Like a pastry and a potato all at once
EC: This Sweet Potato Kicks Bread's Butt
Credit: phot by PicturePartners via getty images

I'm not supposed to be eating white flour or much dairy right now and that's annoying as all get out. No added sugar, either, and while that's less of a blow to a savory breakfast lover like me, it's still making me cranky. I don't love having to think or cook too much in the morning—just grab some toast or wolf down cereal and go. But since this is doctor-ordered and not self-inflicted (y'all have fun with your Whole 30, you masochists), I'm doing my best to play by the rules, and I'm extraordinarily pleased that these rules allow for Japanese sweet potatoes.

Murasaki potatoes have been popping up in my neighborhood grocery stores for a little while now. I believe I probably bought one by accident the first time, mistaking it for a standard sweet potato—just with a purplish peel. But once I got it home and chopped it open to reveal dry, white innards, I figured I might as well roll with it. A tater is a tater is a tater, right? Delightfully nope!

Cut into chunks and roasted, Japanese sweet potatoes taste uncannily like cake doughnuts, and pack an awful lot more health benefits. Though they may not actually be the fountain of youth they're been touted as by celebs like Olivia Munn (who partially credited her flawless skin to Japanese sweet potatoes), they are possessed of a decent amount of dietary fiber and some excellent helpings of vitamins A and C. What's more important to me is that my doctor gave me the green light—even though they are considerably more sugar-dense than standard orange American sweet potatoes—so I've been going to town on them in the morning, or even baking them the night before.

Japanese sweet potatoes don't take much prep work. Just cut them into chunks or sticks, leaving the peel on, because who has time for that? Coat or spray them with a gentle amount of oil (I like sesame, but you do you), sprinkle lightly with salt, and slip a tray or a pan full into a 350°F oven for about 15 minutes, then flip and turn the pieces so they don't burn or stick to the pan. Then pop them back in until they're brown on the outside, but soft to the touch.

That's it. No additional seasonings, fat, or fuss needed, but I surely wouldn't stop you. Japanese sweet potatoes are like a pastry and potato course all in one, and weirdly just as excellent straight from the oven or cooked and cold from the fridge. I'm sure hoping I get the A-OK to hop back on the breakfast bread train in the not-too-distant future, but I'll certainly be hauling along a sack of these tubers, too.