Insider's Guide to Spas
Christina Xu

Food & Drink

Oven-Baked-Maple-Vanilla-Scented Sweet Potatoes with Oranges

Makes 8 servings

From Chef Bill Wavrin of Glen Ivy

A Note from the Chef

Did you know the sweet potato is one of the oldest known vegetables and that many of our early cave dwelling predecessors harvested creamy delicious sweet potatoes as a primary source of nutrition? They must have been very smart, because sweet potatoes are so good for you.

Often confused with the unrelated yam, in America, and mistakenly called a yam, the sweet potato is an excellent food choice. Some experts state it is the healthiest food on the planet. They are high in antioxidants, very high in anti- inflammatory compounds which can help in defeating osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis, and contain more than a half dozen times our daily need of vitamin A. They are full of vitamins, B6 for your heart and C, and are chock- full of minerals like manganese, copper, potassium, and iron. And new studies have placed them with high levels of carotenoids that have unique healing properties in blood sugar control. Wow! So why would you not eat your sweet potatoes!

• 2 lbs. sweet potatoes, I use garnet yams
• 6 C fresh orange juice
• 1 tsp. vanilla
• ¼ C maple syrup
• 1 Tbsp. agave
• ½ tsp. cinnamon
• 1 orange, sliced

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Wash the sweet potatoes and trim ¼ inch off ends. Cut sweet potatoes in half, equals about, 2 ounces (a sweet potato 8 inches in length runs approximately 10 ounces).

Mix the orange juice with maple syrup, agave, cinnamon, and vanilla in a small bowl.

Place the sweet potatoes in an oven-proof dish and pour the juice and top with the orange slices.

Cover with lid or foil and place into the hot oven. Bake for 50 minutes or until the sweet potatoes have cooked through and are tender.

Serve hot or cold as a side dish, or as a cold dish for breakfast or quick energy. Enjoy!