POTATO & BLACK BEAN CHILI
SWEET POTATO & BLACK BEAN CHILI
(recipe by Executive Chef, Eileen Delpiano)
about 8 cups)
Ingredients:1 Tablespoon plus 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil1
medium-large Sweet Potato, peeled and diced1 large onion4 cloves garlic,
minced2 Tablespoons chili powder4 tsp. ground cumin1/2 tsp. ground chipolte chile
(optional)1/4 tsp. salt2
1/2 cups water2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes4 tsp, lime
juice 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (garnish)
Preparation: 1. Heat oil in Dutch oven over Medium-High
heat. Add sweet potato and onion and cook, stirring often, until onion begins to soften, about 4 minutes.2. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt, and chipolte (if using) and cook, stirring constantly for
about 30 seconds.3. Add water and bring to a simmer. Cover,
reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the sweet potato is tender, 10-12 minutes.4. Add beans, tomatoes, and lime juice; increase heat to High and return to a simmer, stirring often.
5. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.6. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.
THE SWEET POTATO - HEALTH BENEFITS
This month's recipes feature the sweet potato, which is the
star of our savory heart-warming chili recipe, and the added "sugar" in our whole grain muffin recipe. The
sweet potato is a nutrition "power house". Sweet potatoes are not only high in calcium, Vitamin C, folate,
and potassium, but are particulary high in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that converts to Vitamin A in the body. One
serving of sweet potatoes provides 700% of the Recommended Daily Allowance of Vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for
good vision and wound healing, as well as immune system function, bone formation, and reproduction. To maximize absorption of the beta-carotene in sweet potatoes (which converts to Vitamin A), you must eat them with
a small amount of fat (as the beta-carotene is "fat soluble"). The olive oil in our chili provides the fat
in our chili recipe, while the coconut oil provides the necessary fat for beta-carotene uptake in our sweet potato muffin
And why is the sweet potato so "sweet"? That's because as it matures (while growing
as a tuber in the garden), the tuber releases starches which convert to simple sugars. Normally, simple sugars spike
blood sugar levels in the body, but not with the sweet potato. In fact, sweet potatoes elevate blood sugar levels 30
times less than white potatoes! That's because of the amount of dietary fiber and glycemic load of sweet potatoes
(when boiled or steamed). Research also is being conducted to confirm that sweet potatoes increase blood levels of a
protein hormone (adiponectin) that improves insulin metabolism (particularly important for people with Type 2 diabetes).
In addition, animal studies have shown that sweet potato consumption decreases inflammation in brain tissue and nerve tissue throughout the body.
With so many nutritional benefits,
sweet potatoes are an important root vegetable to add to your family's diet - in both sweet and savory dishes!