Slow cooker sweet potatoes are so easy, and this recipe transforms sweet potatoes into a melting, comforting dish with very little effort. Enjoy them either as a side dish, or add a filling for a quick healthy main meal.
Why cook sweet potatoes in the slow cooker?
There's a number of benefits to using the slow cooker for sweet potatoes
- Using the slow cooker means you can be hands off with this recipe. It's ideal when you're going to be out and about
- Slow cooked sweet potatoes are also quite forgiving. You can cook them for longer on low, or for around 3 hrs on high, and you'll still get a reliable result. And if you're not ready to eat as soon as they are cooked, they'll stay warm and not spoil
- Cooking sweet potatoes without the oven is also greener as most slow cookers use less energy than the average oven. Or it may be that there's not space in the oven, because you are using it for another dish
- This slow cooked sweet potatoes recipe is simple and healthy. It's cooked without butter or oil
How to bake sweet potatoes in the slow cooker
There really is very little prep to this recipe. Just wash and dry the sweet potatoes and prick them with a fork. I don't know if the pricking is wholly necessary, but there is a chance that the skins might burst. There is no need to wrap the sweet potatoes, but I do place them on a small piece of foil in the slow cooker pot in case they stick. It's also easier to lift them out that way.
Are sweet potatoes healthy?
Unlike white potatoes, sweet potatoes count as one of your Five a Day. They are a rich source of fibre, vitamins and minerals. Like many other brightly coloured fruit and veg, they are high in antioxidants, which can protect against free radicals. Orange sweet potatoes are very rich in a particular antioxidant called beta carotene. (Purple sweet potatoes contain anthocyanins which are also a valuable antioxidant.) Sweet potatoes contain both soluble and insoluble fibre, which makes them very good for your gut. Read more here about more of the nutritional benefits of sweet potatoes.
Are sweet potatoes carbs?
Sweet potatoes are a healthy carbohydrate. Despite their sweet taste, they have a lower glycaemic load than white potatoes, which means that they will not raise your blood sugar as much. Eating the skin, which increases the fibre content, will also help to avoid blood sugar spikes. Combining sweet potatoes with a healthy source of protein will result in a filling, substantial meal that will keep you full for hours. Like other potatoes, sweet potatoes are gluten free.
How to serve baked sweet potatoes
You could serve these sweet potatoes as a side dish, but more often than not, we fill them like a jacket potato. They are delicious with this vegan red lentil bolognese. Or if you prefer a meat filling either beef or turkey bolognese would also go perfectly. A classic combination of tuna and sweetcorn filled sweet potatoes, or baked beans is also delicious. Add a big side salad, and you've got an easy healthy lunch or dinner.
You might also want to cook an extra sweet potato or two to use for mash. Simply remove the skins, and add a little butter, salt and pepper and nutmeg. Mashed sweet potato makes a perfect topping for this healthy cottage pie.
If you've got some sweet potatoes left over, try using them in this delicious veggie lasagne recipe.
Slow cooker sweet potatoes
- Cooking foil
- Slow cooker
- 2 medium sized sweet potatoes
- butter to serve (optional)
- Wash and dry the sweet potatoes, and prick with a fork.
- Place a small sheet of foil in the bottom of your slow cooker dish, and add the sweet potatoes. Cook for around 6-7 hours on low or 3 hours on high.
- The sweet potatoes are ready when a fork slides in easily.