Sweet Potato & Feta Cakes
Aim: Fun twist to get those carbs in!
Title: Sweet Potato Cakes (Serves 4)
Based on average nutritional values of ingredients. Actual values will vary.
Need carbs to fuel your training but a bit bored of how you usually cook them? Try these crispy sweet potato and feta cakes!! Super versatile as a brekkie topped with poached eggs and harissa, crumbled into a salad for lunch, or a side for grilled meat or fish in the evening … and much more! Best of all they freeze well, so you can make a batch and cook to have in the week or weeks ahead when you are on the go.
Carbohydrates are vital to fueling and recovering from high intensity exercise. The higher the exercise intensity the greater the reliance on carbohydrates as a fuel in the oxidative as well as glycolytic pathway. In lower intensity (<50% max heart rate) and longer duration (>60 min) exercise, the oxidative pathway is the primary energy source and relies on fat as the primary fuel. Whilst fat has the capacity to release more energy per molecule than carbohydrates, the process of converting stored fat to fuel for muscle cells takes time and oxygen. This means it is typically an effective fuel source only for lower intensity activity. This means that if your sport requires sustained high intensity, you want to ensure you have the carbohydrates available to power this; the more stored glycogen you have at the start of their exercise, the longer you will be able to perform at the highest intensity. And you want to refuel your carbohydrates afterwards. See my blog on the different energy systems of the body for more info!
Much as sweet potato is this decades darling potato, these could equally as well be made with the humble white potato … BOTH are nutritious . Per 100g the sweet potato weighs in with a lower glycaemic load, more fibre and higher vitamin A content. However, the white potato has more vitamin C, iron, and potassium, and lower average calorie content (77kcal versus 86kcal). So which to choose depends on what you’re aiming for and personal preference!
10 mins prep
10-15 mins cooking time
325g sweet potato, peeled and grated
50g reduced fat feta, crumbled
1 medium egg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pinch ground paprika
1 tsp olive oil
Mix all ingredients except the olive oil in a bowl until thoroughly combined.
Form the mix into four flattened patties.
Heat the oil in a frying pan and once hot, fry the patties over a medium heat until golden brown on the underside, flip and repeat until the cakes are cooked through (approx. 5 mins each side).
Variations to consider:
Switch the sweet potato for white potato if you prefer, as outlined above!
Leave out the feta if you are looking for a lower fat option.
Switch up the paprika for other herbs and spices if you are feeling like a different vibe in your meal! Using chilli, coriander and lime for a Mexican feel, tomato paste and basil for Italian, chilli powder and garam masala or a more central Asian theme. The possibilities are endless!!
For higher protein, you could also add minced meat (beef, pork or turkey works well) to turn these into thick burgers!!