It’s simple. Sweet potatoes are a super food.
If we can help farmers and families around the world to cultivate and eat sweet potatoes, we can make a huge dent in hunger, especially in children. That’s why I’m joining ONE.org and my fellow bloggers this very first Sweet Potato Day.
I couldn’t agree more with ONE.org‘s brief mission statement:
“Of course, everyone knows children need affection. But what many people don’t know is that nutrition is a hidden killer of nearly 2 million children around the world.
So we’re on a mission to make the sweet potato famous. Why? Because it packs a huge vitamin A punch, and it’s saving lives in Africa today. So let’s spread the word and get our leaders to step up and fight for good nutrition today.”
I love sweet potatoes and have featured three ways to prepare them here. My daughter is a fan, mostly when I oven-fry them. I’ve served them to her since she was old enough for solid foods because sweet potatoes are packed with potassium, vitamin C, calcium, folate and beta-carotene. Check out these six benefits to eating sweet potatoes and you’ll understand why I signed up to support ONE.org‘s efforts.
Here are some facts I gathered from the organizers of our sweet potato day blog-bonanza. I’ve mostly featured facts about nutrition for children. You can click the links below to get more information.
- Less then 1% of the US budget is spent on foreign assistance. These funds are at risk and if these smart programs are cut, millions could lose access to food, medication and AIDS treatment. You can see more facts here. If you’d like to help, send a letter to congress supporting the programs that create foreign assistance for AIDS treatment, food and medication.
- Nutrition is the hidden killer of nearly 2 million children around the world. The sweet potato is serving as the mascot for our cause and we’re going to make it famous! Packed with nutrition and blessed with the ability to grow in many places, the sweet potato is literally saving lives. Click here to learn more and sign a petition. Effective agriculture programs in some of the world’s poorest countries are feeding millions of people, fueling economic growth and helping communities become self-sufficient.
- Malnutrition is associated with 35% of child deaths in the developing world (UNICEF, 2012, Child Info: Monitoring the situation of children and women, accessed February 1, 2011 http://www.childinfo.org/undernutrition.html). The number of hungry people in sub-Saharan Africa is rising at an increasing rate. Between 1991 and 2000, the number rose by around 2 million a year, but between 2008 and 2011, the number rose by 6 million a year. (FAO, The State of Food Insecurity in the World (2012), http://www.fao.org/docrep/016/i3027e/i3027e00.htm [accessed 11 October 2012])
So get your knives out and start chopping, dicing or slicing those sweet potatoes. A super food if ever there was one, this recipe makes an easy vegan dish that has a bit of a kick and tons of flavor.
And, please take a look at the sweet potato-centric posts all of these wonderful bloggers have created, too:
Enjoy and Happy Sweet Potato Day to all!
Sweet Potato Gratin
- 2 to 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/4 teaspoon ground corriander
- 1/2 cup peanuts, crushed
- 1/4 red onion, skin removed, sliced into thin rings
- Heat a small pan to hot and add the ground spices. Toast on low heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until you can smell the spices heating up.
- Add the coconut milk, making sure to incorporate any solids that may have separated.
- Bring to a low boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 4 minutes.
- Coat a casserole dish with olive oil (I used a bit of the coconut spiced milk in the bottom of the pan to keep it simple).
- Beginning with a layer of sweet potatoes, create alternating layers of sweet potatoes, peanuts and onions. Add some coconut milk before each layer of sweet potato is layered on.
- Finish the layers with the remaining coconut milk, making sure the potatoes on the top layer are submerged. Sprinkle the remaining crushed peanuts on top.
- Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 50 minutes, until the coconut milk is mostly dissolved and has browned well.