Meal prepping Sundays are getting more and more of my attention, because, with every year going by, I feel that my time is getting more and more precious, and I would rather use it for reading, cycling and take a walk, instead of spending time in my kitchen every evening.
Having healthy meals every day of the week usually takes time and planning, and sometimes I find myself too often doing shopping for groceries, deciding on the last minute about a recipe and being frustrated about the time I waste prepping dinner. Roasting vegetables is a crucial step of my meal prepping, and with time I discovered the simple secrets of getting the perfect roasted sweet potatoes, one of the veggies that never misses from my kitchen.
This is why making them in large batches ensures a healthy, nourishing ingredient to add to several meals of the week, without loosing time and saving energy (yours and the one of your oven too :). It is true that their texture will only be crisp and firm if only eaten after cooking them, and keeping them in the refrigerator will make them softer, but as their nutritional values stay the same as long as you don’t reheat them every time you want to add them into a new meal.
I prefer their taste and texture when freshly out of the oven, but the luxury of having roasted sweet potatoes any time of the week without any additional effort makes me forget they aren’t just as crisp as freshly cooked.
In terms of nutrition, it would be great to incorporate sweet potatoes in your diet routine for a constant intake of vitamins, fiber and minerals. Beta-carotene and anthocyanin pigments (especially in purple coloured ones), together with their storage protein play both an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory role, lowering the health risk of heavy metals residues and reducing the premature ageing risk.
The high potassium concentrations in sweet potatoes (about 20% of the daily recommended intake in about 1 cup) make them a good choice for preserving alkalinity in our cells, while their manganese and copper contribute to the natural detoxification processes.
I especially love to incorporate roasted sweet potatoes to my meals during the luteal phase of my cycle, to support the need of comforting food and sweets, while also helping my body to naturally balance the hormone production and gently lean into the next cycle. The fiber in sweet potatoes load help my body flush out excess oestrogen, while also eases digestion. If you’re having your sweet potato fries during the luteal phase, you can top them with nutritional yeast for a good dose of B vitamins, which helps to curb the sugar cravings.
To get the perfectly roasted sweet potato fries, you need to follow some very simple steps. From keeping the cut vegetables under cold water to help reduce their starch and get the crispy texture, to using enough oil (but not too much) and then roasting them at high temperature. You can use the same technique for roasting sweet potatoes cut in any way, as long as you arrange them in a single layer on the baking sheet to ensure that all the pieces take the same time to cook.
Perfectly Roasted Sweet Potato Fries
- 3 sweet potatoes peeled and cut into fries shape
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp red chili flakes
- 1/4 tsp salt
- To serve: diced red onion freshly squeezed lime juice, nutritional yeast, chopped fresh parsley, avocado mash
- Preheat the oven to 200 C/ 400 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the cut sweet potatoes into a large bowl with cold water and set aside for 15 mins.
- Drain the water and use paper towels to dry them completely.
- Transfer onto the baking sheet.
- Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and red chilli flakes and use your hands to evenly coat all the pieces.
- Arrange the sweet potatoes into a single layer and bake for 15 minutes, then flip and cook for 10 more minutes.
- Remove from the oven and serve with the toppings and dips, or let cool completely and refrigerate in a glass box for later use.