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FEBRUARY 2013 RECIPES

 

 
SWEET & SAVORY SWEET POTATOES

(for "SWEET POTATO - HEALTH BENEFITS" see below)

SWEET POTATO & BLACK BEAN CHILI

sweetpotatochili1.jpg

 
SWEET POTATO & BLACK BEAN CHILI
(recipe by Executive Chef, Eileen Delpiano)
 
 
(Makes about 8 cups)

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon plus 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium-large Sweet Potato, peeled and diced
1 large onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons chili powder
4 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground chipolte chile (optional)
1/4 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups water
2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
4 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 recipe.

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!

SWEET POTATO MUFFINS

sweetpotatomuffins1.jpg

SWEET POTATO MUFFINS
(recipe by Executive Chef, Eileen Delpiano)
 
 
(Makes 12 muffins)

Ingredients:

Muffin liners
1 3/4 cup oatmeal, ground up
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder 
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. fine salt
1 cup mashed cooked sweet potato
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
2 tsp. vanilla extract
 
Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 400F degrees.  Line 12 standard muffin cups with paper liners.
2. Steam or boil sweet potatoes (for maximum nutritional benefit).  Remove from heat and mash with fork or potato masher.
3. Whisk together oatmeal flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together mashed sweet potato, buttermilk, eggs, oil, and vanilla.  
5.  Add flour mixture and fold until just combined (do not overmix).
6. Divide batter evenly among cups.  Reduce heat to 375F degrees.
8. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, 16-18 minutes.
9. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

 

©2013 Kids Heart Felt Health Inc.