FoodThree is a trend: Sweet potato toast is popping up on Abu Dhabi and Dubai restaurant menus

We can probably thank the no-carb, gluten-free, paleo, Whole 30 crowd for this.
Ann Marie McQueen Ann Marie McQueenJune 3, 201829 min
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Sweet Potato Toast in Abu Dhabi and DubaiJones the Grocer's Grilled Sweet Potato and Smashed Avocado, topped with poached eggs. Photo Ann Marie McQueen

Sweet potatoes are really getting into everything these days, but it was the recent general realization that they can be sliced up lengthways and toasted, in a regular toaster, that really took this trend to the next level.

Steroid Cafe took it up in Abu Dhabi last year, offering a sweet potato eggs Benedict on Fridays, outside of the regular menu. Jones the Grocer’s new menu offers a jazzed-up version topped with avocado, feta, chili, lime and two poached eggs. Sweet potato avocado toast is also on the menu at Park House Cafe, at Kite Beach in Dubai.

As Dubai Fit Foodie, aka Gbemi Giwa, wrote on her blog last fall: “The humble sweet potato is giving sliced bread a run for its money and I’m not mad at it.”

Dubai nutritionist Laura Holland, author of the new book, Your BeUtiful Body, is a big fan of the trend too.

They’re easy to digest, which makes them comforting and nourishing, helping to calm your body from stress and anxiety while strengthening your immune system and providing lots of sustainable energy that won’t upset your blood sugar balance, she says.
According to Holland, sweet potatoes are rich in fiber, which helps to promote healthy digestion, reduce cholesterol and balance hormone levels.  They also contain betacarotene, more than four times your daily vitamin A allotment, as well as antioxidants, giving you potent protection against harmful free radicals.
They make a good toast swap because they’re nutrient-dense, gluten-free and much easier to digest than your regular bread, says Holland. You’re basically ‘pimping your toast’ in a nutrition sense.
Holland has no time for healthy carb” fears, as in people who warn against consuming a healthy carbohydrate for fear of its sugar content, calling those beliefs so silly.
Sweet potatoes are not the reason why people are overweight,” she says. Believe me.

As for how much sweet potato one should eat, that will vary from person to person. It’s important that we eat a wide variety of food for optimum nutrition, so Holland says twice weekly would be a good base. Sweet potatoes are not ideal for people who develop kidney stones, as they contain oxalate, which can combine with calcium and lead to kidney stones. Those who are diabetic would get the best nutritional benefits by combining sweet potatoes with leafy greens, to help balance out their sweetness.

We can probably thank the no-carb, gluten-free, paleo, Whole 30 craze out there for the sweet potato trend, but unlike other wheat-free hacks (cauliflower crust, for example) this one is not only nutritious, but super easy.

Sweet potatoes are cheap, plentiful and huge, meaning just one specimen yields multiple slices. Get one of those insanely large ones at Carrefour and treat it like the healthiest loaf of bread ever.

Check out #sweetpotatotoast on Instagram for all the latest toppings. As Giwa writes “Just like sliced bread you can top your sweet-potato toast however you like, think PB & J, sunny side up, honey etc.”

The slices stay firm and, according to Giwa, sweet potatoes carry flavors well, so it’s fine to go crazy with toppings, both savoury and sweet.

Try this:

  1. Cut off two “slices” from a giant sweet potato, each about a centimeter thick. (The thicker they are, the longer they take to cook, obviously. But the thinner they are, the less stable they are to carry toppings when you eat with your hands.)
  2. Toasting will take some experimenting. As nutritionist Laura Holland puts it, “It’s all in the quality of your toasting skills!” So be vigilant. Pop the slices in a toaster, setting it either high or medium, depending on how hot it runs. 
  3. Run the slices through at least twice, if not three times, stopping when they begin to char (the slight charring can be seen in the photo from Jones the Grocer). Careful of your fingers, they will be hot!
  4. Top with: Almost anything. Guacamole, avocado and poached egg, almond or peanut butter, a slice of turkey bacon and a dash of maple syrup, ricotta and strawberries, or anything else you would put on a piece of toast.

Featured photo Ann Marie McQueen

Ann Marie McQueen

Ann Marie McQueen

Ann Marie McQueen is a journalist with 20 years of experience working in North America and the UAE, much of it as a writer, editor and columnist focusing on the areas of physical and mental wellness...

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