Do you ever feel dubious of food labels? The FDA hasn’t quite streamlined regulations in labeling and they can still be misleading — highly frustrating when the average person is just trying to make the healthiest choices for themselves and their families. What’s better — all natural or organic? Does multigrain mean whole grain? Low sugar or no sugar added? When do labels mean something or – nothing?
A key to understanding the ingredients list is to know that the order in which they’re listed really matters. To really get educated about food labels, here’s a link to a guide provided by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and additional information on understanding the meaning of food marketing terms.
Food labels aside, Saturdays are for snacking around here. On any given day, I try to eat “the rainbow” in food colors. It’s fun to get kids involved in this game…and honestly has opened up more of a variety of vegetables that Bryce is willing to try. She’s been a little fickle about eating sweet potatoes the last couple of years, but we can always win a stealth mission with a sweet potato fries. Sweet potato oven fries hit the spot with the kids, and grown ups embrace them even more when you pair them with a garlic-y dipping sauce (which, also feels like a fancy indulgence!)
We Portlanders are gearing up to tackle the winter grays. Eating foods that are rich in antioxidants and Vitamin D are super-important in the effort to stay healthy and to keep our immune systems pumping. Here are a few of the health benefits offered by the lovely sweet potato (aside from the fact that they’re well…sweet:)
Sweet Potatoes are:
1. Rich in beta-carotene, to aid in retinal health and bone strength. It also has powerful antioxidant functions, helping the body scavenge free radicals, and limiting cellular damage.
2. Loaded with Vitamin C. As well as warding off cold and flu, Vitamin C assists in the production of collagen which, helps us age a little more gracefully!
3. High in Potassium, which is associated with a reduced risk of stroke, improved blood pressure control and improved bone health.
4. Powered with Magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral that aids in relaxation, as well as blood, bone, heart and nerve function health.
5 sweet potatoes, cut into about 1 by 5-inch “fries”
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the sweet potato “fries” on a foil-lined baking sheet and toss with the olive oil. Bake until golden, about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile combine the basil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. In another small bowl combine the mayonnaise, garlic, and lemon juice, and stir to combine.
When the sweet potato fries come out of the oven, sprinkle with the basil salt. Serve with the garlic mayonnaise alongside for dipping.