Studies have shown that women who have a high concentration of the form of vitamin A known as carotenoids in their bloodstream are at lower risk for developing breast cancer. Carotenoids can be found in numerous orange fruits and vegetables such as cantaloupe, citrus (oranges, kumquats, etc.), carrots, peppers, squash, and sweet potatoes. This recipe combines the health benefits of sweet potatoes – which are also high in vitamin C – with the comfort food indulgence of risotto.

If you choose, you can also add a bit of ground flax meal to this recipe. The flax flavor is nearly indistinguishable here amidst the creaminess of the risotto. Flaxseed contains a component called lignans that could potentially decrease the growth of cancer cells.

Sweet Potato and Saffron Risotto (Serves 4)

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 medium-size sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 6-8 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, diced
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 2-3 saffron threads (optional)
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon ground flax meal (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place the sweet potatoes, olive oil, maple syrup, and salt and pepper on a baking sheet. Bake the potatoes for approximately 25-30 minutes, until very tender. Remove from oven. Take half of the cooked potatoes, and pulse in a food processor with the Parmesan cheese. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the stock and allow it to simmer.
  4. In a separate pan, melt the additional olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the shallot and cook for 2-3 minutes, until softened.
  5. Add the rice to the pan, and cook for an additional minute to coat the grains.
  6. Add the saffron and 2 ladles of stock to the pan. Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally until the stock is absorbed and the rice is nearly dry (about 5-10 minutes). Continue adding the stock 2 ladles at a time (and stirring) until the rice is cooked through. Once the rice is cooked, add one more ladle of stock, along with the potato and cheese mixture to the pan. Remove from heat, and stir in the remaining potatoes. Serve immediately.

Have you ever made risotto?

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