While we have nothing against pumpkin spice per se, there is more to fall flavors than that signature Starbucks drink. One of the ingredients we look forward to cooking with when temperatures start to drop: sweet potato. It's just hearty enough, and it's the perfect respite from squash and gourds.
We recently learned that being able to use an ingredient in multiple ways over the course of one week was the secret to meal prepping successfully, so we decided to put this to the test with our star ingredient: How many recipes could you potentially make in a week with a bag of sweet potatoes? As it turns out, many. From immune-boosting breakfast smoothies to vegetable soups and salmon burger lettuce wraps with sweet potato straws, these are our favorite healthy sweet potato recipes to make at any time of day.
Buy this vegetable in bulk this week—you'll love each of these yummy meals.
Immune Booster Orange Smoothie
The Recipe: Immune Booster Orange Smoothie
The Standout Ingredient: The turmeric and ginger, which are both inflammatory, and the orange juice, which is packed with vitamin C.
The Pro Tip: Prep your banana and sweet potato for easy assembly. You can cut and freeze bananas in bulk. As for the sweet potatoes, Dana Schultz of Minimalist Baker suggests to "preheat your oven to 400°F, and split sweet potatoes in half lengthwise. Lightly oil, and place face down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake until soft—25 to 30 minutes."
Sweet Potato, Corn, and Feta Fritters With Spicy Red Pepper Sauce
The Standout Ingredient: The corn and feta together, which give the fritters a salty-sweet flavor.
The Pro Tip: "A tip for cooking poached eggs is to poach them in simmering water for three minutes, drain them, and put them immediately into iced water to stop the cooking," says Sarah Tuck of From the Kitchen. "After a few minutes, remove and place on a paper towel. When serving, simply pop poached eggs back into simmering water for 30 seconds to reheat."
Fragrant Spiced Indian Vegetable and Lentil Soup
The Recipe: Fragrant Spiced Indian Vegetable and Lentil Soup
The Standout Ingredient: Turmeric, which has anti-inflammatory properties, so you can feel good about what you're eating.
The Pro Tip: What's heartier than a delicious soup simmering in the kitchen? "It's fragrant with cumin, turmeric, ginger, garam masala, and a hint of chili," says Tuck. She recommends serving it with naan or roti on the side.
Crispy Skinned Sweet Potato With Avocado Mash, Poached Egg, and Chimichurri
The Standout Ingredient: The poached egg, which, let's be honest, makes everything taste better.
The Pro Tip: "It's best to make the Chimichurri a day or two before, so the flavors develop," says Jodi Moreno of What's Cooking Good Looking. "Make it no less than 30 minutes before serving."
Sweet Potato, Three Ways
Brazilian Steak and Grilled Sweet Potato Fry Quinoa Bowl
The Standout Ingredient: Fried plantains, which may be the only "unhealthy" ingredient in the bowl, but they're so delicious.
The Pro Tip: Tieghan Gerard of Half Baked Harvest recommends cooking the quinoa in coconut milk: "To make the quinoa, add the coconut milk to a sauce pan, and bring to a low boil. Watch closely, as it boils over fast. Once the milk is boiling, add the quinoa, cover, and reduce the heat to low."
Curried Salmon Burger Lettuce Wraps With Crispy Sweet Potato Straws
The Standout Ingredient: Goat cheese, which makes everything taste better.
The Pro Tip: Use a mandolin slicer to cut the thin straws. "Place the straws on a baking sheet, and toss them with the melted coconut oil, curry powder, salt, and pepper," says Gerard.
Stuffed and Sauced Sweet Potatoes
The Recipe: Vegan Stuffed and Sauced Sweet Potatoes
The Standout Ingredient: The tahini sauce, which has the perfect amount of flavor from fresh ginger and a whole lot of lime juice.
The Pro Tip: Laura Wright from The First Mess suggests using basil if cilantro isn't readily available at your supermarket. "Both grocery stores I went to were out of cilantro (this is a recurring theme for me for some reason), so I just ripped up a bit of basil that I had on hand," she says. "I imagine lots of leafy herbs would be delicious with this recipe."
And now, the unexpected sweet potato recipe nutritionists love.