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Sweet Potato Sun-Dried Tomato Houmous

Adapted from a recipe found in an old 2006 issue of Delicious Living.  Yams (or sweet potatoes) are one of my favorite foods.  And they’re #2 on the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s list of veggies in terms of overall nutrient content.  They are a food that fuels workouts too because they have all those good carbs.  (A four-ounce sweet potato contains only 143 calories, but has a whopping 28 grams of the right kind of carbs that give energy.)

Sweet potatoes or yams give us more than 100 percent of our daily requirement for beta-carotene, and pack in more than a quarter of our daily needs for vitamins C and E, nutrients shown to prevent cell damage in athletes competing in extreme environments (altitude, heat, cold, pollution), as well as enhance muscle recovery after intense training. Sweet potatoes are also an excellent source of iron.

1 small sweet potato or yam (about 6 oz) ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 can Eden garbanzo beans, or about 2 C cooked garbanzo beans (drained) 2 tsp good salt
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) 1 tsp black pepper
½ C Mediterranean sun-dried tomatoes in EVOO 4 medium cloves garlic
½ C fresh basil leaves (1 Tbsp dry)

Scrub sweet potato or yam.  Don’t bother peeling.  Cut off ends and put on baking plate.  Pop into preheated 425 degree oven and roast for an hour.  (While you’re at it, you might as well roast a whole tray of extra sweet potatoes or yams so you have them to snack on during the week.  My mother used to say everyone should have a yam a day, and she loved them cold.  They are easy to eat on the go too.)

Let sweet potato or yam cool out of oven.  Cut into pieces and put into food processor.  Add garbanzo beans, EVOO, sun-dried tomatoes and spices.  Process briefly, until almost smooth.  Add basil and pulse for a few seconds.  Transfer to serving bowl. Garnish with a few whole basil leaves and/or more sun-dried tomatoes if you like.  This is wonderful with vegetable dippers, or as a topping for rice or another grain.

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