People are taking better care of themselves more than ever. Regular exercise and clean eating provide a solid foundation for a happy and healthy life. But if you’re like me, and you have a bit of a sweet tooth, sometimes maintaining those good eating habits is easier said than done. Sweets are fine in moderation, but why not make a homemade dessert from nutritious foods?
While training for the Spartan Race, I came across a sweet potato recipe for none other than a sweet potato pie. The race is a grueling challenge of physical endurance and mental toughness, so I knew I had to be in phenomenal shape and eat the right foods to fuel my training. But I also wanted the occasional treat, so I decided to try my hand at cooking that sweet potato pie to get my sweet tooth fix in a healthier way. Before exploring the recipe, let’s take a look at why sweet potatoes are so nutritious:
Vitamin A, converted from the disease-preventer beta-carotene by your body, provides a plethora of health benefits. Your body obtains the complete recommended daily allowance of Vitamin A from just one medium sweet potato. It’s also a powerful antioxidant and prevents multiple types of cancer. Vitamin A goes beyond internal health, though. It also prevents vision loss and macular degeneration of the eyes, while protecting your skin from harmful UV rays by repairing damaged cells.
Sweet potato health benefits also include Vitamins C and E, both of which are fantastic antioxidants and also aid in keeping skin and hair healthy. And there’s also a healthy dose of B6, a vitamin that plays a role in keeping your heart healthy by breaking down homocysteine (a substance that hardens arteries and blood vessels). Sweet potatoes also have lots of potassium to help regulate blood pressure by flushing out unused sodium.
One serving of a sweet potato contains almost seven grams of fiber. They have almost twice the fiber content as other potatoes do. Sweet potatoes are also a slow-burning carbohydrate. That means the body paces its use of the energy drawn from this food.
Manganese helps metabolize carbohydrates in order to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. As a result, your appetite will stabilize for hours, as opposed to eating other carbs and getting hungry after a short amount of time. Manganese is used as an effective treatment for anemia.
Sweet Potato Pie
Now, let’s talk pie! Here’s what you’ll need for this sweet potato recipe:
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 2 eggs
- 1 can condensed milk
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup cane sugar
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 pie crust
If you want to be super healthy, make your own pie crust from scratch. Also, feel free to replace the cane sugar with a natural sweetener such as stevia. Leave out the salt if you’d like; I’ve never used it in the recipe myself. The pie is just as delicious without it.
Wash and skin the sweet potatoes. Cut them into cubes or chunks and boil them until they soften. Or, microwave each sweet potato until soft. You can then scrape the sweet potato out of the skin and save the skins for later.
In a separate bowl, mix all the other ingredients. Once soft, mash the sweet potatoes and add them to the mix. Pour the entire mix into the pie crust. Bake the pie at 425° F for fifteen minutes, and then at 350° F for another thirty minutes. Let it cool before you eat and enjoy!
Do you have a favorite clean eating recipe? Share it with us in the comments below.
Image source: Steve Auger