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Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a fall and winter favorite.  Pairing well as a side dish to ham, pork roast and turkey, they are a holiday staple.  Their bright orange color, sweet flavor, hearty texture and abundance of nutrients make them a great choice for any fall or winter meal.  While technically they are sweet potatoes, marketers often call them yams.  True yams are a different vegetable that is more starchy and dry and not common in the United States.

SELECTION

Look for firm, smooth skinned sweet potatoes.  They should not have any soft spots, wrinkling or cracks.     

STORAGE

Store sweet potatoes in a cool, dark place for up to 3-5 weeks but they are best when used within a week.  Refrigeration changes the sugars to starch and gives the potatoes a bitter flavor.

PREPARATION

Wash sweet potatoes well using a brush to remove any dirt.  You can leave the skin on and bake or you can peel, cube and roast.  For boiling, you can leave the skin on (it is easier to remove after cooking) or peel first and then boil.  Eating the skin will increase the amount of fiber consumed.   EDIBLE PARTS   The edible parts are the flesh and skin of the root.  Unlike Irish potatoes, the green leafy tops are also edible but rarely found at markets or stores.    

HOW TO TRY

Sweet potatoes can be used any way a potato can be used.  They are eaten cooked and can be baked, roasted, boiled, steamed or fried.

Pureed sweet potatoes can be served like mashed potatoes or they can be turned into a casserole with eggs and toppings such as streusel (sugar, butter, nuts, coconut, etc.) or marshmallows.  The puree can also be used to  bake with as in breads, cakes, pies, muffins or biscuits.

Glazed slices of sweet potatoes are another popular method of cooking.  Generally the slices are cooked until almost tender, either baked or boiled and then glazed and cooked until tender.  Glazes can be based on orange juice, maple syrup, molasses or brown sugar and flavored with spices.

Baked sweet potatoes are a good alternative to regular baked potatoes, dressed with a little cinnamon.

Try roasting sweet potatoes by peeling, cubing and tossing with a little oil and salt.  Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast until tender.  The cubes can be a side dish or can be added to green salads or turned into potato salad.

Soups and stews are another great place for using sweet potatoes.

Sweet potatoes can even be turned into fries by baking or frying.

VARIETIES

Most sweet potatoes found at grocery stores have a dark orange flesh.  However some varieties have white flesh or a light yellow flesh. 

Nutrition Label for Sweet Potatoes
Excellent source of Vitamins A and C.
Good source of fiber.
Season Chart for Sweet Potatoes

Videos:

Know Your Sweet Potatoes Video Icon
Cranberry Orange Sweet Potatoes
Cranberry Orange Sweet Potatoes