I love to make a recipe oil-free whenever possible and Roasted Sweet Potatoes were one of the first recipes I tested this method. Dr. Greger’s books (How Not to Die and How Not to Diet) forever changed the way I want to cook for my family. When I started leaving the oil out and finding healthier things to put in its place, amazing flavors came out! Food started tasting cleaner and lighter. Spices and seasonings still stuck without it (who would have thought!) And I just generally felt better in my body, and about what I was putting into the bodies of my family.
The old way of eating
Sweet potatoes are a weekly staple in our house. Everyone loves them and that’s a rare thing! Roasted sweet potatoes are a kid’s favorite. Especially when we call them “sweet potato fries”. I used to drizzle just a tablespoon or two of olive oil on them before tossing with seasonings. Oil made everything stick and the end product was tasty. I never really thought about trying anything else until I began learning more about nutrition and health. Then, I quickly realized that there had to be something better than oil. Especially in a dish that we ate with such regularity.
Sweet Potatoes and Type 1 Diabetes
Sweet potatoes are very “blood sugar friendly” for us. Though, as Type 1’s know, different food can have very different blood sugar effects from person to person. My son is Type 1 Diabetic, and so there’s a whole language we speak about how certain foods affect his blood sugars.
Overall, we all want to achieve the same thing regardless of whether we are Type 1 Diabetic or not. Steady blood sugars, minimal “spikes” and healthy low to medium GI (Glycemic Index) foods all tend to go hand in hand. The Glycemic Index is a rating system referring to how quickly the food can be predicted to raise your body’s blood sugars. Sweet potatoes are technically a medium to high GI food, even though we personally experience no spike from them at all. The GI of foods is a general guideline. The actual blood sugar response will really depend on your body specifically.
Boiling is said to lower the GI The carb factor for sweet potatoes is 0.17. That means for every 100 grams of sweet potatoes, there are 17 net carbs. There are also 3 grams of fiber and 86 calories, for anyone counting the finer details.
When my son has a large serving of sweet potatoes it can seem like a lot of carbs that we need to bolus (give insulin) for. No matter how much he eats though, we never personally see spikes in his blood sugar from eating sweet potatoes. Which is just another reason I love serving these delicious and nutritious gems!
Roasted Sweet Potato Nutrition
- Excellent source of beta carotene (Vitamin A)
- High in fiber
- Vitamin C
- Potassium which can decrease risk of heart disease
- Vitamins B5 and B6
- Vitamin E
- Manganese which is important for growth and metabolism
Roasting with Cornmeal and Vinegar
Using cornmeal on sweet potatoes was an idea I got from one of Dr. Greger’s books. He mentioned that he roasts his in blue cornmeal, and I thought that sounded delicious! We don’t have blue cornmeal in our pantry, so I tried the regular yellow stuff and it worked like a charm. Adding in some garlic, salt and nutritional yeast reminiscent of the old way we used to roast them, and voila! Magic!
These roasted sweet potatoes have a bit of a crunch. The vinegar adds flavor and gets everything to really stick to the sweet potatoes themselves. The seasonings take care of our essential Vitamin B12 add in from the nutritional yeast. And no roasted vegetable is complete in our house without a little bit of garlic.
I like to cut them into small cubes to roast a little quicker. They still do take a good 45 minutes in my oven. But they’re well worth the wait! I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
Cornmeal Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Lined baking sheet
- Sharp kitchen knife and cutting board
- Mixing bowl
- Measuring cups and spoons
- 2 medium Sweet Potatoes Or 1 extra large
- ½ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- ⅓ cup Cornmeal
- 1½ tbsp Nutritional Yeast
- 1½ tsp Granulated Garlic
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- Preheat oven to 400°F
- Wash or peel 2 medium or 1 extra large sweet potato
- Dice into small evenly sized cubes for even cooking
- Toss diced sweet potatoes with vinegar, cornmeal, nutritional yeast, garlic and salt in a large bowl until evenly coated
- Spread out into an even layer over a parchment lined baking sheet
- Roast in oven for 55-65 minutes or until tender
- Serve immediately