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5 surprising ways to cook with sweet potatoes


sweet potatoes
Photo: Stocksy/Jeff Wasserman
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Sweet potatoes are not your average spuds. The super-nutritious complex carb supports everything from your vision to your metabolism, and have twice the fiber of regular potatoes. Plus, they take a long time to spoil, so there’s no reason not to have a bowl full of the tubers in your kitchen at all times.

And though you may be a pro when it comes to roasting (sweet potatoes are delicious in salads, after all), you can do so much more with the superfood than simply chopping it up and tossing it in the oven.

Desserts, savory entrées—even warming beverages—it seems that the super-spud knows no limits. So if you’re looking to add some variety to your sweet potato habit while keeping them in your weekly (or daily) rotation, we’ve gathered the most delicious, unexpected ways to use the nutritious treat.

Keep reading to discover five unexpected (and yummy) ways to serve up sweet potatoes.

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Photo: Instagram/@alittlebitof_realfood
Photo: [email protected]_realfood

1. Eat them for breakfast

Why limit the nutritious veggie to lunch or dinner? Whether you prefer to start your mornings sweet or have a hankering for something savory with your cup of coffee, sweet potatoes fit the bill. Pop a slice or two in the toaster and swap them for slices of bread. Slather them with almond butter and banana or mash some avocado on top for a variation on the beloved avo toast—no matter your topping preference, it’s bound to be seriously satisfying. And if you’re more of a breakfast-in-a-bowl type, adding sweet potato puree to a pot of oatmeal makes for a breakfast with both a heightened vitamin content and flavor profile. No judgment if you start incorporating the orange veg into all your meals now…

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springbone broth latte
Photo: Springbone Kitchen

2. Sip on the spud

If sweet potatoes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner aren’t enough, you can get your fix in between meals too. Swap your latte for the bone broth variety, and the addition of some beta-carotene rich sweet potato puree (plus everyone’s favorite superfood, turmeric) makes for a vamped up hot beverage that is as good as it is good for you. Blended with beets, carrots, and citrus, sweet potatoes taste pretty delicious in a juice bottle too.

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Sweet Potato Fries
Photos: Lauren Caris

3. Give your favorite comfort foods a healthy twist

Your french fry obsession just got a whole lot healthier. Subbing sweet potatoes for less nutritious starches in your favorite dishes guarantees they’ll be all the more good for you, without sacrificing any flavor. If nachos are more your jam, load up a plate of sweet potato fries with your favorite fixings—black beans, avocado, salsa…the works. You’ll have a vegan crowd pleaser that will satisfy any cravings. And if you prefer hearty sandwiches, stuff your lunch with roasted sweet potatoes for a meal that (quite literally) oozes nutrients. Or, put the spud through your spiralizer for a genius pasta replacement. Even Taco Tuesday can get a sweet potato makeover: Swap pork for the shredded tuber and you won’t want to limit the fun to just one day a week.

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Fetty Vegan's purple seewt potato dessrt bars
Photos: Fettle Vegan

4. Eat ’em for dessert

The potato has “sweet” in its name for a reason. Once the spud is mashed and combined with spices, it lends itself to a wide array of treats.  A cocoa and sweet potato soup with black rice may sound out there, but don’t knock it ’til you try it—the spoonable rice pudding is essentially a sophisticated take on the sweet rice classic. And if you’re looking to turn heads—or rack up some double-taps on Instagram—purple sweet potato pie bars (pictured above) will be pleasing to both the eye and the taste buds.

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sweet potato gratin
Photo: Ten Speed Press

5. Make the holidays a bit sweeter (and healthier)

It’s no secret that sweet potatoes are a favorite during the holiday season, but if you immediately think of a mash topped with sugary marshmallows, you’re missing out on some of the more nutritious ways to get your fix. One W+G reader mashes purple sweet potatoes with coconut milk for a creamy side dish full of vitamins and healthy fats. And if you’re looking for a lightened-up swap for the classic sweet potato casserole, top your mash with a crunchy-yet-cheesy mix of pecans and parmesan. And Thanksgiving isn’t the only holiday that is perfect for sweet potatoes. Replacing regular potatoes for the orange variety make for nutritious latkes that even your bubbe would love.

Need another excuse to fill up on tubers? Dietitians want you to eat more potatoes. And though sweet potatoes are proof that superfoods don’t have to be expensive, there are some that are worth splurging on.