I’m sure you’re noticing a trend from a few of my previous blogs. Fall is my happy place. What is it about the change of seasons that causes us to crave certain foods? Pumpkins and apples immediately come to mind this time of year and of course the sweet potato. I must admit the sweet potato isn’t my favorite vegetable, but with increasingly creative preparation methods, I’m stepping out of my comfort zone. Will you join me as we learn more about this “powerhouse vegetable.”
Sweet potatoes are a starchy root vegetable. They come in a variety of colors, orange, white and purple, loaded with nutrients. One cup provides 4 grams of protein, 213% of the daily value (DV) of vitamin A, 44% DV of vitamin C and 43% DV of manganese. Orange and purple varieties are rich in antioxidants which may protect you from chronic disease, support the immune system and promote eye health. Sweet potatoes also contain both soluble and insoluble fiber that promotes the growth of good bacteria.
Sweet potatoes are tasty with or without skin. They can be baked, boiled, roasted, fried, or steamed. Their natural sweetness makes them an ideal ingredient for both savory and sweet dishes, for example, chips, toast, fries, mashed and baked goods. Preparing them roasted changed my mind and of course you must like sweet potato fries dipped in ranch dressing.
This vegetable is available all year round but is most flavorful in the late fall and winter months. They are planted in spring, requiring 100 to 150 days to mature. Harvest takes place between August through early November. When buying sweet potatoes, choose the medium size that feels heavy with no bruises or sprouts. Store them in a cool, dry area with good ventilation and they will last up to a month. Enjoy this tasty recipe Roasted Sweet Potato and Broccoli Salad.