August 25, 2014

Pizza Sweet Potato Skins

Pizza Sweet Potato Skins
You guys know that sweet potatoes have been ranked as the #1 most nutritious vegetable?
The Center for Science in the Public Interest compared the nutritional value of sweet potatoes to other vegetables. Considering fibre content, complex carbohydrates, protein, vitamins A and C, iron, and calcium, the sweet potato ranked highest in nutritional value.
Yes, you read it right. Sweet potato is numero uno!
The orange-skinned root vegetable got 184 point, spinach 76, kale 55 and broccoli just 52.  
Talking about crushing the competition...

Marinara Sauce and Oregano
As a kid, I didn't care for sweet potatoes, actually I thought that the traditional sweet potato casserole - studded with marshmallows, little puddles of maple syrup resting in the crevices - was a waste of perfectly good mini-marshmallows and maple syrup.
Only when I happened to taste a plain, baked sweet potato, topped with butter and sprinkled with rosemary and salt, did I realize that it tasted good.
Then I tried sweet potato fries for the first time my freshman year of college at a place on campus.
It was all downhill from there. Those little orangey sticks were so good!
Now, I roast sweet potatoes, bake them, steam them and mash them in all sorts of dishes.
I think that saddling sweet potatoes with pie ingredients - brown sugar, cinnamon and maple syrup - and calling them a side dish masks their delicious natural sweetness and it's a waste.
Sweet potatoes have far too much to offer to relegate them to a cloying, gooey annual tradition.

Baked Sweet Potato
But that’s not the end of the story.
I’ve recently discovered that the edible skin of sweet potatoes contains high amounts of many of the sweet potato’s legendary nutritional elements and a ton of dietary fiber too.
So why go to the trouble of removing the skin?
Let’s eat the whole thing!

Pizza Sweet Potato Skins
Which brings me to these pizza sweet potato skins.
Sweet potato skins are basically stuffed sweet potatoes, but with a crispy delicious (and edible) skin.
You can fill them with a variety of ingredients with different flavor combinations.
Since the other day I had my 6-year-old niece and my 8-year-old nephew over for lunch, I made pizza sweet potato skins.
Because pizza and kids go together like Dora and exploration.
So I mixed the marinara sauce and seasoning with the sweet potato flesh, a bit of gooey mozzarella and their favorite topping (aka pepperoni). 
The kids devoured them.
There is no debating that these pizza sweet potato skins are an awesomeawesomeawesome thing.
It’s like combining the best superfood ever – sweet potatoes – with the best comfort food ever - pizza obviously - and making it into something that’s warm, delish and healthy too.

Pizza Sweet Potato Skins
Pizza Sweet Potato Skins                                                                                 Print this recipe!

Ingredients 
Serves 4

2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean
2 tablespoons butter (or coconut oil), melted
1 cup / 8.8 oz / 250 gr marinara sauce
½ teaspoon dried oregano (or Italian seasoning)
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ cup / 4 oz / 113 gr shredded mozzarella cheese

Toppings of your choice (I used Applegate’s organic uncured pepperoni)


Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C) and place a rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with foil, set aside.
Pierce the sweet potatoes several times with the tines of a fork.
Place the sweet potatoes on the lined baking sheet and bake until tender about 45 to 50 minutes.
When the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in half lengthwise.
With a spoon scrape the sweet potato “flesh” out of the peel, leaving a thin layer inside with the peel so that it can stand up on its own (about ¼ inch).
Transfer sweet potato flesh to a bowl, and mash it with the marinara sauce, oregano, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Brush sweet potato skins with melted butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Return to the baking sheet, skin up, and bake for further 5 minutes, to get a crispier skin.
Take the potato skins out of the oven and fill each potato skin with sweet potato mixture, top with shredded mozzarella and your favorite toppings.
Place them back in the oven for 4 minutes or until cheese is melted and filling is heated through.
Serve immediately!

Nutrition facts 

One potato skin (i.e., half sweet potato) yields 180 calories, 9 grams of fat, 18 grams of carbs and 6 grams of protein.

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50 comments:

  1. These are adorable, and sound so wonderful! I did not know that about sweet potatoes, but I am happy I do now, especially as I Looooovee eating them, such good recovery food too. When you run 85 miles a week at a decent pace, your body needs all the nutrition it can get!

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    1. 85 miles a week is a lot, you could definitely use some sweet potato power :)

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  2. This is such a brilliant idea! I will have to try it come fall

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  3. I need to share this with my youngest. Perfect for a quick meal away at school!!

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  4. Absolute awesomeness Mike. Your pictures are amazing, seriously. Added to my to-make list with my boys.

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    1. Thanks Matt! This is perfect kid-food :)

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  5. I used to hate sweet potatoes for the very same reason - Thanksgiving marshmallow topped yuck (it's just not for me)! When I first had sweet potato fries, it was a game changer, and now I eat them a couple times a week! I've never thought of stuffing them with pizza toppings before, this is going to be the perfect way to pacify my old weekend pizza habit! :)

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    1. Do give it a try Kari, they're pretty amazing!

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  6. This has got to be the best thing ever!! I need to make this asap! Thank you so much!

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  7. Oh yes, these look delicious!! I've been wanting to try the pizza potato skins I've seen floating around on Foodgawker, but you've definitely upped the ante by using sweet potatoes! :-)

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    1. I love potato skins but sweet potato skins? That's where it's at!

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  8. This looks amazing, Mike! You shared a lot of nutritional information that I wasn't aware of. Your post almost made me want to nix sweet potato pie from our Thanksgiving menu! Almost...

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    1. You shouldn't nix sweet potatoes from your Thanksgiving menu, I don't want to be held responsible for that!

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  9. Wow those look amazing! I usually never eat the skins of sweet potatoes or yams. I've never seen or heard anyone either. This is definitely a must try. The only problem is finding the right shape so it won't topple over or be too narrow LOL thanks for all the great ieas & recipes ig jeanniejanev

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    1. Hey JeannieJanev, thanks for stopping by and you should definitely try eating the skins, they're amazing!

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  10. I might not share your love of cherries - but I definitely will fight you for sweet potatoes - without all the frills they are so SO good! They were the first veggies I fed my daughter when she started on pureed stuff...and she has yet to tire of them! This is such a wonderful recipe Mike!
    Btw, Your niece and nephew have the best uncle ever!!!

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    1. Sweet potato bring everybody together, I yet have to find someone who doesn't love 'em!

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  11. Hooray for sweet potatoes! They're one of my all time favorite foods (like um I had them for lunch today hehe) and I love how nutritious they are. Plus the skin is definitely my favorite part! It's nice to know that it's even healthier!
    As a kid I would never ate them, but mostly because they aren't all that popular in Spain. I don't think my younger brothers ever had one, and both my parents hate them :( But it's alright because I get to eat more that way hehehe.
    Aaaaaanyway. I think I'm in love with this idea. They look fantastic!

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    1. You should totally try it Co, it's so delicious!

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  12. Mike, lovely post as always.

    Have you seen the North African runners at a Marathon?...sweet potatoes...I rest my case :-)

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  13. I love sweet potatoes but never thought to make it a vessel for a pizza! Pinned to remind myself to try it.

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  14. You are super hyper incredibly creative.... and I tend to use superlatives very sparingly.... ;-)

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    1. You should never use superlatives sparingly...never ;)

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  15. Hi Mike, Winner of the perfect dinner here! love this! Pinned!

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  16. using sweet potato as a base is a seriously good alternative to pizza dough... definitely going to try the recipe, love anything pizza related.

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  17. This looks absolutely delicious! And I couldn't agree more about sweet potatoes. The traditional marshmallow-laden version always grossed me out as a kid. And it kinda still does. But this version needs to be on my plate soon...especially since football starts this weekend! Perfect football appetizer! #WolfpackEats

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    1. Football weekend can't come sooner David! #WolfPackFootball

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  18. I was the same way as a kid... give me boring plain white potatoes... but then finally at some point I realized what I was missing out on with sweet potatoes. They are phenomenal... it's hard to believe they are actually good for you too! Loving this pizza version. Definitely #wolfpackeats

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    1. Deffo #wolfpackeats Chris, so #wolfpackeats!

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  19. Just bought a few but none as big as these so I guess I'll be making sweet fries tomorrow.. Nummer eins anyway!

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  20. Whats your recipe for the marinara sauce?:)

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  21. I am totally with you about not masking their natural sweetness with too much other sweet stuff on top. This looks so savory and yummy. Pinning to my recipe Mash-Up board.

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  22. Wooow thank you for the quick answer!!! Love your blog :) btw

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  23. I love love love (with an extra spoonful of love and a pinch of ground love on top) sweet potatoes so naturally, I had to try this out...


    ... Amazing!

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  24. Sweet potatoes and me are -not- friends. But these look so good I might need to reconsider. Or make them with regular potatoes. Because I'm German and it's basically in my genes to be fond of potatoes. (:

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  25. Made this at the weekend, so delicious - thank you!

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    1. That's fantastic Lynn, I'm so glad you like 'em!

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