I can’t remember the first time I ate a sweet potato, but I know that it was pretty late in my childhood. At first I wasn’t sure what to think — they’re starchy like potatoes, but sweet like pie! — but they’ve really, really grown on me in the many years since.
Plus, now I live in North Carolina, the number one grower of sweet potatoes in the country. They’re everywhere, and I’m just fine with that.
The thing about sweet potatoes, though, is that I’m not always sure what to do with them. I can only eat sweet potato fries so often without getting bored, and the same goes for a side of sweet potatoes.
That’s why I love throwing sweet potatoes into salads with tons of other flavorful, colorful ingredients. I like my salads to have a starch — variety is important for gentle nutrition, and when I’m working with eating disorder clients, it’s important that all the food groups are represented in every meal. Here’s why I love this recipe
It’s great for fall but also works throughout the year.
Sure, sweet potatoes are seasonal to fall and winter months. But they have a long shelf life, which means they’re available all year.
This salad is a nice one for colder months, and also contains apples (a fall-winter fruit that’s like sweet potatoes in that it has a long shelf life and is available all year). But you can make it any time of year and be satisfied.
The sweet potato salad has a great variety of nutrients, flavors, and textures.
As an anti-diet dietitian, I don’t obsess about the nitty-gritty nutrition facts of every recipe. (And I don’t recommend that anyone else does, either.) But, I do talk a lot about gentle nutrition, which is all about eating a variety of nutrients and enough food overall.
This sweet potato salad absolutely delivers on that, with protein, fruits, vegetables, fat (from peanut butter dressing!), and carbs. And, it gets an extra flavor pop from soy sauce, honey, and a little sesame oil.
If you’re struggling with an eating disorder or disordered eating, I can help! I’m a dietitian who takes an anti-diet, body-positive, identity-affirming approach to recovery and healing your relationship with food. . Learn more about nutrition counseling, offered in Raleigh, NC, and virtually to clients in several states. Not ready to commit to counseling but want more information about the anti-diet approach? Subscribe to my weekly newsletter.