Foolproof Secret to Perfectly Crispy Roasted Sweet Potatoes

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First for Women

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The health benefits of sweet potatoes

Along with these benefits, nutritionist and chef Serena Poon, CN,CHC,CH, says three additional nutrients associated with eating sweet potatoes:

1. High in fiber

A sweet potato contains around 4 grams of fiber, most of which is soluble (or prebiotic fiber). This type of fiber promotes “good” gut bacteria growth. As a result, it promotes a balanced and healthy gut, which is key for your digestive health, immune function and mental health. (Click through to discover how much fiber you need to lose weight.)

2. Rich in beta-carotene

Orange sweet potatoes get their hue from a compound called beta-carotene. When consumed through foods like sweet potatoes, beta-carotene acts as a potent antioxidant that could help protect against diabetes, heart disease and breast cancer. Additionally, research suggests that this compound contributes to good vision by reducing inflammation within the eye.

3. Packed with anthocyanins

Similar to orange sweet potatoes, the purple variety contain their own health-boosting pigments called anthocyanins. This compound is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which are key for shielding against chronic diseases, obesity and cognitive issues.

Overall, sweet potatoes have it all: flavor, nutritional benefits and an eye-catching color to boot! (Click through to read our stories on discussing more sweet potato health benefits for women and how sweet potatoes help regulate hormones during menopause.)

How to cook crispy roasted sweet potatoes

Cooking sweet potatoes chunks so they’re tender on the inside and golden brown on the outside is simple — if you know these three easy tricks from Poon:

1. Cut sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes.

The size allows the chunks to cook thoroughly on the inside with the perfect caramelization on the outside. Any bigger, and you risk burning the pieces before they roast all the way through.

2. Boil the cubes before roasting.

A quick boil kickstarts the cooking process for a tender inside, plus the water helps add moisture so the sweet potato doesn’t dry out in the high heat of the oven.

3. Give them plenty of space on the baking sheet.

Overcrowding the sweet potato can lead to mushy cubes. Instead, spread out the chunks with plenty of space in between. This not only guarantees the sides get the most contact with the hot baking sheet, it also lets the oven air circulate for more even cooking.

Recipe for crispy sweet potatoes

Now that you know the key steps for roasting sweet potatoes, here’s Poon’s step-by-step guide:

  1. Wash your desired amount of sweet potatoes thoroughly; cut into 1-inch cubes (peeled or unpeeled).
  2. In large pot over medium-high, boil enough water that will cover the potatoes; add sweet potato cubes and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  4. Strain the sweet potatoes; thoroughly dry cubes.
  5. Place dried sweet potato cubes onto a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, making sure not to overcrowd. Drizzle enough extra-virgin olive oil and seasonings such as cumin, paprika or brown sugar over the potatoes to coat them before tossing.
  6. Roast in the oven for about 15 minutes, tossing about midway through. Once the potatoes are slightly browned and soft on the inside, they’re ready.
  7. Let sweet potatoes cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

How to roast whole sweet potatoes

Prefer your sweet potatoes whole? We asked Poon for her top method. Here’s how she does it:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Wash and dry your desired amount of whole sweet potatoes thoroughly.
  3. Poke holes throughout the sweet potatoes using a fork or knife.
  4. Place the potatoes on a foil or parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing them out for even cooking.
  5. Roast in the oven for about 45 to 50 minutes, until the flesh feels soft and tender when a knife is inserted.
  6. Allow the potatoes to cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving with your favorite toppings like plain Greek yogurt, butter or cinnamon.
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This content is strictly the opinion of Chef Serena Poon and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Serena nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.

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