You are probably familiar with the fact that sweet potatoes and beets are healthy for you. But, do you know why? Keep reading this article to find out why you should include these superfoods into your diet.
Sweet potato is one of the best sources of beta-carotene. Many studies conducted in recent years have found that sweet potatoes can significantly increase the levels of vitamin A in the blood – this can be especially beneficial for children. According to the World’s Healthiest Foods, “sweet potatoes were found to contain between 100-1,600 micrograms (RAE) of vitamin A in every 3.5 ounces—enough, on average, to meet 35% of all vitamin A needs, and in many cases enough to meet over 90% of vitamin A needs (from this single food alone.”
Vitamin A is necessary for growth and development, for the maintenance of the immune system, and for good vision. It is commonly found in animal sources, so the fact that sweet potatoes are particularly rich in it is a good news for everyone who is following a plant-based diet. Keep in mind that you should combine this root veggie with fat in order to experience the most of the health benefits of its high beta-carotene content. Even 3-5 grams of fat per meal will greatly increase your uptake of vitamin A from sweet potatoes.
Beets are a great source of phytonutrients called betalains. The most widely studied betalains are betanin and vulgaxanthin, and both of them were found to have powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification properties. The detox support provided by these betalains is especially important for some steps of Phase 2 of detox process in which glutathione is involved.
Although these betalain pigments can also be found in other foods, such as the stems of rhubarb and chard, their concentration is much higher in the peel and flesh of beets, which allows you to get the most of their health-boosting properties. Also, it is very important to know that the healing properties of beets are greatly reduced after roasting or steaming for more than an hour or 15 minutes respectively.
Do you know how you can enjoy all of these health benefits together? Well, the answer is quite simple. Just follow the instructions below and make the Candied Sweet Potatoes and Beets
How to Make a Perfect Vegetarian-Based Side Dish!
You will need just 4 ingredients to make this recipe – a sweet potato, a beet, olive oil, and maple syrup.
Start by peeling both sweet potato and the beet and then cutting them into bite-sized cubes. The next step is to marinade them in olive oil and syrup. Those of you who will find the oil-syrup combo a bit strange should know that these ingredients have specific functions in this recipe – olive oil helps the veggies slide off the baking sheet when ready, while the maple syrup provides a sweet flavor.
Once the veggie cubes are marinated, place them on the baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes (or until they become soft). You can drizzle them with additional syrup before serving if you want to.
This recipe also goes well topped with cranberries, walnuts, or pecans (or all three). You are also free to double (or even triple) the ingredients, depending on how many people you want it to serve.
4-Ingredient Candied Sweet Potatoes and Beets
- 1 sweet potato
- 1 beet
- 2 T olive oil
- 2 T maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Peel and cut both the sweet potato and the beet into bite-sized cubes.
- Add the veggie cubes into a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and half the syrup, and stir until well combined.
- Place the marinated cubes on a nonstick baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes (or until potatoes and beets are soft).
- Drizzle with the remaining syrup and any other toppings of your choice.