I’m obsessed with roasted vegetables lately, and these babies are at the top of my list. I mean, they’re a vegetable with the word “sweet” right in their name! Vegetables and sweet aren’t usually two words that go together in my mind, but roasting, I’m discovering, can magically change the flavor of almost any vegetable. Even the un-sweet ones.
Last month I did something a little crazy.
After finding myself alone with far too many White Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cookies and subsequently eating them all in a matter of minutes, I felt convicted. My sugar addiction was getting out of control. Yes, the cookies were irresistibly delicious, but no healthy human should eat them in quantities that great. In a row. Ahem.
I knew an intervention was needed if I had lost the ability to say no to a cookie…or, you know, a seventh one.
So I stopped eating sugar.
For one whole month.
Yes, it’s true! Hard to believe, but entirely factual. This sweet-toothed, dessert-loving sugarholic cut out sugar for four weeks and lived to tell about it!
I’ll be honest: four days into the sugar-free life, things were a bit rough. While I’m rather disciplined and had stubbornly resigned to avoid all sugar whatsoever for 30 days (excluding the God-made kind in fruits, veggies and such), I felt pretty terrible over the course of a weekend. I actually thought I was coming down with something until I realized, with embarrassment, that I was probably experiencing withdrawal symptoms. WebMD unofficially confirmed these suspicions.
Thankfully, after three or four days of that fun, I was just fine, and I successfully managed to avoid sugar for a month. Mission accomplished! Since then, I’ve tried to be careful not to overdo it on the sweets. By no means am I eliminating them from my life forever or going on any crazy diet that bans all things delicious…but my cookie binge and withdrawal symptoms did give me enough of a scare to reconsider just how much sugar I allow into my diet on a regular basis. Instead of eating like a rabbit if that’s what it takes to justify my daily cupcake(s), maaaaaybe it would be a better idea to not eat a cupcake every day. Maybe? :) Or to bake in smaller batches. Or to give more goodies away. I am SO not going all anti-sugar here (trust me, that’s not happening), but I do want to take care of my body and enjoy other foods that don’t revolve around sugar, too.
That’s where these sweet potatoes come in!
These were one of the sweetest things I ate all month, and I’ve been going crazy for roasted vegetables of any sort ever since. Even vegetable-haters could potentially fall in love with these! Roasting vegetables adds new dimensions of flavor and texture that are absent from your typical veggie side dish, to the point where they’re actually–dare I say–crave-worthy.
Yep, this cupcake-craving girl also craves sweet potatoes when they’re served in this yummy form. It’s true.
I keep these extremely simple. You could spice them up with so many things–Lawry’s, sea salt, cinnamon, brown sugar–but I actually love them in their unseasoned, roasted state. I literally use one ingredient:
Most recipes of this sort call for oil, at the very minimum, to toss with the potatoes, but I found I didn’t need it. I chopped my potatoes in one-inch chunks and spread them across a nonstick baking sheet, being careful to flip them halfway through baking, and I didn’t have trouble removing them from the tray one they’d finished roasting. If you want to stay on the safe side, feel free to add a teaspoon or so of olive oil to prevent any sticking. You’ll definitely need a drizzle if your bakeware isn’t nonstick.
Oil or not, you do need to keep a close eye on the sweet potatoes when they’re getting close to done. They go from lightly colored to burnt crisp in a matter of seconds, so watch them carefully when it’s time to flip them and remove them from the oven. They bake a long time but are still easy to burn!
This, my friends, is what I imagine to be the beginning of a beautiful new friendship between me and roasted vegetables. Don’t be surprised to see more recipes popping up here in the months to come!
Sweets may hold the number one spot in my heart, but there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a tasty tray full of veggies once in a while, too…especially when they’re sweet in their own right. :)
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Chop potatoes into one-inch pieces. Spread in a single layer across a nonstick baking sheet.
- Bake about 15 minutes on one side, checking often and early to prevent burning. Remove from oven and flip potatoes.
- Return tray to oven and bake potatoes for an additional 15 minutes, again, checking often to prevent burning. The sweet potatoes are done when they turn a deep, golden brown. Insert a fork to check for tenderness if unsure.
- Once potatoes are golden brown, remove from oven, cool slightly, and serve!
Toss chopped sweet potatoes with a bit of oil if you're concerned about sticking.
I like to eat them plain, but they're also delicious sprinkled with cinnamon, brown sugar, or seasoning salt!
Total Fat: .1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 32.4 mg
Potassium: 427.5 mg
Total Carbs: 18.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 3 g
Sugars: 7.6 g
Protein: 1.8 g