Let me start with this: to tell you that I love sweet potatoes is an understatement. Seriously, I L♥VE, L♥VE, L♥VE them. Among my friends and family, I tend to be the connoisseur (insert an awesome French accent) of the sweet potato. From mashed, to sautéed, to hash, I got these babies down. Why? Cuz’ they’re so darn easy to make and they taste so flippin’ good! Besides tasting good, they are jam packed with tons of nutrients. This is one of the reasons a sweet potato is acceptable in the paleo lifestyle.
Let me give you the paleo low-down on potatoes:
- Actually, there’s not much nutritional difference between regular white potatoes and sweet potatoes.
- Sweet potatoes are loaded with Vitamin A and Vitamin C.
- Sweet potatoes have 17.7g of carbohydrates versus 20g in a regular potato (that’s not a huge difference).
- Regular potatoes contain a toxin called saponins, while the sweet potato does not. Saponins are present in various plants including spinach, oats, chickpeas, beans, tomato’s, pepper’s, and a few others.
- Potatoes contain a lot of starch and sweet potatoes are higher in natural sugars (sucrose & maltose).
Here’s what you can gather from these few tidbits:
- In the end, if you are worried about your blood sugar levels, you shouldn’t be ingesting any form of potato.
- While the so-called “godfather” of paleo, Loren Cordain, argues that all potatoes should be excluded from the paleo diet, eating potatoes (yes, even white potatoes) is totally fine as long as you prepare them yourself a.k.a, no processed shit.
- Louise Hendon from Paleo Living Magazine explains that potatoes are fine to eat “especially baked or boiled and without the skin”. Find the full article here. (It’s where I got a lot of my info, super interesting!)
So, what do you do with this information? You live life and eat a friggin’ sweet potato. If you’re as active as I am, then you need the carbs and if you’re not, then to hell with it. For me, sweet potatoes are my one non-negotiable (actually, chocolate is too, but that’s for another time and post). I eat them and I don’t think twice about it. If you haven’t realized this already, let me spell it out for you: Although there are rules to follow, the paleo diet is designed to help an individual reach a state of optimal health. What paleo can offer is system regularity, no sugar addictions, no over eating, clearer mind, happier spirit, more energy… the list goes on and on. The super cool part: its different for every person! So, you have to find what works for you within those bigger paleo boundaries.
Now, let’s move onto the good part! My famous Sweeties (sweet potato fries, duh). These are famous among my inner circle because they are healthy, delicious, and give you a sense that your eating junk food (which is totally normal to miss, by the way).
Gold perfection, crispy but not overdone, these are a winner. And they are SO EASY. Not going to lie, you have to watch them while they are in the oven. You also have to flip them, once or twice. I think 1 medium sized potato per person is the perfect portion size (try saying that 5 times fast). Obviously, I like a lot of fries, but it’s ideal when you are cooking for 1! (which is almost always…)
My Famous Sweeties
Makes 1 batch
- 1 Medium Sweet Potato
- Olive oil or Coconut oil (your choice really!)
- Salt, Pepper (I l♥ve using truffle salt)
- Garlic Powder (optional)
- Cayenne Pepper (optional)
- Cinnamon (optional)
Follow The Leader:
- Preheat your oven to 425° F
- Spray a cookie sheet with olive oil/coconut oil. If you don’t have handy little spray bottles just dab your fat of choice on a piece of paper towel and coat the cookie sheet. Alternatively: use parchment paper. Personally, I like the potato directly on the pan because they cook a little quicker and become crispier.
- You can either peel the sweet potato or leave the skin on. If you decide to leave the skin on (my preferred choice cuz they get crispy and have a nice texture!) you need to scrub the skin with warm soap and water vigorously. Not enough to take the skin off, but you want to be sure that you really clean it. I SWEAR to you, you will not taste the soap on the potato.
- Cut the potato into nice sized strips. If you like your fries a little “mushier”, make the strips thicker. Crispy, cut the strips on the skinnier side.
- Line the potato strips on the baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. At this point, I usually take my handy dandy oil and give the potatoes a good spray, just for a bit of coating.
- Add the cayenne and garlic powder if you please. I always add the garlic powder. When I get a craving for a sweet/spicy combination, I add the cayenne.
- Pop them in the oven and let them bake for 30-45 minutes. Flip the fries as needed, usually 15 minutes into baking time.
- Enjoy the deliciousness!