Monday, 6 May 2013

On Friday our office held a Cinco De Mayo Cook-Off and Birthday Bash - we like to get all our celebrations in at once - saves time. 

I love cook-offs as it is a good excuse to try new recipes (previously non-paleo, high sugar, high fat recipes), so this time I looked for a Mexican Paleo recipe and found one on Fast PaleoChorizo and Sweet Potato Jalapeno Poppers - there are those delicious sweet potatoes again.  I didn't follow the recipe exactly, but then I usually don't.  Sometimes it is just because I don't have all the ingredients so I substitute for what I do have, and sometimes I just don't like how certain ingredients make me feel, so they get switched out.

This is not strictly a Paleo recipe as it has cheese in it, and I'm pretty sure the chorizo had sugar in it, but wow were they good.  If a Paleo recipe has any dairy products in it, remember use full-fat dairy only.  When they make dairy or any other food low-fat, they have to add a ton of chemical-y things just to make it palatable.

Here's what the Poppers look like when they are done. (BTW - I won the cook-off!)

I was getting rather intimidated by the save the sweet potatoes for a treat unless you exercise a lot thing, so I looked up the nutritional information on them and I think it is all good.  This is from Natural News

1. High nutritional value
A 7-ounce (1 cup) serving of sweet potatoes contains 65% of the minimum necessary daily amount of Vitamin C. Sweet potatoes are also high in calcium, folate, potassium and beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant which converts to Vitamin A in the body: one serving of sweet potatoes can provide you with as much as 700% of the US RDA for Vitamin A. The Center for Science in the Public Interest rates sweet potatoes as the number one most nutritious vegetable because they such are so nutritionally rich.

2. Low glycemic index
If you are unfamiliar with this term, the glycemic index indicates the impact a food substance has on blood sugar levels. A high glycemic index means blood sugar levels can spike. Diabetes and others who monitor their blood sugar levels seek to avoid foods with a high glycemic index or load. Sweet potatoes have a glycemic load of only 17. (By way of comparison, a white potato has an index of 29.)

3. Accessing sweet potatoes' nutritional benefits is easy
To gain the maximum health benefits from eating sweet potatoes, avoid discarding their skins -- much of their healing potential resides in this portion of the tubers. Also, following the common dieters' fallacy of avoiding all fats reduces your ability to access sweet potatoes' benefits: beta-carotene absorbs more thoroughly into the body when consumed with a small amount of fat. Recent research seems to indicate that steaming or boiling sweet potatoes rather than roasting them helps preserve their low glycemic index.

4. Good for your skin
Their high levels of Vitamin A and beta-carotene means sweet potatoes are a skin superfood. The substances on many pricey skin-care products like retinol and retinoic acid are actually derived from Vitamin A. Plus beta-carotene combats the free radicals which result skin aging.

5. Sweet potatoes are like yoga
Their high potassium content means sweet potatoes can alleviate muscle cramps which are often related to potassium deficiency. During times of stress, the body uses more potassium, so eating sweet potatoes can help protect you from the negative health effects of tension.

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