Surprise, surprise! Yet another sweet potato recipe here on This Runner’s Recipes! Didn’t we just have one last week?
Sweet potatoes are one of my top all-time favorite foods. I’m mildly devastated when our grocery store only has banged-up sad sweet potatoes and I gleefully buy them by the dozen when they’re all fresh and perfectly sized. I’m honestly surprised I haven’t turned orange from eating so many, although the color would probably actually be a good thing considering my fairer-than-fair skin (I’m of English and German heritage. You don’t get much paler than that).
They should be one of your favorite foods also, especially if you’re a runner! Sweet potatoes are one of the most nutritious foods out there, and they are so versatile there’s practically an endless number of ways you can enjoy them.
Bake them. Make them into fries. Chop them up and roast them. Serve them in a hash. Mash them. Make them into a pasta sauce (carbo-loading!). Cover them with cheese. Bake them in pie. Puree them into your pancakes. Add them to your smoothies. Stuff them with crispy chickpeas!
I could go on and on about different ways to eat sweet potatoes, as I’ve been on a personal endeavor to eat as many sweet potatoes in as many different ways since I was 22.
Let’s justify my food obsession talk about why sweet potatoes are so good for you, especially if you’re a runner or endurance athlete. Sweet potatoes are a great source of complex carbohydrates. An average-sized sweet potato has about 26 grams of carbohydrates, with 4 of those grams from dietary fiber. This means that sweet potatoes will nourish your muscles with much-needed carbs without spiking your blood sugar, since the fiber slows digestion.
Sweet potatoes also include many of the vitamins endurance athletes need to facilitate recovery and improve performance. Sweet potatoes contain the electrolytes potassium, magnesium, and calcium, which will help you replenish after a long run or hard workout. With a little bit of sea salt sprinkled on top, sweet potatoes could help you recover as good as any sports drink! (Speaking of sports drinks, don’t forget to enter the Nuun Active Hydration Giveaway!)
Sweet potatoes are also great sources of vitamin A, beta-carotene, iron, and vitamin C. All these vitamins mean that sweet potatoes are a natural anti-inflammatory, which means they will help your cells and muscles heal naturally after a hard run.
To pack even more plant goodness in with the sweet potatoes, I add chickpeas. Chickpeas, which are a great source of protein and fiber, are best roasted in my opinion. Roasting chickpeas eliminates the slightly mushy texture and makes them easier to digest. The crispy texture and the smoky roasted flavor are a delicious combination!
While you could leave off the cheese and have a vegan meal, a generous sprinkle of parmesan elevates the taste of these crispy chickpea stuffed sweet potatoes.
- 2 medium sweet potato, rinsed
- 1 14-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Ground pepper as desired
- 2-4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Use a knife to lightly stab the sweet potatoes. Place the sweet potatoes in a roasting pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until soft and cooked all the way through.
- With about 30 minutes left on the cooking time for potatoes, toss the chickpeas with the olive oil, paprika, salt, and pepper. Spread them flat on a foil-lined baking sheet and cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring them halfway through for even cooking.
- When the sweet potatoes are done, remove from oven and cut in half. Scoop out a small amount of the potato and top with chickpeas and 1-2 tablespoons of Parmesan each.
- Serve and enjoy!
- I always like to give the chickpeas a good shake as I rinse them to loosen the skins, and then I remove as many skins as possible. This makes them crispier and easier to digest!
You can serve these on their own for a small meal or on the side of some meat for a larger meal. These would taste amazing paired with roasted chicken and a fresh green salad.