Several years ago I was struggling with ongoing health issues. Despite various traditional interventions, they persisted. This isn't the post to dive into the intricacies of that time period in my life. Suffice it to say that when we finally pinpointed the underlying problem, I had to drastically change my diet. One of the hardest things for me was rethinking the idea of breakfast foods. (If you are struggling with dietary challenges, be sure to read all the way to the end of this post--help is available!)
Traditional American breakfasts consist of fatty animal products--eggs, bacon, sausage--or of carbs--empty ones like cold cereal or sugary ones like donuts. But I found myself allergic to eggs and in serious need of limiting my sugar intake. And the rotation diet on which I found myself (to decrease my food sensitivities) required I often eat what I thought of as lunch or dinner dishes. It was a mental battle for which I was unprepared.
The reality is, there are so many wonderful foods that provide a beginning of the day energy boost and pack a nutritious punch without spiking the blood sugar. Sweet potatoes are one of these foods, providing vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. And because they are naturally sweet when cooked, they help meet that American mental need for a sweet breakfast. They quickly became one of my favorite breakfast foods during that transition time of my life. Here is a recipe I developed which combines sweet and savory, dancing along the traditional American breakfast boundary. If you cannot consume any added sugars, you can easily eliminate the maple syrup, though it does aid in caramelizing the potatoes and adds a subtly sweet element without upping the glycemic index too much. This recipe is naturally gluten free, vegan, and low in sugar, fat, and sodium.
SWEET & SPICY BREAKFAST SWEET POTATOES
2 lg. sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cubed (peeled opt.)
2 shallots, sliced
1/2 c. rolled oats
2 Tbsp. hemp hearts (opt., add protein)
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. chili powder
Combine spices. Wisk together oil and maple syrup. Toss all ingredients together until potatoes are thoroughly coated. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 400 F for 30 mins. Serve hot or cold. Delicious topped with vanilla yogurt of your choice (regular or dairy free).
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