Summer Is Here! Try our Sweet Potato and Kale Salad with Fresh Pineapple

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This ain’t your average potato salad!

It’s grilling season! There’s nothing we love more in the warm-weather months than a good cookout with some burgers, some dogs, and all of the fixins. But after a while those BBQ side dishes can get a little bit stale, can’t they? How many times can you serve up a plate of macaroni salad or a pile of corn on the cob before you start to crave a little variety? This summer, mix it up with some more unusual sides to go with that grilled fare.

Spice up that corn on the cob with some chili lime butter, for example, and instead of mayo-based potato or macaroni salad, try out our sweet potato salad recipe instead. It’s a little sweet, a little spicy, and all kinds of tasty! And, since it’s National Fruits and Vegetables Month, we’ve spiked this potato salad with lots of healthy kale.

If you’re new to kale, don’t worry! It’s easy to prepare. Kale is a dark, leafy green along the lines of collards or spinach, and it adds a nutritional punch to any dish. You’re already getting 30 percent of your daily vitamin C and plenty of vitamin A from the sweet potatoes, and kale adds a healthy dose of iron and other nutrients that may protect your health.

Sweet Potato Kale Salad

Sweet Potato and Kale Salad with Fresh Pineapple

Ingredients

  • 2 large Sweet PotatOHs, microwaved and cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 3/4 cup fresh pineapple chopped (you can substitute canned in juice pineapple, drained)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

  1. 1) In a large bowl, combine the kale, vinegar, salt, and olive oil. Dig in with your hands and massage the kale until it begins to wilt and soften.
  2. 2) Add the remaining ingredients, tossing to mix well. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

 

7 Healthy Potato Recipes to Help You Lighten Up

7 Healthy Potato Recipes

Spring took its sweet time in a lot of the U.S. this year, didn’t it? It was a long, cold winter, but the sun is finally starting to peek through, and warmer days are upon us!

Warm weather means trading winter coats for shorts and t-shirts, swapping boots for sandals, and before too long we’ll be going to pool parties and planning summer beach vacations! After a long winter of hiding under bulky sweaters and heavy coats, you might not be bikini-ready, and now’s the time to start eating healthier to help your body bounce back!

When you’re trying to maintain a healthy weight, it’s really calories that count.

Choosing healthy foods like potatoes and sweet potatoes can help you feel full without breaking your calorie budget.

Did you know that a medium-sized potato has only 110 calories, and a medium sweet potato boasts a slim 103 calories? And a sweet potato has four grams of fiber, which is great for anyone trying to trim down without feeling deprived. Also, fiber helps your body feel fuller longer with fewer calories.

Potatoes and sweet potatoes are also fat- and cholesterol-free foods.

Ready to dive into some potato dishes before it’s time to jump into that swimming pool? We’ve got a few light, healthy potato recipes to help you meet your fitness goals….deliciously!

Light Loaded Baked Potato Soup
1. Lightened Up Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Blend up some fresh veggies with low-fat milk and cheese for a tasty spring soup! You can serve this on its own or with some whole grain bread for dipping for a satisfying, healthy meal. One bowl has just 159 calories!
 
 

Greek Salad Baked Potatoes
2. Greek Salad Baked Potatoes

Instead of cheddar and sour cream, try a different spin on the loaded baked potato, and top it with fresh veggies instead. A little bit of zesty feta cheese finishes off this quick, 211 calorie dish that won’t let your tastebuds down!
 
 

Sweet Potato Curry (MyRecipes)
3. Sweet Potato Chicken Curry

Sweet potato pairs beautifully with spicy curry seasonings in this light, one-dish meal that’s less than 200 calories per serving. Spoon it over brown rice for a little extra fiber to keep you feeling full.

Image Source: MyRecipes.com
 
 

Sweet Potato Spinach Quesadillas (Health)
4. Sweet Potato and Spinach Quesadillas

You can make this zesty dish even lighter by toasting your quesadillas in the oven or melting the cheese in the microwave instead of pan-frying. At just 391 calories per serving, though, you’re eating healthy any way you slice it!
 
 

Chili Lime Potato Tacos
5. Quick & Healthy Chili Lime Chicken Potato Tacos

Who doesn’t love taco night? Chicken and potatoes pair up with fresh vegetables and a zesty sauce for a supper that clocks in at just 220 calories per two taco serving. Best of all, you can mix it up with the many variations and make tacos just the way you like.
 
 

Sweet Potato Latkes (Women's Health)
6. Sweet Potato Latkes
A sweet take on this traditional dish, these sweet potato pancakes clock in at only 73 calories each. The secret? Instead of pan frying, you bake these up in the oven.
 
 

7. Quick & Healthy Garden Veggie Potato Salad

Spice up that traditional potato salad with plenty of fresh veggies to add vitamins and fiber without adding too many calories. The secret to this lightened up potato salad? We use Greek yogurt instead of fat-laden mayo.
 

5 Ways Potatoes Love You Back

Potato Love

February is for lovers….potato lovers!

Potato Lovers Month continues, and we have some good news! Those humble potatoes that you love to eat baked, mashed, stuffed, and roasted might just have a crush on you. How can we tell? Let’s just say that a little spud bird told us.

No matter how you dish them up, there are lots of reasons to start a healthy relationship with potatoes!

1. Potatoes aren’t afraid of commitment.

Did you know that potatoes with the skin on contain more potassium than a banana and that they’re naturally salt-free? Because potassium is an electrolyte that is essential for proper digestive and muscle function, it’s just one of the many ways potatoes are good to you.

But potassium isn’t just good for your muscles. Research shows that getting plenty of potassium in as part of a low-salt diet just might reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure or suffering from a stroke. Potatoes are looking out for you, because they’re with you for the long haul, baby.

2. They’re a cheap date.

At around just 25 cents per pound, potatoes are one of the cheapest items that you can load into your grocery basket in the produce aisle, so play the field and see what variety is your dream spud! With so many different varieties, you’re sure to find your perfect match.

You don’t need to shower them with expensive ingredients to make potatoes taste great, either. Potatoes love you for you. Mash them with a little milk and olive oil, roast them with oil and fresh herbs, or get fancy and cook up potato tacos for some budget-friendly potato lovin’.

3. They love your kids.

Even better? Your kids love them! Potatoes are a great way to get your kids kids to eat a little bit healthier. Kids can be picky, but potatoes help you sneak a little bit of fiber (2 grams per serving!), vitamin B6, and even vitamin C into their meals. Potatoes have as much vitamin C as a tangerine – who knew?

Try serving your kids some tasty oven fries, mashed potatoes, or yummy potato pancakes (with applesauce for dipping!). We bet that they’ll fall in love with potatoes, too.

4. Potatoes won’t break your heart.

With zero grams of saturated fat and no cholesterol, you can trust your heart to potatoes. There are a lot of factors that play into a healthy heart, and studies show that a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet may help protect your ticker.

Want to take this thing to the next level? Try some plant-based potato dishes like herbed and roasted potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes with Chinese broccoli  to share the love!

5. They know how to be sweet.

Sweet potatoes have a lot of love to give, too! They’re a delicious, healthy, and versatile companion for any meal.

An excellent source of vitamin C to boost your immune system, sweet potatoes are also good for your skin. Like other orange and yellow veggies, sweet potatoes are packed with beta carotene, a vitamin that can help make your skin less susceptible to UV-related damage from the sun and the side effects that can come with that, like wrinkles.

You can eat those sweets baked, roasted, or fried, or you can up the sweet factor even more with dessert recipes like decadent sweet potato cheesecake bars.

What’s your favorite way to spend quality time with potatoes? We’d love to hear your favorite potato recipes in the comments!

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by oliviermartins
 

I Yam What I Yam, Which Is Not A Sweet Potato

Yam vs Sweet Potato

There’s no, “You say poh-taay-toe and I say poh-taaah-toe,” about the yam versus sweet potato relationship. Because yams and sweet potatoes aren’t two different terms for the same thing, they’re two different vegetables.

Although they look and taste maybe somewhat kinda similar, the fact is, they’re not even closely related.

The Truth You’ve Been Waiting For

Yes, it’s true that yams and sweet potatoes are two totally different things. BUT, it’s also true that in the U.S., most grocery stores sell the dark orange variety of sweet potatoes as “yams.” Or, even more confusing, “sweet potato yams.” They do this not to fool you, but to help distinguish the darker orange variety of sweet potato from those lighter in color.

Read below to tell the difference between yams and sweet potatoes the next time you’re shopping in your local grocery store.

The Yam

A member of the Dioscoreae family, there are over 200 varieties of yams. Depending on the variety, the flesh may be some shade of white, ivory, yellow or purple. The skin is thick, rough and scaley and may be white, pink or brownish-black in color.

Yams taste pretty earthy, with minimal or no sweetness. The texture is starchy and slippery when raw. Cooked, they can be creamy or firm, depending upon the variety.

The Sweet Potato

A member of the Convolvulaceae family, we recently read there are more than six thousand varieties of sweet potatoes, when you include wild, farmer-grown and breeding lines. Depending on the variety, the flesh can be almost any shade of white, orange, yellow-orange, purple or red. The skin is usually thinner than a real “yam,” and may be some shade of creamy white, yellow-orange, tan, reddish-purple or red.

Depending on the color of the flesh, sweet potatoes range from mild to rich, the darker the flesh, the more intense the flavor. The darker varieties also have a denser, creamier texture when cooked.

Below are the nutritional values for 1 cup of raw, unprepared sweet potatoes and yams.

  Yam Sweet Potato
Calories 117 114
Total Fat 0 0
Cholesterol 0 0
Sodium 13mg 73mg
Total Carbohydrate 42g 27g
Dietary Fiber 6g 4g
Sugars 1g 6g
Protein 2g 2g
Summary Yams are very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. They are also a good source of fiber, potassium and manganese and a very good source of Vitamin C. Sweet potatoes are very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. They are also a good source of fiber, vitamin B6, potassium and manganese and a very good source of Vitamin A.

If you’re shopping for sweet potatoes, the easiest way to find them is to look for Sweet PotatOHs. You’ll find them in the potato section in produce, and with a green and purple label, you can’t miss them!