Nutrition, recipes, Secret Ingredient

The Secret Ingredient Is…Sweet Potatoes

By Anne Lukowski, RD, CDE
Charlestown HealthCare CenterSweet Potato

When I think of the holidays, great food always comes to mind.  For me, the fall and winter would not be the same without the sweet potato making at least a few appearances on my table.  The sweet potato can be enjoyed baked, mashed or roasted but there is also sweet potato pie, sweet potato casserole, glazed sweet potato, sweet potato fries, and sweet potato soup.  Whatever form you choose, the sweet potato is not only delicious, it’s also very nutritious! 

The sweet potato is not just another root vegetable, they have several health benefits.  The sweet potato is a wonderful source of vitamin A, beta carotene, vitamin C, iron, and potassium.  Sweet potatoes are also rich in vitamin B6, which has been associated with decreasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.  And let’s not forget that a sweet potato is a good source of dietary fiber:  a medium sweet potato has 4 grams of dietary fiber which is important for heart health, controlling blood pressure and blood sugar, and weight management.

Maple-Roasted Sweet Potatoes
(Recipe adapted from


2 ½ pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 ½ inch pieces (about 8 cups)
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and ground pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Arrange sweet potatoes in an even layer in a 9 by 13 inch baking dish.  Combine maple syrup, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Pour the mixture over the sweet potatoes; toss to coat.  Cover and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover, stir and cook until tender and starting to brown 45-50 minutes or more.

Yield: About 12 servings, ½ cup each


SODIUM: 60 mg
FIBER: 2 g
FAT: 2 g Sat Fat: 0.5 g

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