How to Choose and Handle Sweet Potatoes:
Some of the following information is from the North Carolina Sweet
are available every month of the year.
Select firm, fairly evenly-shaped
sweet potatoes with even skin coloration. Do not purchase if
they have white areas or are damaged; this probably means decay.
Avoid sweet potatoes with any signs of decay. For the most nutrition value,
always select sweet potatoes with a deep orange color.
Sweet potatoes store well. If you grow your own, they will be sweeter when allowed to age for a month or so (the very minute they are
harvested, sugar starts to form).
DO NOT STORE SWEET POTATOES IN THE REFRIGERATOR. Storing in the
fridge will produce a hard core in the center.
Instead…Store sweet potatoes in a cool, dry, well
ventilated container at approximately 55 degress F. (Your basement
in the summer or your garage in the winter is best!).
Otherwise, for the best flavor and freshness, use your sweet
potatoes within a week or two after purchase.
When cutting sweet
potatoes, always use a stainless steel knife.
To peel sweet potatoes easily, take them from boiling water and immerse immediately in very cold water. The skins will almost fall off by themselves.
To keep raw sweet potatoes from
turning dark when peeling, place them in one quart water mixed with
3 tablespoons lemon juice for a few minutes. Drain well before
Sweet potatoes are
more nutritious if cooked in their jackets (skins).
Sweet potatoes have four
(4) times the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (USRDA)
for beta-carotene when eaten with the skin on.
Wash and dry thoroughly before cooking.
Cooked sweet potatoes
freeze well. Wrap unpeeled cooked sweet potatoes individually in
aluminum foil or freezer wrap. Place in plastic freezer bags, label,
date, and freeze!
Sweet Potato Equivalents:
1 pound fresh sweet potatoes = 3 medium
sweet potatoes = 3 1/2 to 4 cups cooked and chopped sweet potatoes.
Sweet Potato vs. Yams:
In the United States, most people use
both terminologies to refer to a sweet potato.
What is marketed in the United States as “yams” are really a variety of
sweet potato, grown in the South. A true yam is a starchy edible root of
the Dioscorea genus, and is generally imported to America from the
Caribbean. Yams contain more
natural sugar than sweet potatoes and have a higher moisture content.
Both the sweet potato and the yam are
available fresh from October through March.
Sweet Potato Nutrition:
are virtually fat-free, cholesterol-free and very low in sodium. One
cup (200 grams) of cooked sweet potatoes has 180 calories.
Favorite Sweet Potato and Yam Recipes:
Potatoes with Truffles and Bourbon
Roasted Sweet Potato
Wedges with Rosemary
Sweet Potato Cheesecake
Sweet Potato Hummus
Yam Hash Browns with Baked Eggs