Low Glycemic Recipes:
Sweet Potato Bean Burritos

Burritos are among the best Tex Mex low glycemic recipes and are super easy to make. You can put less chile in if you don’t like them too hot and they will still be full of flavor and highly nutritious nonetheless. Sweet potatoes are not a usual ingredient in this kind of dish, but they work so well with the other ingredients that you might wonder why no one has thought of including them before!

Surprisingly, sweet potatoes are not related to either potatoes or yams, which they are often mistaken for. They are the swollen roots of plants native to the southern US and West Indies and are high in starch and natural sugars. Varieties with yellow or orange flesh contain considerable quantities of beta carotene (vitamin A) and all types are high in vitamin C. Very easily digested, sweet potato is calming to inflamed digestive systems and can help to heal ulcers and irritated colons. They are also very helpful in detoxifying the body of heavy metals since they contain phytochelatins which bind to cadmium, copper, mercury and lead, which are then carried out as waste. Interestingly, baked sweet potatoes are high on the glycemic index, however, boiling them in their skins brings them in at a low 46 on the glycemic scale, similar to other low glycemic foods such as carrots. So feel free to use them in other low glycemic recipes too!

Black beans have a dense meaty texture and are widely used in Latin American cuisine. They have recently been found to contain large amounts of antioxidants, and the high proportion of insoluble fiber make them very valuable for the health of the digestive system. Black beans have been shown to aid the production of butyric acid by bacteria in the lower colon. While this might sound bad it actually feeds the cells of the colon, keeping it functioning effectively, and also reduces the risk of colon cancer.  

Cayenne pepper is a hot pungent spice made from the dried pods of the plant. Paprika is the mildest form of cayenne (and, incidentally, the highest in vitamin C), and hotter varieties are used to add bite to spicy low glycemic recipes such as this one. When ingested, cayenne produces a natural warmth in the body, stimulating both circulation and digestion. Perhaps surprisingly, given its heat, cayenne is noted for its ability to heal both stomach and intestinal ulcers (a property it shares with the sweet potatoes in this particular dish) and, less surprisingly, it is toxic to numerous intestinal worms and parasites. Taking cayenne is reputed to shorten the length of a cold, and relieve congestion and coughs. Together with the other ingredients in this recipe, cayenne is not an idle passenger and it is easy to see why this dish is as healthful as it is delicious. Regular consumption is recommended!

Sweet Potato Bean Burritos

Yield 4
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves minced garlic
1 can drained black beans
2⁄3 cup water
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1 1⁄2 cup boiled mashed sweet potatoes
4 warmed corn tortillas
3 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
sea salt to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Heat oil in a medium cast iron skillet and saute onion and garlic until soft. Stir in beans, and mash. Gradually stir in water, and heat until warm. Remove from heat, and stir in the chili powder, cumin, mustard, cayenne pepper and soy sauce.
  3. On each warmed tortilla spread half with the bean mixture and the other half with the mashed sweet potatoes. Top with cheese, then fold up tortillas burrito style, and place on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven, and serve.

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