Native Cooking: Eating Paleo Starting With Sweet Potatoes, a Superfood

Wikipedia /Want to try eating paleo? Start with some sweet potato recipes, they're a superfood.

I can’t seem to get sweet potatoes off my mind, they are a superfood, and yet often forgotten.

They were the first thing I thought of when trying to compose an article about eating paleo. This recipe for baked sweet potato fries is easy, different, and delicious. You’ll keep finding new things to pair them with every time you make them.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

2 or 3 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed, skin on for nutrients

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Spray or coat a baking sheet lightly with oil

Mix 1 teaspoon each of cumin, paprika, chili, kosher salt and pepper together in a small bowl

Cut the potatoes lengthwise in ½ inch stripes and lay on the oiled sheet so they do not touch

Sprinkle with herb mixture and spray potatoes with olive oil spray.

Bake for 20 minutes, turn over and spray again. Return to oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

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Sweet potatoes contain three antioxidants, vitamins C, E and beta carotene, all help prevent cancer and heart disease. These vegetables will stay fresh for a couple of weeks when you bring them home if you keep them cool and dry.

Spinach and Sweet Potato Salad

6 cups baby spinach

4 cups peeled, cubed sweet potatoes

1 medium apple, peeled, cored and shredded

2 slices baked honey ham

2 cloves garlic, minced

Olive oil

2 tablespoons apple juice

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 dash allspice

1 dash cloves

¼ cup thin sliced red onion

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat some oil in a large frying pan and heat the ham just a little, then set aside. Add potatoes, salt and garlic and cook for 15 minutes until potatoes are tender, but firm enough to hold their shape. Transfer it all to a large bowl, add the shredded apple, toss and keep warm. In a separate bowl, mix apple juice, vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil, spices and onion, add to pan and heat to boiling. Arrange spinach on five or six plates, top with potato mix, then some hot dressing and some chopped ham and a bit of onion. To vary this recipe, you could substitute bacon for the ham.

Spiced Up Sweet Potatoes

3 pounds of sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in 1 inch slices

1 cup water

1 cup orange or pineapple juice

1 cup golden raisins

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ginger

½ teaspoon cinnamon

dash cayenne

Bring water and juice to a boil, add sweet potatoes and cook for 10-12 minutes. Add raisins and spices, cover, and cook for another 10 minutes.

Dale Carson, Abenaki, is the author of three books: “New Native American Cooking,” “Native New England Cooking” and “A Dreamcatcher Book.” She has written about and demonstrated Native cooking techniques for more than 30 years. Dale has four grown children and lives with her husband in Madison, Connecticut.

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