Brain Power Potatoes

It’s a new year & it’s time to watch what you eat! Holiday sweet potatoes are generally made with lots of butter, sugar, and many times marshmallows. Now you can have that rich, cozy, holiday taste all year round without the sugar and keeping all the nutritional benefits!

IMG_8471Yams and sweet potatoes are usually the carb of choice for the majority of bodybuilders. Mainly because they are a great source of slow-burning, complex carbs, with a low glycemic index. While they have higher fiber and more vitamins than regular potatoes, what many people don’t know is that there have been quite a few studies that show that some plant chemicals such as quercetin helps to prevent against certain cancers and dementia/Alzheimer’s. Guess what – they are a great source of quercetin as well! So eat up!

To me, it gets very boring and monotonous when boiling or baking them and eating them plain every day. On the other hand, it kind of defeats the purpose of having them if you’re covering them with sugar, butter, etc. like many people do during the holidays. There’s got to be a happy medium. This is the perfect blend of the two to keep your  meal prep creative and fresh!
yam_sweetpotatoWhile a true yam is a root vegetable from Africa and Asia that isn’t sold in most grocery stores and usually only available at specialty markets, Almost all US grocery stores label the orange colored ones as yams and the lighter as sweet potatoes, they are actually BOTH sweet potatoes. That being said, I will refer to the US grocery terminology. For this recipe I like to use both sweet potatoes and yams for this recipe because sweet potatoes tend to have a little more quercetin and a few other added health benefits while yams are a little sweeter and have that great color and more beta-carotene.

Brain Power Potatoes


2 sweet potatoes
3 yams
1-2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup unsweetened vanilla coconut or almond milk
*1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped (optional)

In a large pot filled about halfway with water, bring it to a boil, and add washed whole potatoes and ginger. Boil for about 10-15 minutes or until tender enough to stick a fork or knife in the potato and it slides off the fork slowly. Don’t over boil. Remove the potatoes and ginger from the water and let them cool a bit. You will be able to easily take the skin off the potatoes now. This is a good time to preheat your oven to 350º while you prepare everything else.

Cube the potatoes and put them in an oven safe bowl or serving dish. Finely chop the boiled ginger and add that to your potatoes along with vanilla extract, non-dairy vanilla milk, and cinnamon. Mix everything together while mashing the potatoes until you get to a desired consistency. If you like your mashed potatoes a little chunky just be sure that your added ingredients are blended evenly.

At this point, you can top with the optional toasted pecans for an added crunch and wonderful nuttiness. Bake for about 20 minutes just to really heat everything throughout and allow all of the flavors to marry together. Now, you’re ready to separate into meal prep containers, bring to a dinner party, or serve as a side dish that the kids won’t even believe is healthy!

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