Recipes For Beauty: Sweet Potatoes


With trees turning all hues of vibrant red, yellow, and orange, fall gives us the most distinctive landscape of any season. But leaves aren’t the only colorful result. Autumn produces tons of red, yellow, and orange foods too, like apples, pears, and, perhaps best of all—sweet potatoes.

Sweet potatoes are one of the most nutritionally-dense foods at the market and also great for skin. They're high in vitamins A and C—A promotes healthy cell repair and growth and helps fight acne, while C stimulates the production of collagen for smoother, firmer skin. Beta carotene, an antioxidant that protects skin from free radicals (which can cause premature aging) is another of this root vegetable's beauty-boosting components. 

The great thing is, they're also really versatile to cook with, since you can serve them sweet or savory, crispy or creamy, skin-on or skin-off (leave it on for an extra nutritional kick!). Here are three recipes to get into your repertoire this season!

_Note: Sometimes supermarkets will mislabel orange-fleshed sweet potatoes as "yams," but this is just a colloquial term. They are, in fact, sweet potatoes. True yams have a much starchier texture and are most commonly found at international specialty stores. You can, however, swap in Yams if you prefer, but the texture will be different and the dishes will be much sweeter. _

Crispy Side: Baked Sweet Potato Fries

2 large sweet potatoes
4 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp of fresh rosemary, chopped
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 450-degrees F and coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Cut sweet potatoes into 1/2- to 3/4-inch fries and toss with olive oil, rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste. Transfer fries to the baking sheet, making sure they’re not touching, and bake 10–15 minutes. Flip the fries and bake for another 10 minutes. (Serves 4)

Lightened-Up Comfort Food: Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

2 lbs sweet potatoes
2 Tbsp butter
1 small onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F. Peel and cut the potatoes into large pieces, and put them in a pot of cold, salted water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and mash with butter, adding salt and pepper to taste. While the potatoes cook, heat the oil in a large saucepan and sauté onions and carrots until they begin to brown, about 3–4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and then add the ground turkey, salt, and pepper. Cook through, breaking the turkey up with a spoon. Add the chicken broth, worcestershire sauce, and fresh herbs, and simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes. Stir in the peas and corn and spread the mixture into an 11"x7" baking dish. Top with the mashed sweet potatoes and bake for 15 minutes, then broil on high heat until the potatoes brown, about 3–5 minutes. (Serves 4)

Perfect for Thanksgiving: Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Rosemary Pecans

Recipe adapted from Woman’s Day

2 lbs sweet potatoes
3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups pecans, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp cayenne
3 Tbsp fresh rosemary, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 400-degrees F. Prick each potato a few times with a fork and microwave on high for 6 minutes. Turn over and cook for another 6 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel and mash in a bowl with maple syrup and salt. In the meantime, toss the pecans with olive oil, parmesan, cayenne, and rosemary and roast for 8 minutes on a rimmed baking sheet. Spread the sweet potato mixture into a shallow 2-quart baking dish and sprinkle with the pecans. Bake for 6–8 minutes, until heated through. (Serves 8)