Roasted Sweet Potatoes are one of my dietary staples. Although I refer to them as sweet potatoes, they’re technically yams — I’ll continue calling them sweet potatoes because that’s how they’re labeled in nearly every U.S. grocery store. Sweet potatoes are a great source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, and a host of micronutrients including vitamins A, C, and B6, and minerals like potassium, manganese, iron, and copper. While I love the garnet and jewel varieties, I am currently obsessed with purple sweet potatoes, also called Okinawan Sweet Potatoes, because of their bright purple flesh and sky-high anthocyanin content.
Anthocyanin’s are the powerful antioxidants which have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer properties and are found in purple and blue-hued produce, including blueberries, blackberries, and eggplant. Okinawan sweet potatoes have substantially higher levels of anthocyanin activity than any other edible plant (over 100x more than blueberries). They’re good. And they’re purple — which both my daughter Ella and I think is pretty fun. If you can find them in your local grocery store, give ’em a try.
Besides their stellar nutrition profile, sweet potatoes are simple to make ahead and then use in a variety of meals. It’s for this reason that I make a batch of roasted sweet potatoes every week, pulling them out of the refrigerator and quickly reheating them in a skillet or pan. I top them with sautéed greens and eggs for a quick breakfast, I add them to a bowl with salad greens, some vegetables, a protein, and dressing for lunch, or I’ll serve them as a side dish to broiled salmon or halibut for dinner. Four of the condiments posted on this site, the cilantro pistachio pesto, the Thai peanut sauce, the avocado mousse, and the chimichurri all pair well with roasted sweet potatoes (and all but the avocado mousse can be made in batches and frozen for easy additions to meals).
The recipe below has you slice the sweet potatoes into thin, almost chip-like pieces, because they cook and reheat fastest that way, and I like that the thinner ones get a little crunchy. But you can cut them any way you like (wedges, cubes, fries, circles) and adjust the cooking time according to the thickness of the pieces. For all of my batch cooked recipes, I keep the spices super simple to allow for maximum flexibility — without a specific flavor profile they can be added to tons of different dishes.
- 2 large sweet potatoes (if you can find Okinawan purple sweet potatoes, give them a try!)
- 2 Tbl avocado or olive oil
- Fresh ground salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Peel sweet potatoes and then cut the potato in half cross-wise and length-wise (cut into quarters). Then cut each quarter in half length-wise.
- Slice into thin ¼-1/2" thick triangular pieces.
- Place into large bowl and toss with avocado oil, salt and pepper.
- Spread evenly over baking sheets and roast at 375°F for 20 minutes, stirring and flipping half-way though cooking. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheets.
- Enjoy warm or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
*Not all calories are equal.