As the sweet potato is our vegetable of the month, we decided to give you all the hard facts on this nutrient-packed veggie!
Selecting a 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 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 bark 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 sized ones if you plan on baking them so they will all cook for the same amount of time.
Storing a sweet potato
Store sweet potatoes in a dry cool spot. If stored correctly they can last for a couple of weeks. Never refrigerate them.
It is important to note that when a sweet potato starts to go bad the flavour of the entire potato is affected. You can’t just cut away a spoiled section and use the remainder.
Preparing a sweet potato
Wash the sweet potato. Sweet potatoes can be baked in their skin or the skin can be peeled with a vegetable peeler when they are raw.
Sweet potatoes can be prepared in many ways including oven-baked, microwaved, steamed, boiled or grilled. A great way to prepare them is to cut them into strips like French fries, and then bake the strips in the oven.
Eating a sweet potato
Sweet potatoes are a delicious and colourful addition to any meal. In most cases sweet potatoes can be substituted for a white potato in a recipe.
Sweet potatoes are available year-round.
A medium cooked sweet potato contains 158 calories. It is a source of fibre, Vitamin B6 and magnesium. It is a very high source of Vitamin A.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy sweet potatoes?