Is it officially summer? It sure feels like it today. It’s 92 degrees in NYC and of all days, our office’s a/c isn’t working. Why doesn’t this happen in the winter when I have to sneak a heater under my desk?! When I think about sweet potatoes in this heat, I can only think smoothies, salads and more salads — which will all come in handy this Memorial Day weekend.
If you’ve never tried a sweet potato smoothie, it’s pretty big in the natural food world. They are usually blended raw and used for their bevy of nutrients. I had my first smoothie in California at Real Raw Live. My goal was to try as many of their drinks as possible but of course I started with the sweet potato smoothie, which tasted like pumpkin pie! Because Real Raw Live is focused on health, their ingredients all serve a purpose. This smoothie is packed with potassium, beta carotene and healthy fats (avocado), which lower your bad cholesterol. Agave nectar, a sweetener derived from the Mexican agave plant, is sweeter than sugar but has a lower glycemic index. The flaxseed oil will give you a dose of omega-3 and omega-6 that you would normally get from fish or fatty foods.
Sweet Potato Smoothie
7 ounces fresh sweet potato (frozen to replace ice for a more concentrated flavor!)
7 ounces carrot juice
1/2 hass avocado (Mexican are the creamiest)
3 dates blended with water and strained
1 tablespoon flaxseed oil
1 ounce agave
Place all ingredients in jar of blender; whirl until smooth.
And now salads. We’ve already covered raw sweet potato salads in the past and a raw sweet potato smoothie today, but let’s get cookin’ cause what I love about sweet potatoes is their deep roasted sweetness. This is the perfect sweet potato salad for a hot summer day, it’s fruity, it’s sweet and the colors scream summer. I got this recipe from Vegalicious but made some minor changes. Go to Vegalicious.org for the original recipe. This would be ideal for a Memorial Day picnic or bbq!
Fruity Sweet Potato Salad
2-3 large sweet potatoes, cooked, peeled and cut into chunks
1 red bell pepper, julienned and halved
1 ripe banana, sliced
1 apple, cored and diced
6 dried apricots, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup walnuts, crushed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar
Salt and pepper to taste
In large bowl, combine sweet potatoes, bell pepper, bananas, apples, apricots and walnuts. In small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice and sweetener of your choice. Pour mixture over sweet potato salad, season with salt and pepper; toss gently. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready.