Monday, August 27, 2012

      With the fall season quickly approaching, we begin to see the familiar colors of the season. The deep red in the leaves as they begin to fall off their trees, the burnt oranges in jack-o-lanterns we carve for Halloween, and the deep chocolate browns that remind us of that cozy sweater we like to curl up in. Along with the fall season comes the haunting aromas that begin to tickle our noses and make our mouths water. Whether it's a warm and cozy sip of hot chocolate while your reading your favorite book, or a delicious bite of pumpkin pie, there's something about food in the fall that is just so comforting and inviting.
         Whenever I used to think about sweet potatoes, my grandmother's house would always come to mind. My grandmother, who grew up learning how to cook like a "real-southern woman" makes some of the best dishes I have ever been so lucky to taste. One of the dishes I will always remember is her sweet potato casserole she made for every Thanksgiving dinner. Technically, it was considered a "vegetable" since it was made with sweet potatoes, but with the amount of brown sugar and marshmallows she put in, it could have easily qualified as one of the desserts.
           As the fall begins, sweet potatoes seem to pop up more than usual. many people tend to forget that sweet potatoes can be prepared in more ways than our traditional thanksgiving casserole. Sweet potatoes are actually one of Earth's few super foods because they are so packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Aside from their deliciously sweet flavor, sweet potatoes are known to curb your appetite longer, and also help stimulate blood sugar. Sweet potatoes also only contain about half the calories of a regular potato, making them only around 95 calories each. Along with all these amazing benefits, sweet potatoes can be made in a countless number of ways, which are all equally delicious. So this fall, think outside the traditional casserole and give one of these recipes a try!

Sweet Potato Wedges
What you will need:

  • 4-5 large sweet potatoes
  • Olive Oil 
  • Coarse Salt and Ground Pepper 
  • Optional: Cinnamon Sugar

What to do:

  1. Wash and peel the sweet potatoes. 
  2. Use a large knife and slice each potato into slices about 1/2inch thick. 
  3. Lay the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet or a baking pan. 
  4. Lightly coat the potatoes with olive oil and stir until they all equally covered, but not soaked. 
  5. Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper over the dish. Add as much as desired. 
  6. Place in the oven at 350 degrees and bake for 15-20 min. Stirring occasionally. 
  7. Optional: before baking, add a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar to the potatoes, add a bit of sweetness.

For a quick snack...Sweet Potato Chips!
What you'll need: 
  • 3 or more large sweet potatoes (add more or less depending on the serving size)
  • Olive Oil 
  • Coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. 
  • Optional spices and herbs: cinnamon, rosemary, cumin, cayenne, etc.
What you do: 
  1. Wash and peel sweet potatoes
  2. Thinly slice the sweet potatoes as evenly as possible (Careful not to cut yourself!) 
  3. Coat the baking sheet with a bit of olive oil. 
  4. Place the sliced potatoes on the baking sheet and brush with olive oil (don't drown them!)
  5. Sprinkle with sea salt and any other spices you prefer 
  6. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. (time may vary)
  7. When the potatoes are golden brown take them out and let cool for 10-15 minutes. 
  8. ENJOY! 

When you're craving french fries...Sweet Potato French Fries!
What you'll need: 
  • About 4 large sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil 
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt 
  • 1/2 tsp paprika 
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
What you do: 
  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. 
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. 
  3. Wash and peel the sweet potatoes, and cut into strips about 1/2 inch thick. 
  4. Place sweet potatoes in a resealable plastic bag. Add oil, salt, paprika, and cinnamon. Seal the bag and shake until the fries are completely coated. 
  5. Spread the potatoes out on the baking sheet in a single layer. 
  6. Cook for 30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes until slightly browned. 
  7. ENJOY! 

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