Traditionally, sweet potatoes are served during the holidays, but why not enjoy them all winter long? Not only do they taste like dessert, but they provide some surprising health benefits. Sweet potatoes are bursting with more beta-carotene than carrots. They are filled with greater amounts of vitamins and minerals than a typical white potato, and provide a unique combination of being low-fat and rich in heart-healthy vitamin E.
Try these 5 simple methods for cooking sweet potatoes …
Boil. Simply peel the sweet potato and cut into chunks. Boil until tender – about 25 to 30 minutes.
Roast. Cut unpeeled sweet potatoes into wedges, toss with olive oil and herbs, and roast at 375° F for 25 to 30 minutes, until tender.
Bake. Pierce the skin of each sweet potato in several places with a fork then bake for 15 minutes at 400° F, followed by 45 to 60 minutes more at 375° F. They should be placed on a baking tray since sticky syrup is often produced while baking.
Microwave. To cook, pierce the skin in several places and bake the whole potato on HIGH for 5 to 9 minutes.
Grill. Peel the sweet potatoes and slice them lengthwise into ½-inch-thick slices. Grill until browned, about 4 minutes on each side.
Quick Serving Ideas
Sweet potatoes can be substituted for regular potatoes in many delicious side dishes, such as potato salad, or served as french fries or roasted, boiled, mashed and baked potatoes. Good flavors for seasoning sweet potatoes include orange, pineapple, apples, pecans, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar and maple syrup.
Mash boiled sweet potatoes with a small amount of butter or orange juice for extra flavor and top with brown sugar, cinnamon or nutmeg.
Layer sweet potato slices with slices of apple. Top with brown sugar and butter and bake in a covered casserole dish at 375° F for about 30 minutes.
Instead of using pumpkin in pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread, substitute puréed, boiled sweet potatoes.
Finely dice sweet potatoes and brown them in a pan on the stove. Serve as hash browns for a morning meal.
Purée cooked sweet potatoes with bananas, maple syrup and cinnamon and top with chopped walnuts.
Steam cubed sweet potatoes, tofu and broccoli. Mix in raisins and serve hot or cold with a curried vinaigrette dressing.
Selection & Storage
Choose sweet potatoes that are firm and do not have any cracks, bruises or soft spots. They should be stored in a cool, dark and well-ventilated space – like a pantry – where they will keep fresh for up to 10 days.
The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.