Archive for January 21st, 2020

This Week’s Box Feature– Sweet Potatoes!

potatoes cutting board wooden cooking

 

Our featured Veggie this week is Sweet Potatoes—Garnet Sweet Potatoes are in the Special Box for Group B.  We’ll have extras for sale, including two other varieties: 

  • A light fleshed, drier variety, most likely White Hamon, Hannah, or O’Henry (I can’t tell til we get them Wednesday, and I have a chance to look at them);
  • and a Japanese variety called Murasaki with purple skin and light flesh, super good flavor.
  • FYI—Yam is a ‘nickname’ for dark orange colored sweet potatoes. True ‘yams’ are a vegetable in Africa that does not resemble sweet potatoes at all! 
  • We raised Sweet Potatoes in the garden for 3 years but had to discontinue as we didn’t have the right curing set up.  After harvested, they are stored in the dark at 80-90 degrees with a little moisture for a week to ten days.  (One Fall we set up our ‘refrigerated’ truck with a heater and bucket of water and stored the sweet potatoes in open aired crates.  This worked great, but we had to use the truck for deliveries.  It was not worth the unloading and reloading!)  

 

Enjoy the info below from World’s Healthiest Foods at http://www.whfoods.com, and remember Food is Your Best Medicine!  Check out their website for more information on the sweet potatoes and other healthy foods–

WHAT’S NEW AND BENEFICIAL ABOUT SWEET POTATOES

Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes may be one of nature’s unsurpassed sources of beta-carotene. Several recent studies have shown the superior ability of sweet potatoes to raise our blood levels of vitamin A.

It can be helpful to include some fat in your sweet potato-containing meals if you want to enjoy the full beta-carotene benefits of this root vegetable. Recent research has shown that a minimum of 3-5 grams of fat per meal significantly increases our uptake of beta-carotene from sweet potatoes.

Some nutritional benefits from sweet potatoes simply may be easier to achieve if you use steaming or boiling as your cooking method.

While researchers have long been aware of sporamins—storage proteins in sweet potato—only recently has research shown some of their unique antioxidant properties. The potential health benefits of the sweet potato sporamins in helping prevent oxidative damage to our cells should not be surprising since sweet potatoes produce sporamins whenever subjected to physical damage to help promote healing.

ANTIOXIDANT NUTRIENTS IN SWEET POTATOES

Sweet potatoes contain a wealth of orange-hued carotenoid pigments. In countries throughout Africa, in India and in the Caribbean, sweet potatoes have been shown to be a highly effective way of providing school age children with sizable amounts of their daily vitamin A.

Recent research has shown that particularly when passing through our digestive tract, sweet potato cyanidins and peonidins and other color-related phytonutrients may be able to lower the potential health risk posed by heavy metals and oxygen radicals.   

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY NUTRIENTS IN SWEET POTATOES

Color-related pigments in sweet potato are equally valuable for their anti-inflammatory health benefits. In animal studies, reduced inflammation following sweet potato consumption has been shown in brain tissue and nerve tissue throughout the body.

POTENTIAL IMPROVEMENT OF BLOOD SUGAR REGULATION

Many people think about starchy root vegetables as a food group that could not possibly be helpful for controlling their blood sugar. What’s fascinating about sweet potatoes is their ability to potentially improve blood sugar regulation—even in persons with type 2 diabetes— in spite of their glycemic index (GI) rating of medium. (Sweet potatoes are one of four WHFoods vegetables that have a GI ranking of medium. The other three vegetables are beets, corn, and leeks.) The 6.6 grams of dietary fiber in a medium sweet potato are definitely a plus in terms of blood sugar regulation, since they help steady the pace of digestion.