Learn About Sweet Potato

Author: Chef Toby

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What is Sweet Potato?

Sweet potato is a common root vegetable that is native to Central and South America. Today, it grows in Asia, North America, and Africa as well. These root vegetables have light brown skin and orange flesh on the inside.

Sweet potatoes are often mistaken for yams, which are darker brown on the outside and white on the inside. Even though these two vegetables look similar, the species are not related. 

What does a Sweet Potato taste like?

As its name suggests, sweet potatoes have a sweet, mild, and starchy flavor. 

How do you eat Sweet Potato?

Sweet potatoes are very versatile and can be boiled, steamed, sauteed, roasted, fried, or grilled. They can even be cooked whole in the microwave. Many families make some kind of sweet potato preparation for Thanksgiving, sometimes using brown sugar, cinnamon, or even marshmallows. Additionally, sweet potato pie is also a popular fall-time treat. A popular way to serve sweet potato is in the form of french fries, which can be fried or baked in the oven. Serve sweet potatoes as a side dish to meals, as you would serve regular white potatoes. 

Learn About Sweet Potato

Where do you buy Sweet Potato?

Sweet potatoes hit their peak season during the winter months, but are available year-round at any grocery store. Find them next to white potatoes in the produce section.

How do you store Sweet Potato?

Store this root vegetable at room temperature, in an open paper bag, or in a basket. This way, sweet potatoes will last about three weeks in the pantry. Freeze raw, diced sweet potatoes for up to three months. You can also store cooked potatoes in an airtight container for three days or in the freezer for up to six months. 

Fun fact about Sweet Potato:

Many orange vegetables, like sweet potatoes, get their hue from beta-carotene, a naturally-occurring chemical pigment in fungus, fruits, and vegetables. Beta-carotene is great for our eyes and can help improve vision health over time. 

Did you know?

Sweet potatoes, like regular potatoes, grow in dirt and need to be thoroughly scrubbed and washed before use. 

Recipes Using Sweet Potatoes

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

In a bowl, combine thinly sliced sweet potatoes, olive oil, garlic salt, paprika, and parmesan cheese. Layer the mixture onto a baking sheet evenly and bake at 400 degrees until the fries are crispy. Serve with ketchup or chipotle aioli.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

These simple roasted sweet potatoes are great either hot or cold and are perfect for lunches throughout the week. Dice sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes. On a baking sheet, add the potatoes, and season with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Use this as a base to add other spices other cumin, cardamom, or turmeric. Bake the potatoes in the oven until tender.

Southern Sweet Potato Casserole

It’s safe to say that you can find a version of this dish on many tables turning the holidays. Mash cooked sweet potatoes and sugar, butter, vanilla, milk, and eggs. Put the mixture into a buttered baking dish and top with a crumble made with brown sugar, flour, pecans, and butter. Bake until the top is browned.

Sweet Potato Toast

Replace bread with sweet potato with these sweet potato toasts. Cut the ends off of sweet potatoes and slice them lengthwise on a mandolin. Put the raw potato pieces in the toaster and toast until cooked through and slightly crisp. Then top the toasts with your favorite toppings. Here are some suggestions:

Sweet Potato Brownies

While these may seem odd, these sweet potato brownies taste just as good as the real thing. In a bowl, stir together sweet potato puree, almond butter, and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, combine flour, mini chocolate chips, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Combine the wet and the dry ingredients and pour the batter into an 8-inch pan lined with parchment paper. Bake the brownies until they are just set.

Read our related post all about potatoes.

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