Sweet Potatoes and yams are a staple during the fall and winter months. They owe their bright orange color to the carotenoid, beta-carotene, which help inhibit cancer and tumor growth. Beta carotene is an antioxidant that can also ward off free radicals that damage cells through oxidation, contributing to the aging process. Sweet potatoes and yams are also good sources of heart-healthy potassium as well as containing phytochemicals such as quercetin, a strong anti-inflammatory.
They are delicious just baked in the oven, but I also like to include them in dessert. I make a Sweet Potato and Jackfruit Delight for a delicious and nutritious alternative containing jackfruit, which is plentiful in Southeast Asia; coconut milk, which hydrates the skin and helps keep it elastic; and sweet potatoes.
In my new cookbook – The Age Beautifully Cookbook (available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble) – I created a heart-friendly yam dish that is a perfect side dish for holiday celebrations or any occasion. The yams are tarted up with lime juice and shredded coconut in this festive side dish. Serve it with lamb or my Ostrich Meatballs (also in the cookbook). It also goes well with turkey, pork, and meatloaf.
2 cups cubed yams or sweet potatoes, peeled
1 Tbs. coconut oil
½ tsp. salt or salt substitute
1 Tbs. fresh lime juice (and/or thin slices of key lime)
¼ cup chopped pecans
¼ cup shredded coconut