Jacket (Sweet) Potatoes

This is a comfort dinner if ever there was one! With a couple of easy hacks, we can lift the nutrition pretty easily here.

Potato: If your family are accepting of it, bake sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes. If they’re not very into it, consider baking half white and half sweet and serving up half of each. Last week when I served sweet potato, Max said he wasn’t going to eat dinner. I didn’t make a fuss or fight it, but before bed he decided he was hungry enough and ate it. He said “it was ok”. Success! Sometimes we just have to set the boundary and sit back and wait for them to choose for themselves, within that boundary.

Pro tip: If you bake the potatoes (whichever kind) ahead of time – perhaps when you get up in the morning might suit – leave them to cool, then just reheat them before dinner. When you do this, the potato retains it’s regular dietary fibre role, but also turns into a resistant starch, which is very good for gut health. It’s a type of prebiotic fibre that resists digestion until it reaches the colon, where it will feed the beneficial bacteria there. These bacteria ferment resistant starch, producing short-chain fatty acids like butyrate, which have been shown to promote gut health, reduce inflammation, and may have beneficial effects on metabolic health. Such an easy one. You can do this with rice and pasta too.

Nutritionally speaking, why else would we want to choose sweet potato over white?

  • Higher in Fibre: Sweet potatoes have a higher fibre content compared to white potatoes, aiding in better digestion and promoting a healthier gut environment.
  • Rich in Vitamins and Minerals: Sweet potatoes excel in their vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene) content, offering significantly more than white potatoes. They also provide more vitamin C and manganese, crucial for vision, immunity, and bone health, whereas white potatoes are relatively lower in these nutrients.
  • Lower Glycaemic Index (GI): Despite their name, sweet potatoes have a lower GI than white potatoes, meaning they release sugars into the bloodstream more gradually, avoiding spikes in blood sugar and providing more stable energy levels. This is a topic well worth focusing on!
  • Antioxidant Properties: They are much richer in antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and, in the case of purple sweet potatoes, anthocyanins. These compounds combat oxidative stress more effectively compared to the more limited antioxidant profile of white potatoes.
  • Anti-inflammatory Benefits: Sweet potatoes contain antioxidants and other nutrients that have anti-inflammatory properties, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases more so than white potatoes, which have less pronounced anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • Heart Health: Both sweet and white potatoes contribute to heart health, but sweet potatoes have a slight edge due to their higher fibre content, more significant amounts of potassium, and antioxidants. These factors help in reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels more effectively than white potatoes.


Toppings:

Here’s some ideas for toppings!

  • Chilli Con Carne or Mexican left-overs or pulled pork
  • Baked beans (bought or homemade)
  • Creamed corn [bought or homemade – I just whizz up canned or cooked corn in the blender with enough water to blend, and a little tapioca to thicken (optional)]
  • Sour cream
  • Grated cheese
  • Nitrate-free bacon
  • Avocado
  • Sauteed butter mushrooms
  • Chives / herbs
  • Coleslaw
  • Or try a Greek Salad Topping: chopped tomatoes, cucumber, olives, red onion, and feta cheese, drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice

    Jacket (Sweet) Potatoes

    Prep Time: 30 minutes
    Cook Time: 1 hour
    Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    • 1 potato per person (sweet or white)
    • 2 cans baked beans or homemade (see above)
    • 1-2 cans creamed corn or homemade (see above)
    • sour cream to top
    • cheese grated, to top
    • avocado to top
    • bacon diced, nitrate-free (see above)
    • for more topper ideas, see above.

    Instructions

    • 1. Place potatoes in a preheated oven at 200 degrees celcius. The time will depend on the size of the potato, but as a general guideline, a medium potato will take 45-60mins. It's ready when you knife can peirce right to the centre without resistance. [TIP: If you'd like to boost the nutrition of your baked potato - consider doing step 1 in the morning and leaving to cool throughout the day and reheat before dinner. See notes above for explanation]
    • 2. While your potatoes are cooking (or reheating), prepare your toppings.
    • 3. Arrange all the pieces on the table and let the family serve themselves! Just pop two slices in each potato to open them up, and go for gold with layering on the toppings. Our family love a bucket-load of the wet stuff - baked beans, creamed corn, sour cream.... mmmmm!

    Notes

    Vegan: Omit sour cream, cheese, bacon. Consider coconut yoghurt or vegan cheese. See lots of yummy ideas below.
    Vegetarian: Omit bacon
    Dairy free: Omit sour cream, cheese.
     
    Vegan ideas for toppers:
    • Avocado and Tomato Salsa: Mashed avocado mixed with diced tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and lime juice for a fresh and tangy topping.
    • Black Bean and Corn Salad: A mix of black beans, corn, diced red peppers, and onions, dressed with lime juice and spices.
    • Vegan Cheese and Beans: Baked beans topped with shredded vegan cheese, melted to perfection.
    • Spicy Chickpea and Spinach: Chickpeas sautéed with garlic, spinach, and a blend of spices for a hearty and nutritious topping.
    • Vegan Sour Cream and Chives: Dairy-free sour cream topped with freshly chopped chives for a simple, yet classic flavour.
    • Roasted Vegetable Medley: A mix of roasted vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, and red onions, seasoned with herbs.
    • Lentil and Vegetable Curry: A creamy lentil curry with mixed vegetables, spiced according to taste.
    • Peanut Butter and Sriracha Stuffed: A bold combination of creamy peanut butter and sriracha sauce for a spicy kick.
    • Hummus and Roasted Red Peppers: Creamy hummus topped with strips of roasted red peppers and a sprinkle of paprika.
    • Vegan Pesto and Tomato: Sliced tomatoes topped with a dollop of vegan basil pesto.
    • Mushroom and Garlic Sauté: Mushrooms sautéed with garlic and herbs, making a savoury and satisfying topping.
    • Vegan Chilli: A spicy and rich vegan chilli made with beans, lentils, or textured vegetable protein.
    • Sweet Potato and Black Bean: Mashed sweet potato mixed with black beans, corn, and a hint of lime, spiced with cumin and chilli powder.
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
    Course Dinner, Main Course, Special Occasion - Camping
    Allergy Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Lactose Free, Legume Free, Nightshade Free, Nut Free, Oil Free, Peanut Free, Refined Sugar Free, Salt Free, Sesame Free, Soy Free, Wheat Free
    Value Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian
    Author: Laini Oldfield

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About the Author: Laini Oldfield

Laini is a mum of 5 and creator of STACKD Wholefood Blends, The Wholefood Collective + The No Fuss Nourished Method. She's coached tens of thousands of people on how to feel amazing using nutrition. She has a particular love for helping parents learn how to nourish their children and themselves without losing their marbles. Unconventional smoothies are Laini's obsession, and she's even developed a range of organic wholefood booster blends that target particular health goals and deliver maximum goodness in one complete and balanced meal. When she's not with her own family or coaching other families, you'll probably find her at the beach soaking up the sun and getting some much needed solitude.

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