Cooking Healthy with Sweet Potatoes

Many feel that a holiday meal is just not complete without sweet potatoes. People have prepared this versatile food in many different ways from a side vegetable to a pie for dessert.

Mothers swear by it as a great starter food for young children. It is easy to prepare, has numerous health benefits, and children love its sweet flavor.

In fact it can be simply baked and served without any fuss, and be happily received.

Here are a few tips is selecting and serving sweet potatoes:

  1. Sweet potatoes are grouped into two different categories depending upon the texture they have when cooked: some are firm, dry, and mealy, while others are soft and moist. In both types, the taste is starchy and sweet with different varieties having different unique tastes.

    The moist-fleshed, orange-colored root vegetable that is often thought of as a "yam" is actually a sweet potato. It was given this name after this variety of sweet potato was introduced into the United States in the mid-20th century in order to distinguish it from the white-fleshed sweet potato to which most people were accustomed.

  2. Choose sweet potatoes that are firm and do not have any cracks, bruises or soft spots. Avoid those that are displayed in the refrigerated section of the produce department since cold temperature negatively alters their taste.
  3. Sweet potatoes should be stored in a cool, dark and well-ventilated place, where they will keep fresh for up to ten days. They should be stored loose and not kept in a plastic bag. Keep them away from exposure to sunlight or temperatures above 60F since this will cause them to sprout or ferment. Uncooked sweet potatoes should not be kept in the refrigerator.
  4. Sweet potatoes are versatile. They can be baked, steamed or braised with other winter ingredients. They can be peeled or cooked with the peels. They can be cubed, mashed, or serve whole.

Following are some great dishes with sweet potatoes from our recipe file for you to enjoy

Indian Style Lamb with Sweet Potatoes
Healthy Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Braised Kidney Beans with Sweet Potatoes

This page was updated on: 2002-11-22 08:24:28
© 2002 The George Mateljan Foundation