Looking to lighten the calorie load and sleepy after effects of your Thanksgiving dinner? Try this easy mashed sweet potato recipe as a substitute for regular mashed potatoes!
Mashed potatoes are a classic staple Thanksgiving side dish, but aren't the best for your waistline, weight, or health. The butter and cream or whole milk in mashed potatoes (used to give them their smooth texture) are high in saturated fat, which is the "bad" fat that can clog your arteries and raise your cholesterol. Lots of salt is often added for taste, and too much salt can leave you bloated (since salt causes water retention) and raise your blood pressure. Plus, since the skin of the potatoes is removed and only the inside of the potato is left, mashed potatoes don't have much fiber - and fiber keeps you feeling full, keeps your gut healthy, and helps keep your cholesterol in check.
So what do you do if you're craving mashed potatoes this Thanksgiving but are watching your weight or health and want a more nutritious option? Mashed sweet potatoes are an AWESOME alternative! Sweet potatoes have more fiber than white baking potatoes, which keeps you feeling fuller. Plus sweet potatoes are loaded with health-boosting antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Their orange color comes from their richness in beta-carotene, the antioxidant form of vitamin A that's good for your vision. Sweet potatoes are also chock full of potassium, vitamin C, and B vitamins, which are all important for many body functions like energy, immunity, and heart health.
But just substituting sweet potatoes for white potatoes isn't quite enough- what about the butter, cream/ whole milk, and salt in regular mashed potatoes? Use plain, non-fat Greek yogurt to give the mashed sweet potatoes a smooth, creamy texture instead of butter and cream/ whole milk! Greek yogurt adds a boost of filling, muscle-building protein and provides extra calcium and vitamin D, which are great for bone health. Add cinnamon for flavor instead of salt - cinnamon can help stabilize your blood sugar, meaning your energy will stay more stable and you won't crash.
Check out this mashed sweet potato recipe that's super easy to make! It's more filling and more nutrient-rich than regular mashed potatoes, will keep you more energized, and will help you keep your weight in check during the holiday season!
2 pounds sweet potatoes or yams
1 tablespoon brown sugar*
1 tablespoon maple syrup*
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
1. Peel and cut sweet potatoes into 1/2 inch pieces.
2. Place the sweet potatoes in a large pot and fill the pot with cold water to cover them. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Then reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.
3. Drain the sweet potatoes in a colander (shake the colander to remove excess water). Pour the sweet potatoes into a large bowl.
4. Add the brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, and Greek yogurt to the sweet potatoes. Mash to desired texture.
5. Serve warm.
Yields: 4 servings
Serving Size: 1/2-3/4 cup (about the size of your fist)
*Note: Even though brown sugar and maple syrup are added for sweetness. However, since 1 tablespoon of each is used for the entire recipe, the amount of sugar and syrup per serving is quite small.
Want more healthy Thanksgiving recipes or tips for keeping your weight and nutrition in check during the holidays? Contact Gabbi today!