Ingredient of the month December

“December, being the last month of the year, cannot help but make us think of what is to come.” ― Fennel Hudson

December is like the Friday of the months, that’s why it couldn’t be more refreshing. Out with the old and in with the new.

It’s one of the most wonderful and magical times of the year, in which we celebrate both an end and a beginning.

Maybe 2016 wasn’t your year. But the new year brings renewed optimism for change, for a better life and for a better you. A fresh start.

The end of the year also comes with a lot of celebration and festive food. From cookies, brownies and cakes to turkey, smoky beef and Yorkshire puddings. That’s why we chose one ingredient that fits perfectly. An ingredient that even helps improve your immune system: the sweet potato.

Sweet potatoes are available nearly everywhere, inexpensive and so delicious. You have to give them a try. Not only do they taste like dessert, but they provide some surprising health benefits as well.

They are loaded with beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A. Vitamin A is vital to keep your immune system functioning properly. Perfect for the cold winter months!

Furthermore, one medium sweet potato contains 17% of your daily requirement for vitamin C. We need vitamin C not only for our nervous and immune system, but for bones, teeth, skin and cell protection.

Suffer from digestion issues? No problem. The fiber content in a sweet potato is much higher than in white potatoes, which makes it an excellent facilitator for digestion. Plus they are easy to digest, since they mainly contain starch.

Some people believe, that sweet potatoes should be avoided if you’re suffering from diabetes. But as a matter of fact, they are beneficial for diabetics because they regulate blood sugar levels. Of course you should not eat too many of them, but it is shown that sweet potatoes can help with the proper secretion and function of insulin.

Want to gain muscles? Add sweet potatoes to your diet! By providing a lot of energy and containing a good amount of complex starches, health vitamins, minerals and even some proteins, they’re excellent muscle builders.

And here are our 3 favourite recipes

Sweet Potato toast with peanut butter and bananas.

  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • low-fat peanut butter
  • 1 banana berry jelly

This is my absolute favourite snack. Just slice the sweet potato lengthwise into thick slices and put them into your toaster (just like bread). When it pops up from the toaster check with a fork if it’s ready. Now simply add the topping. You can use whatever topping you like of course, even avocado and egg or sliced chicken. It’s so delicious!

Cheesy roasted sweet potato.

  • 4 small sweet potatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 ounces grated parmesan

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Rub the potatoes with oil and herbs and put them on a baking sheet. Bake them for about 18 to 22 minutes until they are golden brown and tender. Take the potatoes out of the oven and top them with parmesan. Put them back in the oven until the cheese is melted. Fantastic!

You can also just use cinnamon, if you’re looking for a calorie-reduced version. Perfect for cold winter nights.

Loaded baked sweet potato.

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 sliced avocado
  • 50 gram cottage cheese
  • green salad for serving

This is my favourite dinner at the moment. Just rub the sweet potato with water and put it in the microwave for 5 minutes (or in the oven for 30–40 minutes if you prefer that). Cut the potato open lengthwise and season it with salt and pepper.

Top the potato with avocado, cottage cheese and nuts. Serve it with a salad and enjoy.

Go and grab a sweet potato for your next meal. They are delicious, nutritious and perfect for this time of the year!

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