By Brandon McDearis

It is that time of year when sweet potatoes are sold more frequently at the markets, especially in our great state of North Carolina, which is the leading producer of sweet potatoes in the United States. That is great news for us, seeing as they are one of the more nutrient-dense foods on the planet. Not only do sweet potatoes provide a wealth of vitamins and nutrients, such as vitamins A and C, but they also contain an abundance of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. Not to mention they are low on the glycemic index, providing benefits for controlling blood sugar.

While sweet potatoes can be tasty on their own, simply baking them or making a puree can get a bit boring. I prefer to cut them into chunks and roast them in the oven at high heat for something a little different. The recipe below makes for a great side dish that tastes just like Thanksgiving. While you’ll most likely find these to be delicious, you can prepare sweet potatoes using only olive oil, salt and pepper if you don’t want the added sugar and spice. Feel free to peel them first; however, I leave the skins on for the added fiber and a little extra texture. The recipe serves 8.


  • 5 medium to large sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (the real stuff)
  • 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss sweet potatoes with remaining ingredients and lay evenly on a greased sheet pan or baking dish.
  2. Roast for 20-30 minutes, until they begin to brown and are soft through in the middle.

Nutritional Info:

Calories: 186 / Fat: 2g / Saturated Fat: .5g / Carbohydrates: 42g / Fiber: 4g / Protein: 2g

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Brandon McDearis is a personal chef working in the Charlotte area. He currently owns and operates Your Way Cuisine, In addition to his culinary training, Brandon also holds a bachelor of science degree in foods and nutrition, with a concentration in dietetics. He primarily focuses on healthy cooking and addressing specific dietary needs of everyone from professional and amateur athletes to busy families and elderly people. Brandon is also one of the board of directors for Wellspring International Outreach ( and works with a group of others to raise money for the abandoned children of Peru.