic Acid) – Helps convert food into energy - without it we would die
Vitamin B6 (AKA Pyridoxine) – a coenzyme that assists more than 100 other enzymes, supports immune function, helps break down proteins, carbs and fats
Vitamin C – boosts immune system, protects eyesight, helps prevent free radicals
Vitamin E – important for vision, reproduction, skin and brain health
Vitamin K – bone and vessel health, elevates mood
Calcium – muscles (including your heart) need calcium to function
Copper – together with iron builds red blood cells, maintains healthy bones and nerves
Fiber – because we need fiber… to poop. And pooping is good.
Folate – needed to make red and white blood cells, converts carbs into energy
Iron – transports oxygen & aids in DNA synthesis
Magnesium – involved in over 300 chemical reactions in the body, increases energy, elevates mood
Manganese – helps regulate blood sugar, helps reduce inflammation, elevates mood, increases energy
Phosphorous – vital in the formation of bones and teeth, helps repair cells
Potassium - regulates fluid balance, muscle contractions and nerve signals
Selenium – plays critical role in reproductions, thyroid health, metabolism and DNA synthesis
Zinc - needed for the immune system to function properly, plays roll in cell division and growth
Extra Virgin Olive Oil:
Monounsaturated Fats – helps lower bad cholesterol, and decreases heart disease risk Polyunsaturated Fats – reduces bad cholesterol, decreases heart disease risk and may lower risk of type 2 diabetes
Cool and Interesting Links:
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Sweet Potato Varieties:
Sweet Potato Facts:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Facts:
How to Buy and Store Extra Virgin Olive Oil:
Facts on Fats:
Raena's Cooking Facts
1. I didn't know how to cook much before the age of 30.