They’re incredible, delicious, versatile and often underestimated by cooks, but at home and in the commercial kitchen alike. The sweet potato, a humble root vegetable that provides exceptional flavor and so many choices for its preparation that this website could barely hold a fraction of them.
We love them prepared in recipes ranging from appetizers to desserts, with everything in between. February is National Sweet Potato Month.
Here are five things to know about sweet potatoes:
1.Â Â Â They are incrediblyÂ versatile. You can use sweet potatoes in many ways, including baking, boiling, in the crock pot, in soup, fried, in muffins, cakes, puddingsÂ and much, much more.
2.Â Â Â They are super-nutritious. Considered one of the most nutritious foods on the planet, sweet potatoes are packed with nutrients, including vitamin C, antioxidants, vitamin A, beta-carotene, and more. They are also low in fat and have anti-inflammatory properties.
3.Â Â Â When it comes to selecting sweet potatoes, choose ones that do not have visible bruises or cracks. It is best if they are firm and without soft spots. They can be stored for up to ten days in a cool, dark place that is well ventilated.
4.Â Â Â The â€œSweet Potato Capital of the Worldâ€ is considered to be Vardaman, Mississippi, as it is one of the top producers of sweet potatoes. Interestingly, sweet potatoes were growing in America before Christopher Columbus ever arrived!
5.Â Â Â They are actually not the same thing as yams. Although in the U.S. many people refer to yams and sweet potatoes interchangeably, the sweet potato is not from the Dioscoreaceae family, so they are botanically different. Yams are heavily cultivated throughout Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
WeÂ likeÂ them for the sweetness, butÂ be assured that the low glycemic carbs in the sweet potato, along with its fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, and iron, will provide great, dense nutrition.
Try these great sweet potato recipes:
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
2 Large Sweet Potatoes (about 1.5 to 2 pounds total)
Pinch of salt and pepper
1.Â Â Â Â Â Â Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2.Â Â Â Â Â Â Place whole, unpeeled sweet potatoes on a foil lined baking sheet in the preheated oven. Cook for a total of 1 to 1.5 hours or until the sweet potato is soft to the touch. Turn the sweet Potatoes after the first 30 minutes of cooking to prevent scorching on the underside of the potato. Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.
3.Â Â Â Â Â Â To serve. cut the potato in half with a sharp knife and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Eat! The creamy roasted sweet potato should have an excellent rich texture that doesnâ€™t require any butter or fat.
Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Lime and Chipotle
This Mexican inspired side dish is great with any grilled, braised or roasted meats or vegetables.
2 roasted sweet potatoes
1-2 lime, juiced
1 Tablespoon, canned chipotle en adobo, chopped
1-2 teaspoon salt
1.Â Â Â Â Â Â Roast sweet Potatoes as in steps 1 and 2 above.
2.Â Â Â Â Â Â Quickly remove the skin from the sweet potato with fingertips. Allow to cool if it is too hot to handle.
3.Â Â Â Â Â Â Place peeled potatoes into the bowl of a food processor, add the lime juice, chopped chipotle peppers and salt. Puree until very smooth about 1 minute.
4.Â Â Â Â Â Â Serve hot.
Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges with Dipping Sauce
Serves 6 to 8
2 pounds, 4 ounces sweet potatoes, unpeeled
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
chili powder, to taste (try using chipotle chili powder for a smoky heat)
1-1/4 Cups sour cream (we used Stoneyfield Farms’ Oikos Greek yogurt instead of sour cream this time – it was wonderful!!)
2 Tablespoons sweet chili sauce
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Scrub the sweet potatoes well and pat dry with paper towels. Cut the potatoes into 3-4 inch wedges. Place in a bowl with the oil and toss gently to coat.
2. Place the wedges in a single layer on a large baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with chili powder and salt. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until tender and lightly browned on the edges.
3. To make the dipping sauce, place the sour cream, sweet chili sauce, green onions and cilantro in a bowl, mix together and season. Cover and refrigerate.
Serve the hot wedges with the dipping sauce.