Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

Chili:  The warming, filling, and nourishing one-pot-wonder with flavor that just won't quit!  With so many different chili recipes out there, today I'm sharing my favorite version, made with sweet potatoes and black beans!

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I always use fresh or frozen grass-fed ground beef in my chili, but you could easily substitute ground turkey or more beans if you prefer! 

I think red meat gets a bad rap nowadays, and there are certainly situations and/or medical conditions that might involve eliminating or significantly reducing red meat from the diet.  However, if you are open to eating red meat, there are some unique nutritional benefits (when prepared healthfully and consumed in moderation, of course!).  

Most notably, red meat provides an excellent source iron, due to the presence of heme iron — a more bioavailable (absorbable) form of iron.  When used in chili, where tomatoes and tomato sauce is present, absorption increases, as vitamin C (in tomatoes) increases the absorption of iron. So, if you're struggling with iron-deficiency anemia, consider incorporating a great quality red meat paired with a source of vitamin C every now and then*! 

Now, let's talk about the other lovely ingredients here: sweet potatoes and black beans!  Sweet potatoes make this chili extra special, adding the perfect amount of sweetness!  Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), and are also a very good source of vitamin C (more vitamin C, yay!), manganese, copper, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6.  I highly suggest leaving the skin on your sweet potatoes for an extra boost of fiber, too!

Black beans provide two major nutritional components:  protein and fiber.  Both protein and fiber help keep you feeling fuller, longer, so you'll be less likely to "crash" a couple hours after eating this meal.  Fiber can also help regulate digestion, control cholesterol, and much more!  Bottom line: fiber is the bomb.com!

Now, let's make some chili!

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Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

Yield: Serves 8 | Active time: 20 minutes | Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Adapted from Easy Peasy


Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 large onion (any kind), peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 medium sweet potato, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4-6 ounces tomato paste (depending on how think/thin you like your chili)
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1-2 cups water (depending on how thick/thin you like your chili)

Preparation

  1. Microwave cubed sweet potato in a glass bowl with 1 teaspoon water, covered with plastic wrap for 2-4 minutes (depending on size), until slightly softened.
  2. In a large pot, add olive oil and sauté beef and onions until cooked through. 
  3. Once meat is thoroughly cooked, add the spices and stir to combine.
  4. Add softened sweet potato and black beans and stir to combine.
  5. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 1-2 hours or pour all pot contents into slow-cooker and cook on medium to low for 4-8 hours (I use the 6- or 8-hour setting). 
  6. Serve hot, and top with green onions and/or cubed avocado!
  7. Enjoy!
     

Eat well,

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*This information is not intended to replace in-person, individualized medical and/or nutrition advice from your physician and/or dietitian.  Please consult your physician and/or dietitian before changing your diet.

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