Sweet Potatoes: Easy and Healthy

The softer, orange-fleshed variety of sweet po...

The softer, orange-fleshed variety of sweet potato, commonly referred to as a yam in the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I married my husband over 30 years ago, the last news I expected from his first doctor appointment was a list of dietary restrictions. I was in love and it didn’t matter that he wasn’t athletic and fit. But, along with that came health problems that required me as a young bride to learn to cook low salt, low fat, low sugar and still make it delicious. After all in a few years we would have children who would need nutritious tasty meals. No easy to prepare meals existed at the time. There was no Healthy Choice. Anything that did exist that came close to what I needed was too expensive for a couple just starting out. The best choice was to learn to do it on my own. I tried to follow the recipes in all the Prevention magazines I devoured, but many of the ingredients were not available.

My mother, Carol Bell, and my grandmother, Marie Stiffler were both very good cooks. Grandma Stiffler had baked so much bread that she was preparing recipes without needing to measure the ingredients by the time I was a young girl. But we moved far away from family and I had to teach myself new recipes as well as experiment to create my own. I loved to cook and some of my fondest memories involve my kids in the kitchen along side me. Together we learned math as we measured ingredients, and chemistry and science in baking.

Today my children are independent adults. Once in a while one of my daughters or the other will ask for cooking advice. Mostly though it’s just my husband and me. I am still very busy and have very little time to spend in the kitchen.

Here’s tip 1: fruit and vegetables in their natural state have no unhealthy additives; no additional salt, sugar, or fat. That’s the best place to start.

Tip 2: Peeling and slicing take a lot of extra time and the skin is loaded with nutrition and fiber. Clean it and leave it unless cooking for someone who cannot digest it.

Today I prepared sweet potatoes for my husband before he went to work. Here is the list of ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, washed, ends removed
  • low fat margarine spread
  • cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, about a quarter teaspoon each and set aside mixed


Preparation: Slice the potatoes into quarters into wedges, no need to peel. spread each quarter with just enough margarine to make the spices stick and arrange them in the pan with the buttered side up. Sprinkle with the spice mixture. Place under the broiler in the oven (I used  my NuWave oven) for 15 minutes. They will be both soft and crispy, just sweet enough. they need nothing else. I forgot that I normally would have remembered to add a little sweetener (brown sugar would be great but my husband is diabetic). I didn’t remember until I returned the plates to the kitchen. This dish did not need any sugar. It makes a great side to pork chops or chicken. It was very good.


About valrfederoff
Valerie lives in the shore area of New Jersey with her husband Vlad. She is always learning and teaching. She has earned a BA in Sociology and Psychology from Carlow University in Pittsburgh, Pa. and a MAT in Elementary Education from New Jersey City University. She haves raised three children, taught children in religious education and public school, won awards as a leader in Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. She takes part in local library and community activities. When not writhing and teaching Valerie can be seen biking or hiking.

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