You Seriously Need To Start Adding Sweet Potato To Your Smoothies

Apple and sweet potato smoothie
Apple and sweet potato smoothie - Angelika Heine/Shutterstock

Sweet potatoes are usually paired with meat or fish or added to stews, soups, and other cooked meals. They can also be a wonderful choice for pancakes, brownies, or even ice cream, adding creaminess to the texture. But have you ever tried using them in smoothies? With their naturally sweet taste and vibrant color, these starches can take your smoothies to the next level. Plus, they're a nutritional powerhouse.

One cup of sweet potatoes delivers 2 grams of protein and 26 grams of carbs, as well as large doses of potassium, manganese, copper, and vitamin A. You'll also get a whopping 105% of the recommended daily intake of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that may protect against heart disease, eye disorders, and cancer (via Mount Sinai Health System). On top of that, sweet potatoes are low in calories and fat while being rich in dietary fiber, a nutrient that increases satiety and supports colon health. It also slows down sugar absorption into the bloodstream, which may help reduce diabetes risk (via Mayo Clinic).

But more than providing a nutritional boost to your day, these root vegetables can also add their signature flavor to smoothies, eliminating the need for added sugars. Their natural sweetness will satisfy your cravings for dessert, while their creamy texture can make your smoothies thicker and more filling.

Read more: 12 Vegetables And Fruits That Used To Look Very Different

How To Use Sweet Potatoes In Smoothies

Sweet potatoes cut into chunks
Sweet potatoes cut into chunks - Candice Bell/Shutterstock

Depending on your texture preferences and desired prep requirements, you can easily use raw or cooked sweet potatoes in homemade smoothies. If you prefer them raw, grate them for easier blending — then mix them with other fruits or veggies. This option works best when you're short on time and want a quick smoothie on the go. For example, you could make a high-protein smoothie with raw sweet potatoes, peanut butter, Greek yogurt, oats, and other ingredients to fuel your early morning workouts.

However, cooking the potatoes will better bring out their natural sweetness and yield a creamier texture. All you need to do is bake, boil, or steam them, let them cool completely, and cut them into chunks. After that, simply blend them with the other ingredients in your smoothie. Sweet potato skins are edible and actually taste good, so there's no need to discard them. Alternatively, save those peels for a crunchy snack that only takes minutes to prepare, for when a smoothie just doesn't seem to fit the bill.

Sweet Or Savory, Let Your Creativity Run Wild

Sweet potato smoothie with cinnamon
Sweet potato smoothie with cinnamon - BooFamily/Shutterstock

Sweet potatoes' versatility means you can bake them into everything from fries to sweet pies — and likewise, these starchy vegetables can be a yummy addition to both sweet and savory smoothies. For example, you can mix them with bananas, fresh or frozen pineapple, passion fruit purée, gold rum, and other delicious ingredients to make a tropical fruit smoothie; add a scoop of vanilla protein powder for extra flavor and nutrition.

If you're craving a savory smoothie, try blending the potatoes with garlic, yeast flakes, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, basil, sea salt, and pepper. Its flavor resembles that of a refreshing gazpacho soup, making it ideal for the summer season. This is actually also the kind of recipe where you can use leftover mashed sweet potatoes. It's a quick, simple way to reduce food waste and turn those leftovers into a delicious smoothie.

Note that sweet potato smoothies are very thick, with a pudding-like consistency; add more water, milk, or yogurt if you prefer a thinner texture. For extra creaminess, use almond or coconut milk, Greek yogurt, coconut cream, or almond butter. Go one step further and add a pinch of nutmeg, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, or other spices that complement sweet potatoes, and watch your smoothie flavor options expand even more!

Read the original article on Daily Meal.