Let's begin with ANTI-OXIDANTS. First of all, I have told you what a FREE-RADICAL is, right? It is the by-product of oxidation in our bodies. (think of it as rust...another by-product of oxidation) Free radicals can cause damage to our other cells, including heart damage, cancer, etc. Anti-oxidants help us fight against these free radicals!!! That is one major reason that fruits and vegetables are so good for us! Vitamins like Vitamin A (beta-carotene) and Vitamin C can interact with free radicals and make it impossible for those free radicals to damage our cells!!!
Well...it just so happens sweet potatoes are a fabulous source of Vitamin A (beta carotene) and a great source of Vitamin C...both very powerful anti-oxidants. Sweet potatoes help us fight those nasty free radicals!!! These vitamins have other well-known advantages as well...for example, they also help eliminate inflammation. Vitamin A is used by dermatologists to treat acne...I know, I used it!!! Sweet potatoes are also a significant source of manganese, Vitamin B6, fiber, potassium and iron. These really are a WONDERFUL addition to your diet!!!
I have one big problem, though, my husband HATES sweet potatoes. So, I had to find a way to get him sweet potatoes in a way he wouldn't dislike. Thank heavens for my friend Stacey!!! She made a bread recipe years ago that was AMAZING and used sweet potatoes! She had all of us, her friends, try it out and we were hooked! I have changed it a little to make it 100% whole wheat, but it is still fantastic!!! This is a bread recipe I have been asked for MANY times, by everyone who tries it...
Stacey's Sweet Potato Bread
5 tsp yeast or 2 packets
1¾ C warm water
1 C mashed, cooked sweet potato (cooled)
½ C honey
½ C butter, softened
2 T gluten
1 T dough enhancer
7-10 C whole wheat flour
2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix yeast and warm water and let sit for about 5 minutes. Add sweet potatoes and honey. Stir. Add egg, butter, gluten, dough enhancer and one cup flour. Stir. Add salt. Stir until combined. Add flour, 1 C at a time until dough is no longer sticky. Knead for 10-12 minutes or until it can be stretched very thin without breaking (it will feel very elastic). Divide dough into two mounds and form into two loaves. Put dough in two large greased bread pans. Cover and let rise for 40 minutes to an hour. Bake for 20 minutes. Without removing bread from oven, reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with butter.
Note: These are VERY large loaves of bread.