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Sweet Potato Breakfast Scramble

Article written and reviewed by Cyrus Khambatta, PhD and Robby Barbaro, MPH
Published December 25, 2022

A Delicious Plant-Based Breakfast Scramble

This savory breakfast recipe provides a deliciously satisfying start to your day. Sometimes we want a sweet breakfast. Other times we’re craving something savory. This recipe is perfect for those mornings when both sound good.

The natural sweetness of the potato is balanced beautifully by a rainbow of lightly sautéed vegetables, making this a wonderfully flavorful meal that should hold you over well until lunchtime. The colors are vibrant and appealing, which is a very good sign for your health.

Why Sweet Potatoes are a Great Breakfast Ingredient

Sweet potatoes are sweet, starchy root vegetables that are grown worldwide. They come in a variety of sizes and colors — including orange, white, and purple — and are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Not to mention, they provide a number of health benefits and are easy to add to your diet.

Just one sweet potato gives you 400% of the RDA for vitamin A. This helps keep your eyes healthy as well as your immune system, your body's defense against germs. It's also good for your reproductive system and organs like your heart and kidneys. 

Even better, one sweet potato has about 4 grams of plant-based fiber, which helps you maintain a healthy weight and lowers risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol.

Sweet Potato versus White Potato

They may both be called potatoes, but sweet and regular white potatoes are not related. Botanically, the sweet potato belongs to the bindweed or morning glory family, whereas the white potato sits in the nightshade family. 

Although they can both be part of a healthy diet, sweet potatoes provide different nutrients than other potatoes, partly because of their incredibly high vitamin A content. 

Our bodies benefit from this carbohydrate energy because glucose is the preferred fuel for most tissues. But, while they’re all broken down into glucose in the end, not all carbohydrates are created equal when it comes to their influence on our blood glucose. 

Sweet potatoes are made up of complex carbohydrates, which means they take longer for your digestive system to digest and absorb, which leads to a reduced blood glucose rise as well as more sustained energy levels. 

Don’t Forget the Greens!

Kale is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family along with cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, collard greens, kohlrabi, rutabaga, turnips and bok choy. These vegetables offer health benefits, including potentially reducing the risk of various types of cancer. 

Kale is a nutritional superstar due to the amounts of vitamins A, K, B6 and C, calcium, potassium, copper and manganese it contains. One cup of raw kale has just 33 calories and only 7 grams of carbohydrate. So, it's a very diabetes-friendly/weight-friendly vegetable.

Kale is King

Of all the super healthy greens, kale is king. It is definitely one of the healthiest and most nutritious plant foods in existence. Kale is loaded with all sorts of beneficial compounds, some of which have powerful medicinal properties.

There are many different types of kale. The leaves can be green or purple, and have either a smooth or curly shape. The most common type of kale is called curly kale or Scots kale, which has green and curly leaves and a hard, fibrous stem.

A single cup of raw kale contains:

  • Vitamin A: 206% of the DV (from beta-carotene)

  • Vitamin K: 684% of the DV

  • Vitamin C: 134% of the DV

  • Vitamin B6: 9% of the DV

  • Manganese: 26% of the DV

  • Calcium: 9% of the DV

  • Copper: 10% of the DV

  • Potassium: 9% of the DV

  • Magnesium: 6% of the DV

  • It also contains 3% or more of the DV for vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), iron and phosphorus

This is coming with a total of 33 calories, 6 grams of carbs (2 of which are fiber) and 3 grams of protein. Kale contains very little fat, but a large portion of the fat it does have in it is an omega-3 fatty acid called alpha linolenic-acid.

Buying Tips

Sweet potatoes are available year-round and are at their peak during the winter. When choosing sweet potatoes, have in mind what you are going to use them for. Larger ones tend to have a more stringy texture and take longer to cook because of their size. Small sweet potatoes have a more uniform texture but contain less meat. Avoid any with bruises or signs of sprouting. 

Some common traits of bad sweet potatoes are discoloration and growths through the skin. They will begin to get soft and wet (water will leak out) and then turn brown and/or black. If part of the sweet potato goes bad, the whole potato should be thrown out, as the flavor is affected.

You can also look for frozen sweet potato cubes, which are already peeled and diced, making it easy to add to various recipes. Pre-bagged sweet potatoes may be a better buy than individual pieces.

The best way to pick out kale is to find kale that is bright green with firm leaves that are free of black or brown spots. Avoid kale that has yellow leaves. Finally, smell the kale to make sure that it smells fresh.

How to Store Kale

To store, keep kale refrigerated in an airtight bag. It can typically be stored for up to 5 days, but you may notice the flavor increase in bitterness with longer storage. Only wash the kale when you are ready to use it as washing before storage will promote spoilage.

Sweet Potato Breakfast Scramble

Beverly Verwey
Servings 1
Calories 406 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 medium sweet potato peeled and cubed
  • 1 large green pepper remove stem and seeds and diced
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • 1/4 cup tofu, extra firm crumbled
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 2 cups kale chopped
  • 1/2 mango cut into strips

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to Bake at 400 degrees F and prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment or silicone mat.
  • Peel and rice sweet potato. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until soft.
  • Remove stem and seed of the green pepper and dice. Dice the green onion.
  • In a pan, heat the vegetable broth on medium heat. Add the sweet potatoes, green pepper, onion and spices. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the crumbled tofu and kale. Mix well. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Serve with mango strips.

Nutrition

Calories: 406kcalCarbohydrates: 55.3gProtein: 20.8gFat: 9.1gSodium: 92.6mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

About the author 

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD and Robby Barbaro, MPH

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD, and Robby Barbaro, MPH are the coauthors of the New York Times bestselling book Mastering Diabetes: The Revolutionary Method to Reverse Insulin Resistance Permanently in Type 1, Type 1.5, Type 2, Prediabetes, and Gestational Diabetes. They are the cofounders of Mastering Diabetes, a coaching platform that teaches people how to reverse insulin resistance via low-fat, plant-based, whole-food nutrition. Cyrus has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2002, and has an undergraduate degree from Stanford University and a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from UC Berkeley. Robby was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2000, and has been living a plant-based lifestyle since 2006. He worked at Forks Over Knives for 6 years, and earned a Master’s in Public Health in 2019.