Steal This Meal: Post-Workout Sweet Potato Chews

Today’s STM submission (complete with humorous tips and tricks!) comes from Mike Hollister, of Bellingham, WA.  Mike completed his first Whole30 this summer, and writes:

“I completed my first 99% Whole 30 in June of this year. Even though I didn’t give up the heavy whipping cream in my coffee, I lost 10 lbs that had been rather stubborn; and more people noticed those 10 lbs than the 20 I’d lost prior to them. It was this month of eating clean that finally brought me to a place where I can look at bad food, anticipate how it’s going to make me feel, and choose to not eat it. My wife is fully on board with this style of eating and we’re slowly but surely transitioning our five children to a clean diet. My wife and I write about it, among other things, at www.righttomyopinion.blogspot.com.”

We understand today’s feature isn’t really a full “meal”, but we’ve decided to relax our guidelines a bit, and share any recipe that contributes in a significant way to your health and fitness.  We think post-workout nutrition is paramount to optimal recovery, and Mike’s Whole30-approved recipe is a great way to prepare a week’s worth of PWO nutrition in an efficient manner.  Don’t let the long cooking time deter you – the prep time is minimal (like, minutes), so they’ll bake while you putter around the house – perfect for a Sunday night.  Pair a serving of Mike’s sweet potatoes with a lean protein source (like egg whites, chicken or salmon) and improve your recovery in a truly delicious way.

Steal This Meal:  Post-Workout Sweet Potato Chews

Cast of Characters:

  • Sweet potatoes. I thought these were yams, but apparently they are sweet potatoes.  Whatever, I don’t really care.  Just get the orange ones.  The yellow ones don’t survive being baked and cooked.
  • Cinnamon. I’ve read that it improves insulin sensitivity.  It’s also delicious.
  • Coconut oil.  It imparts a subtle coconut taste that rounds out the flavor of the sweet potato in a truly marvelous way.

Now Do This:

  • First, you have to bake the sweet potatoes, so preheat oven to 325.
  • Spread a piece of aluminum foil on a middle rack and bake as many as you can fit for about an hour.  You want them soft, so the skins easily pull away from the sides.
  • After baking, let them cool in the oven until it’s convenient to move on to the next step.  Sitting in the oven overnight is fine, in fact.
  • Now you have to peel them. If you baked them long enough, you should be able to get most of the peel off with your fingers.  Use a knife for any stubborn bits.
This will make MANY pans of sweet potato chews.
  • Next, you need to slice them and arrange them on a baking sheet.  You can use a pan liner (like Silpat) to make removal of the finished product easier.
  • Cut them about 1/2 a centimeter thick.  You want a uniform thickness if possible, and I find 1/2 cm gives me enough potato to keep it from becoming a mess when I transfer pieces to the pan.
  • Arrange them flat side up.
  • Now, melt your coconut oil and paint on your potato slices using a pastry brush.
  • Give a healthy dusting of cinnamon (I really load up).
  • Then back to the oven it goes for the “drying”.  Cooking at 350 for 50 minutes brings about half the pan to an acceptable level. They sizzle nicely under the high heat.
  • Usually, I’ll remove the done ones and throw the pan back in for another 10 minutes and that produces pretty good results. I’ve also done 300 degrees and 90 minutes. That works pretty well too and is more forgiving, meaning less crispy pieces. You may have to experiment a bit. If you go too long or too hot, you will have sweet potato crisps.  Not bad, but I prefer the chewy consistency of soft dried fruit.

Partition slices into perfect PWO portions and pack them in Ziploc bags or covered glass storage containers.  (I don’t know how long they keep because we’ve never had a batch last longer than a couple days.)  Enjoy!

The finished product, perfect for PWO nutrition.

Got a delicious, simple meal (or recipe idea) for our next Friday STM feature? Send your Steal This Meal entry (along with photos and YOUR Whole30-inspired story) to [email protected].  And if you’re looking for more delicious recipe ideas from Whole9 and our readers, just select “Recipes” from the category list on our sidebar!