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My husband just dug up some of the biggest sweet potatoes I have ever seen. This was our first year trying sweet potatoes, and we were thrilled with the harvest. Since we are sweet potato lovers, we decided to grow our own to save money and also gain satisfaction in knowing exactly how they were grown.

Baked sweet potatoes are not only delicious, they are an excellent source of beta-carotene. Some studies suggest that sweet potatoes contain more beta-carotene than green leafy vegetables. If you want to increase your absorption of beta-carotene, why not add a little bit of fat to the potato. That is what research has proven, and I have no problem with that. I love butter with my baked sweet potatoes, or I sometimes drizzle olive oil over baked sweet potato fries.

Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin A, vitamin B5, B6, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin.  They have no fat and are very low in sodium.  Even though they contain more sugar, they still contain less calories than a white potato. 

Sweet potatoes are easy to digest, and what’s also wonderful about them is their ability to help with blood sugar regulation. An average sweet potato has about 7 grams of dietary fiber, and this fiber helps with the way our bodies absorb it. So even though they are called “sweet” potatoes, they are beneficial for diabetics because they help to regulate blood sugar levels better than a white potato.  Even though they are sweet, they release sugar slowly into the bloodstream. This means you won’t get those bad blood-sugar spike; instead, you’ll get a steady amount of energy.  Maybe that’s why I feel so comforted and satisfied after eating one (or two!)

I love to eat my sweet potato the day after baking. When it has been given the chance to sit overnight, the flavor is more intense, and the brown caramelized bits of flesh hanging on the skin tastes like candy.  So delicious and good for a quick and easy-to-carry breakfast.

Today I’d love to share a recipe for baked sweet potatoes with honey butter. I’m sure you will enjoy it as much as my family and I do.

Baked Sweet Potato with Honey Butter 

Here is what you’ll need:

  • sweet potatoes

  • honey and/or maple syrup

  • butter

  • cinnamon and/or nutmeg

Wash and dry as many sweet potatoes as you’d like and then prick them a few times with a fork. Place sweet potatoes directly on oven rack without preheating oven.  After placing potatoes in the oven, heat to 400 degrees. Place an ovenproof pan lined with foil directly on the rack below. This will make it very easy to clean up any drips.

Bake for about an hour and then check to see if potatoes are done by piercing with a fork. If potatoes are large, they may need an extra 30 minutes. Once potatoes are fork tender, take them out of the oven to cool slightly.

In the meantime, make the honey butter. Place a stick of softened butter in a bowl and add 3 tablespoons honey and one tablespoon of maple syrup.  (You can adjust according to how sweet you want your butter.) You can use all honey or all maple syrup depending on your preference. Stir until smooth and creamy, then add ½ teaspoon of cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg and combine. Dollop over a hot, split potato.

If you could create fall on a plate, this is it.  You have the warmth, aroma, and color of the sweet potatoes in their jackets to remind us of an inviting fire on a brisk fall night.  The butter is creamy and spicy with specks of brown and rust colored cinnamon and nutmeg to remind us of the beautifully colored fall leaves. The warmth, comfort, and earthiness you will derive from this simple dish will surely keep you coming back for more, not only during the fall season but other times of the year as well.

 

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