Autumn foods should be warming, nourishing and restorative to the body so that it has resilience when winter comes. Sweet potato itself is a food for sustenance and nourishment. It comes from the Earth and is sweet in taste meaning energetically it is warming, grounding and balancing from a traditional medicine perspective.
It is also rich in beta-carotene, vitamin C and potassium as well as being a good source of fibre - all the nutrients you need to keep your immune system and digestive system happy.
With a generous serving of protein-rich ricotta, olives full of good fats, Italian herbs and a hit of spicy chilli and you have yourself a well-rounded and hearty meal that will keep your system satisfied and well-fuelled.
This recipe requires some preparation time as you need to bake the sweet potatoes first which takes about an hour. You can do this step in advance and have the potatoes ready to go if you want to make this a quick and easy weeknight meal.
vegan option (see Roberta's tips)
- 4 small sweet potatoes (approx. 200-250g per potato)
- 250g fresh ricotta
- 1/2 cup pitted olives, halved
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- A small handful of basil leaves, roughly torn
- 1 cup baby spinach leaves
- 1/4 cup flaked almonds
- 20g grated parmesan
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- Salt and pepper, to taste
How to make
- Heat your oven to 190 degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper. Rub your sweet potatoes with coconut oil, prick each potato with a fork a couple of times and place them on the baking tray to roast for 50-60 minutes or until the potato is completely cooked through
- While the potatoes are roasting, mix the ricotta, olives, oregano and basil together and season with salt and pepper. Then quickly toast your flaked almonds on a dry pan for 3-4 minutes or until golden and set aside
- Once the potatoes are cooked through, slice them in half lengthways and allow to cool slightly before handling them. Once cool enough, scoop out the flesh of each potato and place it into a mixing bowl. Add the baby spinach, toasted flaked almonds, parmesan and chilli flakes and mix well until the cheese is starting to melt and the spinach has slightly wilted. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed
- Scoop the sweet potato mixture back into the potato skins and press the mix down gently into them. Top each half with a generous scoop of the ricotta and olive mixture and return them to the oven to continue to bake for another 15-20 minutes or until golden
- Serve immediately on top of a mound of fresh baby spinach leaves or alongside a green salad
- Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days
- For a vegan option, source a plant-based cheese such as almond feta or use a soft tofu and adjust the seasoning accordingly. Tofu has less flavour than ricotta so ensure you taste the mixture and make adjustments where you need to
- If you cannot find small sweet potatoes, use two larger ones and cut into 200-250g portions
Roberta of Naturo Medico is a Naturopathic Practitioner who specialises in preventative care and women’s health. From her Melbourne-based clinic, Roberta sees women of all ages wanting to meet their own health goals and assists them on their path with personalised treatments specific to their needs.
Alongside practice, Roberta shares healthful and nutrient-rich recipes with her readers who inspire her to continue educating on what health and wellbeing means and how it can be achieved.
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