Sweet potatoes are quite literally the golden superfood – especially for runners! This native American plant is not only a great source of slow-release carbohydrate, ideal for fuelling energy levels before a long run, but is packed full of vitamins too. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene – the antioxidant that gives this root vegetable its orange colour. Beta-carotene converts to the body in immunity-boosting Vitamin A – particularly important for long-distance runners whose immune system can be temporarily weakened after training. Sweet potatos are also rich in anti-oxidising Vitamin C, and contain traces of manganese and copper – crucial for healthy muscle function. Plus, ranked much lower on the glycemic index scale than white potatos, they keep you feeling fuller for longer and are therefore ideal for runners looking to watch their weight. A naturally sweet root vegetable, sweet potatoes can add flavour and goodness to all sorts of meals from dinners to desserts. Here’s three recipes to try.
Sweet Potato Jackets with Spicy Prawns
- 4 medium sweet potatoes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cm piece fresh ginger, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely diced
- 6 spring onions, trimmed and chopped
- 300g king prawns
- Small handful parsley, chopped
- 2 limes
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas Mark 6.
- Pierce the potatoes in a few places with a sharp knife. Place in the oven and cook for 30-40mins, until soft.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the ginger, garlic and spring onion for 2-3 minutes before stirring in the prawns. Cook for 1-2mins to heat through.
- Stir in the parsley and the juice of a lime and season to taste.
- Cut the potatoes in half and place on plates, then spoon over the prawn mixture and serve with wedges of lime.
Salmon and Sweet Potato Cakes
Perfect if you have left-over mash or fish, these fishcakes are a real comfort food, and serving topped with a poached egg ensures you are getting a great protein boost too.
- 460g sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 225g potato, peeled and chopped
- 6 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
- 325g skinless salmon fillet, grilled and broken into large flakes
- small handful dill, chopped
- 3tbsp plain flour
- 3 eggs
- 40g breadcrumbs
- 2tbps olive oil
- watercress to serve
- Cook the sweet potatoes and potatoes in a pan of simmering water until tender. Mash and place in a bowl and leave to cool slightly.
- Add the spring onions, salmon, dill and seasoning and roughly mix together.
- Shape into four fishcakes.
- Place the flour into a bowl, beat 1 of the eggs in another bowl, and the breadcrumbs in a third bowl. Dip each fishcake first in the flour, then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs to coat. Repeat with the remaining fishcakes then chill for 20-30 minutes in the fridge.
- Poach the remaining 2 eggs.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a frying pan and cook the fishcakes for 5-6 minutes on each side, until crisp and golden.
- Serve with watercress or a green salad
Paleo Sweet Potato Brownies by ‘Mrs B’ at Mind Over Matter.
- 1 cup melted coconut oil
- 1 cup honey
- 1/4 cup of maple syrup
- 4tsp vanilla extract
- 2tsp baking powder
- 2tsp baking soda
- 1 cup raw cacao powder, sifted
- 4tbsp coconut flour
- 4 cups grated sweet potato
- Combine the sweet potato, eggs, vanilla, honey and coconut oil in a bowl and give the mixture a good stir.
- Throw in the cacao powder and baking powder, and continue to stir.
- Then you add in your coconut flour, ensuring that you don’t dry out your mixture by tipping in too much.
- Put the mixture in a baking tray that has been lined with greased baking paper and bake at 185 degrees C for 30 to 35 minutes.