The sweet potato may be nature’s best source for beta-carotene, which gives them their vibrant orange and purple colors. Beta-carotene metabolizes into Vitamin A, and one cup of sweet potato provides 120 percent of recommended daily dose. They’re also rich in potassium, an electrolyte that helps regulate heartbeat.
The sweet potato has a low glycemic index (meaning it releases sugar and insulin more slowly into the bloodstream). It is also high in manganese, which helps the body absorb calcium and metabolize carbohydrates, so this trace mineral also helps with blood sugar regulation.
Coconut oil is solid at room temperature because 84 percent of its calories come from saturated fat—yup, the “bad fat.” But the news about coconut oil is not all bad. Its fats are made up of medium-chain triglycerides, which the body metabolizes differently than most other saturated fats.
Any saturated fat will raise your “low-density lipoproteins”—or, “bad cholesterol.” However, there is compelling evidence that coconut oil also raises high-density lipoproteins, which help the body break down and eliminate bad cholesterol.
Remember, our bodies need fats—in moderation. Plus, coconut oil just plain tastes good—light and aromatic, enhancing the texture and flavor of other foods.
Celery root, on the other hand, is the Ugly Duckling of foods, as though a rutabaga mated with some sort of really unfortunate looking rock.
However, once cooked and puréed, this edible root is a smooth and creamy “Swan,” with a subtle taste of celery and parsley that looks exactly like mashed potatoes, but with very little starch and nearly half the calories.
Celery root is rich in potassium, calcium, Vitamin C, and contains 80 percent of the daily recommended dose of vitamin K, which is essential for bone density, strong teeth, and blood clotting.
Sweet Potato Hash
-2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
-1 lb sausage, crumbled
-1 c. sweet Vidalia onion, diced
-1small crisp sweet apple, diced
-3+ T. coconut oil
-1 t. crushed red pepper
-½ t. garlic powder
-½ t. cinnamon
-¼ t. black pepper
-¼ t. nutmeg
-¼ t. marjoram
-8 eggs (optional)
In large pan, melt coconut oil and cook onion for five minutes. Add sweet potatoes and cook until potatoes are tender and onion is translucent. Add sausage, crushed red pepper, and spices. Cook until sausage is completely browned. Add apple and cook until tender. Remove from heat. Top with two eggs, any style. Serves four.
Celery Root Purée
-5 lbs. (2 large) celery root
-2 T. butter
-1½ c. chicken stock
-1½ c. heavy cream
-4 t. kosher salt
-1 t. black pepper
Peel and dice the celery root. Melt butter in a heavy pan, and sauté celery for approximately three minutes, stirring regularly. Reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes or until root is tender. Add chicken stock, cream, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and simmer 20 minutes or until root is very tender. Transfer to food processor and purée until smooth. Serve hot.