We are so happy to have February coming to a close, as we step closer to spring months. But one of the best parts of winter weather is curling up (after a good workout of course) on the couch with some hot soup, cup of chai tea or other dishes that taste of the season.

Did you know that February is actually National Sweet Potato Month? Sweet potatoes remind us of home-cooked Thanksgiving meals. Baked sweet potato pie, delicious sweet potato soup, baked sweet potatoes as a side.

In honor of National Sweet Potato Month, we wanted to dedicate a post to tips, tricks and easy-to-make recipes that you can make this week as February comes to a close, or anytime throughout the year.

Why Are Sweet Potatoes Healthy?

Sweet potatoes have a high source of vitamin B6, which reduces the risk of heart attacks. They also contain vitamin C—perfect for cold and flu season—and promotes skin health. Sweet potatoes contain iron, magnesium and potassium. They are great to include into meals when training because they are carbohydrates, and even though they are sweet, they contain natural sugars that are released slowly unto the bloodstream instead of spiking blood sugar levels.

How To Pick A Sweet Potato 

When making your sweet potato selection, make sure that the potato is firm. Avoid the ones that have soft spots and cracks. Store then in a dark, cool place and not in the refrigerator.

Easy-To-Make Recipes

Sweet Potato and Apple Soup 

 PC: William Brinson/ Real Simple
PC: William Brinson/ Real Simple

If you are still thawing out from this brutal winter, than this soup is the perfect dish to warm you up. To make the Sweet Potato and Apple Soup, heat oil in a large pot and add in onion, salt, pepper, sweet potatoes, chopped apple, vegetable broth, nutmeg and water. Cook until the potatoes are tender and transfer until a blender and mix until smooth. Then serve the soup with blue cheese crumbles, walnuts and sliced apples.

Roasted Sweet-Potato Salad

PC: Kurt Wilson
PC: Kurt Wilson

If we talk about soup, we have to talk about an accompanying salad. This salad has just a bit more than 300 calories, with 11 grams of fiber and 7.6 grams of protein. To make the Roasted Sweet-Potato Salad, roast sweet potatoes in oiled pan placed in the oven at 425 degrees F with salt, pepper and bell peppers. Cook for 40 minutes, remove from oven and stir in vinegar. Place spinach in a salad bowl and add the potato mixture and serve.

Spicy Sweet Potato Wedges

PC: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Jan Gautro/ Health
PC: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Jan Gautro/ Health

These potatoes are sweet so it only makes sense to throw in a little spice, To make Spicy Sweet Potato Wedges, preheat your oven to 500 degrees F. Peel the potatoes, cutting them longways into quarters. Throw then I’m a bowl with cooking spray, sugar, salt and pepper. Place them onto a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the wedges over and bake until brown.

Sweet Potato-Pecan Burger with Caramelized Onion

PC:  Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr
PC: Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr

The perfect meal for a vegetarian, this Sweet Potato-Pecan Burger with Caramelized Onion is delicious and nutritious. Cook onions first by heating oil in a skillet and sauté until brown. Stir in vinegar, sugar and salt and then remove from pan. To make the burger, place sweet potato in a large saucepan and cover with water until it boils. Let this cook for 10 minutes and then drain. Put potato, onion/garlic mixture, pats, cumin, and salt and pepper into a food processor until smooth. Stir in toasted pecans and divide the mixture into 6 portions, making them into patties. Cook patties on oiled pan until brown. Then assemble your burger.

Banana Bread Muffins With Sweet Potatoes

PC: Bodybuilding.com
PC: Bodybuilding.com

Perfect as a snack before the gym or for breakfast on-the-go, the Banana Bread Muffin With Sweet Potato recipe is easy-to-make and surprisingly nutritious. We usually view muffins as cakes in sheep’s clothing, but this recipe uses egg whites and almond milk to make it lighter on your waist. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray muffin pan with non-stick spray. Combine mashed sweet potato and banana until mixed well and then add in banana protein powder, unsweetened almond milk and coconut flour and mix well. Bake for about 40 minutes.

What’s your favorite way to eat sweet potatoes?

[PHOTO CREDIT: thebittenword.com/Flickr]

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