Bright, beautiful spring days often call for fresh, delicious meals that give you energy to enjoy the great outdoors. Whether you’re hitting the pavement for a run, powering up for an afternoon at the office or picnicking with loved ones, nutrition and flavor can go hand in hand with an easy-to-make salad.
For your next springtime meal, lean on a versatile ingredient like sweet potatoes as a key ingredient in this Sweet Potato Power Salad, a light yet filling solution that can feed the whole family. Easy to add to a variety of recipes to enhance flavor and nutrition content, sweet potatoes can be used in sweet, savory, simple or elevated recipes. Plus, they can be prepared on the stove, baked, microwaved, grilled or slow cooked to fit your favorite dishes as a natural sweetener without added sugar.
According to the American Diabetes Association, sweet potatoes are a “diabetes superfood” because they’re rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber, all of which are good for overall health. Due to their high carbohydrate content, they’re an ideal option for athletes before and after exercising with complex carbohydrates that provide sustained energy. Additionally, the antioxidants help reduce inflammation and aid in muscle repair, meaning sweet potatoes can help both your endurance and recovery.
Another fun fact: The North Carolina Sweetpotato Commission deliberately spells “sweetpotato” as one word, a spelling officially adopted by the National Sweetpotato Collaborators in 1989 to avoid confusion with the white potato or yam among shippers, distributors, warehouse workers and consumers. However, this spelling isn’t universal; you can help teach others and update dictionary entries by signing the change.org petition to give this superfood its due.
Find more information and springtime recipe inspiration at ncsweetpotatoes.com.
Recipe courtesy of Carol Brown on behalf of the North Carolina Sweetpotato Commission
- 4-6 North Carolina sweetpotatoes, peeled and diced (6 cups)
- 2 teaspoons, plus 1 tablespoon, olive oil, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 1/2 bunches curly kale, rinsed and chopped (7-8 cups)
- 1/2 large lemon, juice only
- 1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 large avocado, pitted and diced
- 1/2 cup cranberries
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds
- 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
- 1/2-3/4 cup feta or goat cheese
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic or white vinegar
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Place sweet potatoes in large bowl. In small bowl, lightly whisk 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Toss on sweet potatoes and place potatoes on large sheet pan. Bake 35-40 minutes until tender, flipping once during baking.
Place chopped kale in large bowl. In small bowl, lightly whisk remaining olive oil, remaining salt and lemon juice. Pour over kale and massage with hands until mixed, about 1 minute.
To make dressing: In bowl, whisk syrup, olive oil and vinegar.
In bowl with kale, add garbanzo beans, avocado, cranberries, almonds, red onion, sweet potatoes and cheese. Toss with salad dressing and serve.
Note: Sweet potatoes can be baked and refrigerated 1 day in advance.