Simply Healthy Family: Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Maple Syrup and Sliced Almonds


Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Maple Syrup and Sliced Almonds

These last few weeks I have come very close to throwing in the towel in regards to making dinner. It seems like every single one of us has has been sick with a cold that just won't quit. And just when I thought it was going to get better, it started back up again with Jack today. This never ending rotation of the yuckies has really  worn on my nerves as well as my body and mind. I am tired and cranky and forgetful, my already limited patience is running out and if I have to wipe one more runny nose or listen to crying for one more second I think I might go crazy.

Trying to get everyone healthy means extra time and care in regards to what goes into our bodies. I really try not to take antibiotics unless I have a very good reason to. I took Mona to the doctor a few days ago and after a few standard test and no answer to the cause of her high fever the doctor recommended antibiotics. I feel like sometimes this is a last resort or a grasping at straws for doctors. Maybe it's because so many people demand antibiotics as soon as the sniffles arrive in hopes of feeling better within the hour. Antibiotics take a couple of days to start working and by this time, most viruses will be fought off naturally by the body. So many people think that it is the antibiotics that cured them when actually, it was there bodies natural defenses.

So when my family gets sick I take the normal precautions and go to the doctor if needed but I really try to use common sense and remember that sometimes, just sometimes, antibiotics are (over) prescribed as a means of desperate measure, prophylacticly or just to give to demanding patients what they want. In this case, I just wasn't so sure that it was antibiotics that my child needed. Even the doctor said she probably just had a cold.  So this means finding natural ways to fight off colds and infections that really work and aren't hard to find. 

Extra garlic and fruit, NO dairy or processed foods, and drinking coconut water are a few of my  trusted battle weapons when I arm up against viruses and germs. 

Eating whole foods loaded with vitamins and nutrients is also very important for your body to fight off infections. 

Sounds easy enough right? Umm, yeah, not with 4 sick and cranky kids who are wanting and needing my attention constantly and me fighting off the crud as well. Thank goodness my mom bought me a Shark steam cleaner a few weeks ago so I can sanitize this huge snot bucket we call a home. Trying to make home made soups and healthy foods is a battle right now and having everyone push their plates away while crying is not very much motivation to keep trying. How much easier would it be to just serve a boxed or a frozen dinner every night?!  Of course then I would be up all night long feeling guilty about all of the crap that is loaded in pre-made foods and the complete lack of real vitamins.

I decided that instead of serving convenient yet nutritionally void foods to my family that I would compromise and make really simple meals that were loaded with as much vitamins as possible.

This dish can't be any easier or a bigger hit with my entire family. I love that I hardly have any prep work whatsoever and that my kids fight over who gets the biggest potato. The maple syrup and sliced almonds make this seem more of a treat than a healthy dinnerSweet Potatoes are a Super Food, one of the very healthiest vegetables you can eat. They're loaded with carotenoids, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.

You Will Need:

4 medium sized Sweet Potatoes, scrubbed well
1/2 cup Pure Maple Syrup (not the sugary kind)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt

Pre-heat oven to 350F. Scrub potatoes under cool water, pat dry. Pierce several times with a fork so the steam can be released while cooking. Bake for about 40 minutes until fork pierces through easily.

Carefully remove from oven and let cool for a bit. Using a towel, carefully slice open the middle of the potato being careful not to go through the bottom. Using a spoon, scrape out as much of the flesh as you can while leaving a thin layer on the inside so the skin does not collapse. Reserve skins! 

Put the scooped out sweet potato into a medium sized bowl. Drizzle with Pure maple syrup and stir in cinnamon and salt. Combine well. 

Gently scoop the mixture back into the potato skins and sprinkle with almonds. Place back into oven and cook another 12-15 minutes until the almonds are golden brown.

Serve with a big salad or other green veggie.

What is your favorite way to stay healthy or get well?

Do you believe that natural remedies can work as well or better than medication?



  1. Jen@familyfoodfitnessandfun10/24/2011

    Those sounds good...I love sweet potatoes and maple syrup! Hope you are all feeling better soon. I know what you're going through, we also have a constant rotation of colds during the school year. With 3 little kids, it's nearly impossible to avoid. I give them a probiotic yogurt drink every morning as well as some Omega 3 oil, vitamin D, and some echinacea. I know they are still going to get colds, but at least they aren't as bad. I'm with you on the antibiotics...only if absolutely necessary!

  2. Jessica @ Barefootbysea10/24/2011

    What a delicious combo of my favorite flavors. Hello Fall!

  3. Omega's and probiotics are great! Have you tried Kefir? It's a wonderful source of probiotics.

  4. pero que delicia, que ricooo, además me ha gustado muuucho tu blog, me quedo a seguirte! Un beso muy grande,

  5. From what I can tell, doctors typically resort to antibiotics when they have no idea what's wrong with a patient because (a) they're lazy, (b) they could care less about the fact that they are propagating the growing problem of antibiotic resistant bacteria and (c) they think that that's what the patient wants. As you can tell, I feel very strongly about this (especially being a future doctor myself!). I only go to the doctor when I have a fever for a few days...which is never. Good job doing what's right for your kids' health! These sweet potatoes sound divine! I want one, sick or not.

  6. I wish there were an alternative to strep throat and no antibiotics. Unfortunately, my oldest gets it several times a year...every year. I'm not sure how to cure him without an antibiotic. I wish I did know some natural alternatives because I would much rather use them than drugs going into his body.

  7. Thanks Joanne. I'm really, really glad to hear that you feel that way, it's refreshing. I've been working w doctors for 13 years or so and so far I haven't found a single one who studied Health for more than a week while in Medical School. It's a growing problem what w MRSA and other mutated, resistant super bugs out there.

  8. Strep is a tough one. I used to get it a lot too as a kid, luckily my kids don't. If he gets it more than once a year I would strongly suggest talking to his doctor about a tonsillectomy. That helped me, I haven't had it since!

    Also, try boosting his ammune system by cutting out ALL refined sugars and cow's milk. Instead drinking kefir which is an excellent probiotic and prophylactic. I have some great info on kefir on my blog, just type it in my search bar or Google it. ;)

  9. I'm all about loading up on the veggies and avoiding processed food. And A LOT of garlic too. Thank you for sharing another of your delicious and healthy treats. I'm drooling. I hope you are having a lovely day full of laughter and love. Many blessings from Austin, my friend.

  10. I think that antibiotics can be very beneficial, but my opinion is that they should be used only in extreme circumstances. I got them all the time for strep as a kid and now in my 40's I still have problems that I attribute to that. I wish I had known (or my parents) that infections need to be cleansed and the immune system strengthened. I have learned to use a neti pot to help to clear nasal infections and my children use a nasal squirt bottle with mild saline to cleanse when they have a cold. It washes out the mucus, helps them breathe easier and also it cleans the infected area, which is always good to keep infected areas clean in terms of healing, whether it is inside or outside of your body. My FIL is a surgeon and I never heard of him taking antibiotics himself, but instead was focused on being very clean including rinsing his mouth and throat with a 50/50 water and hydrogen peroxide mix. I think that understanding that infections are associated with hygiene is a big deal, and washing hands is great, but if we breathe it in, I'm sure glad to be able to clean those areas, too! Great recipe, BTW!

  11. I agree, I am thankful for antibiotics when they are absolutely necessary but I'm with you, preventative measures including hygiene, diet and a healthy life style should be more of a concern with people. I love the neti pot and my kids use the saline wash as well.

  12. Jeanette Chen11/02/2011

    Love how simple and delicious this looks! I do believe in feeding my kids healthily to keep them getting sick and getting them back on their feet when they do get sick. My last experience with antibiotics and my little guy turned out to be a disaster ... he ended up getting even sicker and developing abdominal pains, allergies, etc. Fortunately, through food and supplements he is all better. Antibiotics are my last resort after that experience.

  13. Christine11/10/2011

    Hi Gwen, Your Twice Baked Dish recipe has been selected by Knapkins to be featured in a Recipe Guessing Game. Please share the following link with your friends and fans. Congrats again!! :) To play, go here:


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