Carbohydrates have gotten a bit of a bad rap when it comes to health. Sure, piling them on in the absence of physical activity will put you on a freeway to flab. But but don’t go rushing on a low carb diet as carbs are indispensable when it comes to getting the most out of your fitness routine. They are the fuel your body needs to push itself. Without this energy, your lethargic, listless frame will be next to worthless when working out.
Carbohydrate supplements and pre workout supplements are excellent ways to make sure you have the power you need to crush your next workout. But relying solely on supplements is not the best way to get the results you crave. Regularly ingesting carbs before workouts ensures you’re ready to roll at any time.
One of the best, and most colourful, sources of carbs is the sweet potato. Much like casein / slow release protein supplements deliver a steady trickle into your blood stream, the complex carb characteristics of sweet potatoes offer a continual dose of energy for your body. Sounds pretty good, right? We thought so. Get on board with these five easy recipes that take advantage of the culinary flexibility of this carb container.
Just over half an hour of preparation and cooking will leave you with a handful of delicious soup servings perfect for lunch or dinner. Sweet potato soup is an unbelievably easy dish that will help you gulp down carbs without taking on too much nasty stuff. This particular recipe has an extra spicy Indian flair courtesy of curry powder and ginger.
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 1/2 cup chopped shallots
- 3 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled sweet potato
- 1 1/2 cups (1/4-inch) sliced peeled carrots
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots; saute 3 minutes or until tender. Add potato, carrots, ginger, and curry; cook 2 minutes. Add broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender; stir in salt.
Pour half of soup in a food processor; pulse until smooth. Repeat procedure with remaining soup.
If you don’t want to make sweet potato the focal point of your entire meal, these are a great side that can up your carb count next time you’re having burgers, fish or basically any other protein. The cilantro and lemon add particularly good flavour, but feel free to top them with sea salt or leave them naked. Also go with the larger wedge size if you prefer.
- 4 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean and sliced into fry wedges
- 2 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro (finely diced)
- 1 small clove garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat a griddle or saute pan.
- Combine half of the cilantro and the garlic in a food processor until well blended. Pour mixture into a Ziploc bag along with the olive oil, and then add in the sweet potatoes. Shake to fully coat.
- Once coated, place wedges on the griddle or pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until desired tenderness is achieved.
- Remove and serve.
Vegan workout warriors are probably well aware of the hearty characteristics of a sweet potato patty. The knee-jerk reaction for many carnivores is to scoff at the idea of skipping out on a delicious meat patty in favour of sweet potato. But the long-lasting carb benefits of this recipe make it a worthy addition to your culinary rotation.
- 1 medium sweet potato, baked and peeled
- 16oz. cooked white beans (canned, drained and rinsed)
- 1/2 cup white onion, chopped
- 2-3 Tbsp tahini
- 3/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 – 1 tsp chipotle powder (or cajun spice) (use more for spicier burgers)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper (add more for more bite!)
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast OR any flour (try oat flour)
- 1/2 – 1 cup finely chopped greens (kale, spinach, parsley)
- toppings: avocado, tomato, vegenaise, burger buns, greens
- skillet: 1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil
- optional: Panko bread crumbs for crispy coating
- Bake your sweet potato in a 400 degree oven for 40-60 minutes or until tender. If in a hurry, you could use the microwave, but oven-baked yields a bit more flavor.
- Add the potato and beans to a large mixing bowl. Using a large fork, mash well. Fold in the onion and keep mashing. Add all the remaining burger ingredients and mash, mash, mash well until thickened and mashed well. Tip! Rinse your beans in hot water before adding to bowl, this heats them, making them easier to mash.
- Heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Heat a skillet over high heat and add the coconut oil.
- Form burger mixture into large patties and place on the hot skillet. If using Panko bread crumbs, roll patties in Panko to coat well. Cook 1-3 minutes on each side, just to brown them. Repeat with all the mixture, you should yield 6 large patties or 8 small. Tip: Place mixture in the fridge for a half hour if you want it to be super easy to form into patties, this will increase cooking time by a few minutes though.
- Place the skillet-cooked patties on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, until cooked through. Note: YES you could skpi the skillet part and just bake the veggie burgers, but the flavor is better with those crispy coconut-oil seared edges.
- Slice up all your burger toppings and toast the buns. Sprouted grain were used! Add vegan mayo or spicy mustard and the patty and toppings. Serve warm!
- Store leftover burgers, sealed, in the fridge for up to a day, or freeze and consume within a few weeks for best flavor and texture. To reheat: warm in a 400 degree oven until warmed through, about 12 minutes, depending on burger thickness.
Yup, you can even get your healthy, moderated carb fix when it comes time to have dessert. This sweet potato pie won’t kill you with calories. But it will pump you full of energy that you can then turn into results during your next workout.
- 2 (1-1/2 lbs) sweet potatoes
- 2 tbsp light butter, softened
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup 1% milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp ground pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
- Boil sweet potato whole in skin for 50 to 55 minutes, or until soft. Run cold water over the sweet potato, and remove the skin. Blend potatoes in a blender and pulse for about one minute to remove all fibers.
- Place sweet potatoes in a bowl. Add butter, and mix well. Using an electric mixer, mix in sugar, milk, eggs, cinnamon and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth.Pour filling into an unbaked pie crust.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Serve with cool whip and enjoy!