Sweet potatoes are one of my new favorite foods here in Beijing (the other being pomelos). They are super cheap and readily available, plus sweet potatoes are easy to prepare and very filling. Not to mention the health benefits. I’ve always loved my mom’s sweet potato casserole at Thanksgiving, but I know the recipe included butter, sugar, and eggs – 3 ingredients that pretty much cancel out the good stuff in the sweet potato itself. Last year I attended an amazing vegan workshop held through PCRM (Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine) that focused on how anyone can help prevent and cure cancer through a vegan diet. I came home with some vegan recipes that were so delicious and simple to create, I was in a state of wild and utter happiness. One of those recipes was Sweet Potato Pudding. 5 ingredients, 5 minutes to make, and devoured in about 1 minute!
Before I wow you with this genius recipe, let’s take a quick look at the great health benefits of sweet potatoes:
- They are a good source of vitamin C, which is necessary in warding off cold and flu viruses, instrumental in bone and tooth formation, digestion, and blood cell formation. It also accelerates wound healing and produces collagen, the substance that maintains skin’s youthful elasticity and helps us cope with stress. Vitamin C has been linked to fighting cancerous toxins as well.
- They contain vitamin D, which is crucial to the immune system and linked to our energy levels and moods. Vitamin D is essential for building healthy bones, heart, nerves, skin, and teeth, as well as supporting the thyroid gland.
- They contain iron, an essential mineral that is responsible for red and white blood cell production, resistance to stress, adequate energy levels, proper immune functioning, and other duties.
- Sweet potatoes are a good source of magnesium and potassium. Magnesium plays an important role in healthy artery, blood, bone, heart, muscle, and nerve function. It’s also known as the relaxation and anti-stress mineral. Potassium is an electrolyte that regulates heartbeat and nerve signals, and protects and controls the kidneys.
- Another perk is that the natural sugars in sweet potatoes are slowly released into the bloodstream, which creates a balanced and regular source of energy without the negative side effects associated with other types of sugar, such as weight gain and fatigue.
- Finally, sweet potatoes are high in beta carotene and other carotenoids, as indicated by their beautiful orange color. Carotenoids are powerful antioxidants that fight cancer, strengthen our eyesight, and boost our immunity.
I’m impressed not only with the health benefits of sweet potatoes, but the flavor and versatility of them. Take your pick – grilled, baked, roasted, sauteed, pureed, steamed, in soups, stews, salads, or even sweet potato fries. It’s important to note something that I learned from the instructor at my PCRM vegan workshop; be careful not to cook sweet potatoes at ultra high temperatures because it diminishes the nutrients. (this is true of many other vegetables as well). My instructor suggested roasting sweet potatoes in the oven at about 200-250 degrees. It takes longer, but the nutrients remain intact and the natural sugars have more time to simmer and come out, making for an even sweeter sweet potato!
I like the idea of making sweet potato pudding for breakfast; it will provide you with lots of energy and nutrients for the day ahead. I personally eat this pudding any time of day!
I started with one sweet potato that I cleaned, peeled, and cooked. I didn’t have time to roast it in the oven, which can take 2-3 hours, so instead I cut the sweet potato into small cubes and added to boiling water, immediately reducing the heat to the lowest setting. They are cooked and ready to drain after about 15 minutes. They turn such a lovely bright orange.
I give the sweet potato a few minutes to cool while I prepare the rest of my ingredients. Put the cooked cubes into a food processor or blender. I like using a food processor; haven’t tried a blender yet but I’m sure it works just fine.
Add 1/2 cup of non-dairy milk and 1/3 cup of rolled oats. I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk and these quick oats. The quick oats were all we had in the house, but next time I’ll use gluten free rolled oats. Measure in 1 tbsp of maple syrup and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. Blend until smooth.
What I like about this recipe is that it’s so simple you can eyeball the amounts. Depending on how thick you want your pudding, add more or less non-dairy milk. Depending on the texture you want, add more or less oats. And so on… It’s hard to mess this recipe up.
Voila! That’s the entire recipe. Simple, huh? Sliced bananas would be a great topping for this pudding, and maybe a small sprinkle of organic brown sugar. One sweet potato makes one serving in my opinion, so make as much or little as you like; I stored the leftovers in a glass container in the fridge. I wouldn’t recommend storing it more than 3 or 4 days.
- 1 medium to large sized sweet potato, cooked
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
- 1/3 cup rolled oats
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- There are two different ways to cook the sweet potato. The easiest way is to bring a small pot of water to a boil. Peel and rinse sweet potato, then cut into cubes. Add cubes to water and immediately turn down to lowest setting. Let simmer until fork tender. The second method takes longer but provides better flavor and retains more of the nutrients. Roast sweet potato in the oven at 250 degrees until fork tender, which takes about 2-3 hours.
- Combine all ingredients into a food processor or blender, and mix until smooth.
- Depending on the consistency you like, you can add more non-dairy milk to make it thinner or add more rolled oats to make it thicker. Add a touch more maple syrup if you want the pudding to be sweeter.
For more great vegan recipes, check out plantbasedhealth.com
Thanks to Care2Com for their info on all the health benefits of sweet potatoes