Enjoy the taste of fall with a bowl of chili

Published 5:37 pm Saturday, October 11, 2014

By Jena Pape

Hy-Vee Dietitian

With the cooler weather creeping in, one of fall’s fundamental comfort foods often comes to mind in the kitchen — chili.  The term chili, however, won’t typically be the same from one kitchen to another. It’s one of those recipes that has endless variation in flavors and ingredients.  One way to showcase this season’s flavors is to use sweet potatoes in your chili.

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Besides adding a seasonal flavor to your bowl, sweet potatoes are packed with nutritional benefits.  They are rich in fiber, and both fat- and cholesterol-free.  Sweet potatoes are also high in beta carotene, a provitamin, or precursor that can be converted to vitamin A within the body, and play a dynamic role in bone development, immune function and vision. When selecting sweet potatoes in the grocery store, look for firm options without any cracks, bruises or soft spots.  Once purchased, they can be kept fresh for about 10 days by storing in a cool, dark area that is well-ventilated.

Another great addition to any chili recipe is beans. I like to consider beans as a “nutrition powerhouse,” because they can be counted as both a protein and vegetable serving. They also contribute over nine essential nutrients, and their exceptional fiber/protein combination can help with appetite control and hunger. Besides outstanding health benefits, they can also benefit your budget, with average cost around 36 cents per serving of canned beans, or 12 cents of dried varieties.

To help you celebrate the taste of fall, try this Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili recipe below.  Look for sweet potatoes, beans, and recipe cards in the “what’s for dinner” section near the entrance by the produce section at your local Austin Hy-Vee.  Because although the name “chili” indicates otherwise, a simmering bowl is sure to warm up any occasion for you and your family this fall.

 JenaPapeSweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

Makes: 4 servings, about 2 cups each


•1 tbsp plus 2 tsp Hy-Vee Select extra-virgin olive oil

•1 medium-large sweet potato, peeled and diced

•1 large onion, diced

•4 cloves garlic, minced

•2 tbsp Hy-Vee chili powder

•4 tsp Hy-Vee ground cumin

•1/2 tsp ground chipotle chile

•1/4 tsp salt

•2 1/2 cups water

•2 (15 oz each) cans Hy-Vee black beans, rinsed

•1 (14 oz) can Hy-Vee diced tomatoes

•4 tsp lime juice

•1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro


1.  Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sweet potato and onion and cook, stirring often, until the onion is beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, chipotle and salt and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the sweet potato is tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

2.  Add beans, tomatoes and lime juice; increase heat to high and return to a simmer, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly reduced in volume about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.

3.  To make ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months

Recipe adapted from Eating Well, Inc.