My days in the fall are based around the rhythm of grading assignments and communicating with keen and creative students studying to become Culinary Nutrition Experts through the Academy of Culinary Nutrition. Each week they submit two assignments, one of which is a recipe testing assignment. Recently they were testing Academy of Culinary Nutrition founder Meghan Telpner’s Sweet Potato Arame Salad from The UnDiet Cookbook. Almost all of the students shared a similar comment in their recipe reflection, that they had no idea that you could eat sweet potato raw. That got me thinking about making a raw sweet potato salad, which lead to this Sweet Potato Salad with Cranberries and Pumpkin Seeds.
We are huge sweet potato fans in our house, so as soon as fall arrives we’re at our farmers markets searching for locally grown sweet potatoes and checking in with farmers to see who is growing them each year.
Benefits of sweet potatoes
- rich in antioxidants to protect against free radical damage
- contain soluble and insoluble fiber for regular bowel movements
- help to increase diversity in gut microbiome
- contain carotenoids including beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. Beta-carotene contributes to eye health, and is key to a healthy immune system
- raw sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic index than cooked sweet potatoes
White potatoes contain the enzyme solanine, a natural pesticide produced by the plant which can be toxic, depending upon storage conditions. Many people think that sweet potatoes are the same as white potatoes and shouldn’t be consumed raw, but sweet potatoes do not contain this enzyme and can be enjoyed raw. So don’t be afraid to add a few chunks of raw sweet potato to your next fall smoothie.
Sweet Potato Salad with Cranberries and Pumpkin Seeds is quick and easy to prepare. And if you have a food processor to do the grating, you just saved yourself another five minutes, woohoo!
Here are the simple steps to making this sweet potato salad:
- Peel and grate sweet potatoes.
- Whisk dressing ingredients.
- Pour dressing over grated sweet potatoes. Stir in.
- Add dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds and combine. Voila!
It doesn’t get much easier than this. It is delicious as a side with Asparagus and Mushroom Frittata or Vegan Shepherd’s Pie. The tahini maple dressing used in this recipe is also amazing on Roasted Tomato and Potato Salad.
This salad is best served chilled, but if you’re in a big hurry to eat it as soon as you finish making it, don’t let anyone or anything stop you. Just do it and enjoy! And let me know what kinds of reactions you get from your people when they realize for the first time that it’s okay to eat sweet potatoes raw. Tag me on Facebook or Instagram so I can see your Sweet Potato Salad with Cranberries and Pumpkin Seeds.
Sweet Potato Salad with Cranberries and Pumpkin Seeds
- 4 cups grated sweet potatoes 2 medium sweet potatoes
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
Tahini Maple Dressing
- ¼ cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon tamari soy
- ½ tablespoon maple syrup
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 clove garlic minced
- Peel and grate sweet potatoes.
- Combine and whisk together all dressing ingredients in a glass measuring cup.
- Pour dressing over grated sweet potato and stir together.
- Add pumpkin seeds and cranberries. Stir to combine.
- Serve chilled.