Sweet Potato PhotoFor the month of January we’re featuring a fantastic winter veggie: the sweet potato!  There are two dominant types of sweet potatoes, yellow-skinned and reddish-skinned varieties. Both are elongated with ends that taper to a point. The flesh inside the yellow-skinned variety is also pale yellow and is not sweet. The reddish variety has a thicker skin and a bright orange sweet flesh. Sweet potatoes are often called yams but yams are quite different. The yam tuber has a brown or black skin which is similar to the park of a tree and flesh which is off white, purple or red, depending on the variety. Yams are very rare in North America.

Choose firm sweet potatoes with smooth skin and no blemishes or cuts. Try to choose similar sizes ones if you’re planning on baking them so they will all cook for the same amount of time.  Store sweet potatoes in a dry cool spot. If stored correctly they can last for a couple of weeks. It’s important to note that when a sweet potato starts to go bad the flavour of the entire potato is affected.

To prepare your sweet potato simply wash them.  Sweet potatoes can be baked in their skin or the skin can be peeled with a vegetable peeler when they’re raw.  They can be oven baked, microwaved, steamed, broiled or grilled. A great way to prepare them is to cut them into strips like French fries and then bake them in the oven.

A medium sweet potato contains only 158 calories.  It’s a source of fiber and a very high source of Vitamin A.

Here are some of our favourite sweet potato recipes:

Bean, Sweet Potato and Garlic Stew:  This is a perfect anEggplant and Sweet Potato Curryd quick weeknight meal that’s great for a cold winter’s night. Serve with a crisp salad for a delicious family meal.

Eggplant Sweet Potato Coconut Curry: This moist and creamy curry can be enjoyed full of veggies over your favourite steamed rice and is a mild introduction for a family meal. If you want to kick up the spice simply slice some chilies before putting them into the curry.

Chocolate Sweet Potato Bars: These delicious desserts are perfect to pack in a lunch or enjoy with an afternoon tea or coffee. Leftover mashed sweet potatoes are a perfect substitute in this recipe.

Sweet Potato Chili: A chunky orange chili is a nice option for vegetarians and meat lovers alike! Serve this warm comfort dish on a cold evening or after a game. Make it ahead and reheat for a quick and easy meal.

Chickpea Sweet Potato Stew with Barley:  This hearty stew is a perfect way to use up some winter veggies and to enjoy delicious sweet potatoes.

What are your favourite sweet potato recipes?

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