How do you prepare sweet potatoes or do you not eat them at all?
If not, you are missing out on one of the more nutritious root vegetables.
Growing up, I frequently enjoyed sweet potato dishes. They were prepared as desserts during the holidays in our home. But, most times they were used as just the right sweet and savory compliment to a meal of meat and vegetables such as succulent roast beef and tender mustard greens.
However, I never thought about their nutritious value much. I think a lot of people don’t. We often hear about how nutritious the varieties of green vegetables are but not much about some of the root vegetables except maybe carrots.
Yet, the sweet potato is a great source of beta carotene, vitamins A, C, and E as well as some others. This means that the sweet potato offers nutrients that guard against night blindness, skin disorders such as acne, and cancer.
What They Are Not
By the way, even though there is a resemblance and a shared name, sweet potatoes are not potatoes as in the white potato type tubers which are members of the Solanaceae (also known as nightshade) botanical food family.
Nor are they yams. In the United States and Canada some varieties of the sweet potato are called yams. True yams are members of the Dioscoreaceae family.
What They Are And How They Look
The sweet potato is a member of the Convolvulaceae (also known as morning glory) family.
Sweet potatoes (native to ancient America) come in a variety of skin and flesh colors. Some of the skin colors are beige, brown, red, and even purple. The flesh can range from purple to white. It seems that orange ones are more prevalent here in the U.S. although I have prepared some with yellow flesh.
Also, the darker colored flesh is said to have more beta carotene than the lighter ones.
Their peak season is during the Fall.
Some Of My Favorites
As an adult with a family of my own, some of my favorite ways of preparing and eating these nutritious power houses include candied, baked with a dollop of butter (well, actually palm shortening), and the scrumptious sweet potato pie..
What are some of your favorites?