Chock-full of disease-fighting, cancer-preventing and immune-boosting properties, one may understand that sweet potatoes are healthy, perhaps even super healthy, but most may not think of them as life saving. With massive amounts of beta carotene and twice the fiber of regular potatoes, sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins C and E, contain iron and magnesium, and rate low on the glycemic scale providing a slower sugar release with less effect on blood glucose levels.
But it's the ease of digestibility that helped save my dog's life. Many of you will remember our two Maltese pups, Kona and Tavo. It's been a tough year for these little guys (Our sweet Tavo passed away in early October from a genetic issue), and a bout with canine pancreatitis almost did Kona in.
Lethargic and sicker than I've seen any dog, the vet provided IV fluids and strict instructions to use a low-fat prescription dog food diet after a 24 hours fast. We got him through the first 24 hours and he woke feeling much better. We started the prescription food and within an hour he was sick again. This happened twice more over the next week with multiple rushed visits to the vet for more fluids. Taking to the internet to research foods and pancreatitis I found sources recommending rice and sweet potato time and again.
Discarding the vet food, I began making my own beginning with the highly digestible rice and sweet potato combo for 48 hours. Slowly we began adding more and more foods, but the sweet potato remained constant, and the dog once again began to thrive.
With 6 small meals a day (including one in the middle of the night...), making dog food in addition to feeding my family got old fairly quickly. We've since found a very low fat canned food with the special ingredients his finicky stomach can tolerate supplemented with homemade ingredients (and reduced feedings to 3 times a day... none at night!), but had not found a suitable treat until an offer from Abound Natural Pet Food arrived by email.
Offering to send us a few sample bags of their grain-free superfood treats, the words "sweet potato" as a main ingredient brought my answer to definite "yes, please!". Receiving a box with treats and a few toys, Abound also suggested a challenge should we be pleased with the products. Since our pup would be enjoying the super food ingredients, would we create a human dish with one of the ingredients as well?
Well... you know me and a food challenge! But, would Kona take to the treats? He's possibly the finickiest dog in existence, and I'll admit I had worry he would turn up his nose. Trying the Sweet Potato Sticks with Blueberries (Ingredients: Sweet Potato, Citrus Fiber and Blueberries - Crude Fat .5%) first I got a little lick, then a no go. Ok, a new food, I get it. But let's try the Free Fish Sweet Potato Sticks (Ingredients: Sweet Potato, Salmon, Whitefish, Citrus Fiber and Cranberry - Crude Fat: 12.2%). Again a little lick and a turn of the head... But then just as quickly a turn of the head right back and he took the treat out of my hand! For him, unprecedented as new foods almost always take 10-15 tries to get past.
Since our first try the Fish Sweet Potato version is still a favorite, but now he never turns down a Sweet Potato Blueberry stick either. We've been putting them into his chew toys where he has to work to get to the treat and he works tirelessly to get those little treats out. I think he loves the crunch of these sticks as many other treats are soft and not as appealing to my picky little guy.
And I love the ingredients - actually real food. I love that they are grain-free, low in fat, free of fillers and do not contain soy, animal by-product meal or anything artificial. And I love that I don't have to cook them myself. Abound... yes, he loves the treats, and I'm up for the challenge!
Human food with sweet potato? Not a problem! How about a little Sweet Potato Soup with Coconut and a squeeze of lime?
Silky in texture, this plant-based soup fills your bowl with all sorts of healthy ingredients and like the treats, no artificial fillers. Sweet potatoes we already know enter the superfood category, and turmeric and ginger only serve increase the soup's healthy ingredient potential. Onions, garlic, coconut and lime? Well they all bring their own health benefits, but they also lend a touch of the tropics to our cooling temperatures - don't laugh... our high yesterday was only 65º. Positively freezing for us here in San Diego and yes Kona is sitting in his heated bed.
So whether you are looking for a healthy dish in the midst of your holiday festivities or a meal to warm you to your toes on these chilly days, this soup's for you. Just don't forget to pass an Abound Superfood Treat to your little buddy while you're eating.
Coconut Sweet Potato Soup with a Touch of Lime
Silky smooth and creamy with coconut, it's the touch of lime that makes this soup sing! A warm you to your toes healthy meal bringing superfood sweet potato to your bowl.
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup vegetable broth
2 1/2 cups water
3 medium sweet potatoes (about 4 cups), peeled and cut into cubes
1 1-inch section turmeric root, peeled and roughly chopped (optional)
1 thin slice fresh ginger, peeled and chopped - or sub 1/4 tsp dried ginger
3/4 cup light coconut milk - I like So Delicious Lite Culinary Coconut Milk
salt to taste
lime wedges for serving
garnish with chopped cilantro and freshly ground pepper
Place large pot over medium heat on the stove and add the onion, garlic and olive oil (to be oil free use a small amount of water and omit the oil). Sautee for about 90 seconds or until garlic is fragrant. Add the broth and water.
Add the sweet potatoes, turmeric, and ginger and allow to simmer until potatoes are fork tender (about 20 minutes.).
Remove soup from heat and use an immersion blender (we used the new and most awesome OXO On Immersion Blender) to blend the soup until smooth (alternatively place soup in a blender taking care with the hot soup). Add a bit of water if the soup is too thick.
Place soup back on the burner (after you have returned it to the pot if you have used a counter blender!) over low heat and add the coconut milk. Stir to combine. Taste for seasonings and adjust salt as desired. Continue to stir frequently until the soup is warmed through.
Ladle soup into bowls and serve with lime wedges - my family all preferred varying amounts of lime, so I let them add it themselves - and a sprinkle of chopped cilantro. Add freshly ground pepper as desired. Enjoy!
|A little fish and sweet potato treat?? What could be better!! Kona say thank you Abound!|
**Liv Life received Abound dog treats and a food stipend to prepare a recipe if Kona liked the treats. He LOVES them! We are thankful to find Abound in our local Ralph's grocery store. See their site to find Abound treats near you.