Did you know that sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) is not actually a potato? This plant belongs to the bindweed family and it’s a root vegetable.
The sweet potato is distant relative to the common potato because both of them are in Solanales order. In some parts of North America, sweet potatoes are also called yams. But, they don’t have to do anything with true yams.
Sweet potatoes are native to America’s tropical parts of the country. So, today’s topic will cover some interesting ways to prepare sweet potatoes. Yummy!
How to use sweet potatoes?
Sweet potato is actually very easy to add to your daily meals. Sweet potatoes can be roasted, baked, barbecued, steamed, boiled, fried…
You can even make a nice purée too. See? Pretty diverse ways to prepare them.
They can also be used as a quesadilla and falafel filling. But, that’s not all. Not only is the sweet potato a great savory option, but it can even be usedaać for sweet food variants.
In the US, people traditionally add maple syrup when roasting sweet potatoes. So, they also combine well with marshmallows and can be a pumpkin-like ingredient in a pie.
Sweet potato nutrition facts
Sweet potatoes are highly nutritious. They are a very nice source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Orange and purple versions are rich in antioxidants. So, they can potentially protect your body from free radicals.
Take a look at more detailed nutrition info.
One cup or 200 grams of baked sweet potato with skin contains:
*DV – a daily value
- Calories: 180
- Protein: 4 grams
- Carbs: 41.4 grams
- Fiber: 6.6 grams
- Fat: 0.3
- Vitamin A: 769% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 65% of the DV
- Manganese: 50% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 29% of the DV
- Pantothenic acid: 18% of the DV
- Potassium: 27% of the DV
- Copper: 16% of the DV
- Niacin: 15% of the DV
How to prep sweet potato for cooking
Before you start cooking these tasty veggies, you need to properly prepare them. Here are a few steps you should take:
- Rinse and scrub sweet potatoes under cool water.
- Cut them to your choice.
Cutting a sweet potato depends on the way you tend to prepare it.
For example, you can cut it into wedges, batons, medallions, “swoodles”, cubes… There are so many options.
You don’t need to peel the skin unless you’re making dishes like mashed potatoes, soup, or pie. Sweet potato skin has a lot of insoluble fiber in it, which is pretty healthy.
Just be sure to wash potatoes properly every time and never eat them raw.
7 ways to cook sweet potato
There are numerous ways to prepare sweet potatoes. So, here is a list of interesting ways to enjoy this healthy veggie.
Baked sweet potatoes
If you love regular baked potatoes, you would probably like sweet ones too. So, for this meal version, opt for long and thin sweet potatoes. This shape tends to cook faster and evenly.
Don’t forget to preheat the oven to 400F. This will ensure that you get potatoes with golden and crispy skin. Always prick your potatoes with a fork, just to let the steam escape during cooking.
You can put a bit of olive oil, pepper, and salt to your taste. The sweet potato is done when it gets golden skin and is tender inside.
The baking time may vary. It depends on your oven size and the potato size. But, usually, it takes about 45 minutes to an hour.
You can stuff these sweet potatoes with ingredients you like, or just eat them plain. So, it’s all up to your taste.
Mashed sweet potatoes
Do you love creamy mashed potatoes? Well, luckily, you can make a sweet potato version too. People often wonder if they should peel the potato skin or leave it on.
Well, it depends on the taste of course. If you don’t peel the skin, you’ll get mashed potatoes with more texture.
So, all you have to do is to boil potatoes for about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the potato size. After cooking, drain the water and start mashing. A great thing is that you can make both savory and sweet mashed versions.
Also, if you’re a huge mashed potato lover, check out this simple regular mashed potato recipe. It’s yummy.
Sweet potato fries
Who doesn’t love baked fries? They are healthier than deep-fried ones and not oily at all. Fries are that special food that everyone likes. So, if you want to make a slightly different fries version, opt for sweet potatoes.
Prepare the fries for baking by slicing them into thin slices. You can toss a bit of olive oil and add spices if you wish. Bake the fries in the hot oven at 400F.
Try not to overcrowd the baking sheet, as fries need to bake evenly. Remember to toss fries a few times during baking and watch out not to burn them. You can also make some homemade sauces and dips.
For more detailed instructions check this sweet potato fries recipe.
Slow cooker sweet potatoes
What does homemade slow-simmering sweet potato stew sound like? Pretty amazing, right? Well, luckily you can easily prepare it. All you need is a high quality slow cooker and sweet potatoes.
So, all you need to do is to choose ingredients you love, combine them with sweet potatoes and place them in your slow cooker.
If you would love for your potatoes to keep their shape, don’t peel potato skin. That way you ensure they stay whole.
Sweet potato noodles (swoodles)
Admit you didn’t expect this one. 🙂 Who knew we could make noodles out of sweet potatoes. These are also known as swoodles and are highly nutritious and gluten-free pasta substitutes.
You’ll need to have a spiralizer to prepare this meal.
So, all you need to do is peel the sweet potato and “noodle” it. You can prepare it in a skillet and combine it with your favorite sauces.
If you like noodles, try to make zoodles. They are pretty great too. 🙂
Sweet potato soup
Do you enjoy creamy soups? Then you’ll love sweet potato soup. It’s warm, soothing, and tasty.
You need to peel potatoes and cook them. After that, puree them and add any other ingredients you like. You can try onions, carrots, apples, ginger…
If you want an even creamier soup, add a dollop of Greek yogurt. To make it crunchier – add croutons.
If you love trying out new soup recipes, don’t forget to check out this creamy zucchini soup recipe.
Sweet potato pancakes
Did you know you could make sweet potato pancakes? Yup, that’s right. These veggies can be used for making delicious desserts, and you can prepare these pancakes whenever you wish.
You will need milk, pureed sweet potato, apple cider vinegar, oil, vanilla extract. When it comes to spices, you can use cinnamon and nutmeg. Also, don’t forget about the flour and baking soda.
After you mix all the ingredients, heat a medium-sized pan. Use a quarter cup to portion out pancakes. Flip the pancakes once they turn golden brown. The other way to see if your pancakes are ready on one side is when you see popping bubbles.
Of course, be free to add any topping you like. Or eat the pancakes plain.
So, how did you like these ideas for sweet potato preparation? If you have any other ideas, be free to share them in the comments below. 🙂