Friday, December 9, 2011

Fresh Friday - Sweet Potato

Sweet Potatoes are readily available, especially this time of year, cheap and delicious. They are sweeter (uh, duh) than regular potatoes and most often are a brillant orange color. I say most often because  if you go to most chain grocery stores and pick up a sweet potato you'll end up with something that has a white flesh. BUT if you pick up a "yam" you'll end up with that beautiful orange flesh. I say "yam" because that orange fleshed beauty of a "yam" is really a sweet potato. I pick up my sweet potatoes at Trader Joe's and they are labeled sweet potatoes and always have orange flesh. So I'm use to the orange flesh variety of sweet potatoes. I've had the white fleshed ones and they are just as tasty. So if you have a recipe that calls for a sweet potato and you find yourself in the produce section of the grocery store tentatively looking at both the sweet potatoes and the yams and trying to figure out which one your recipe is talking about (yes, this has happened to me), don't fret - get either or even both. BOTH are sweet potatoes! Good article about this confusing situation here.

{peeled sweet potatoes}

Sweet potatoes are a brilliant substitute for pretty much anything you make with a regular potato. You can mash them, roast them, bake them, twice bake them, make baked sweet potato fries* (one of my favorites), and I'm pretty sure you can hash brown them - though I have yet to try this.

If I can do all the same things with a sweet potato as a regular potato than why don't I just use a regular potato? Let me tell you why.

Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamins and minerals. Such as, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin D, iron, magnesium, and potassium. Yes, they are sweet but the sugars released slowly into the bloodstream making them a balanced source of energy without the sugar spikes related to fatigue and weight gain. They are high in carotenoids, like beta carotene. Carotenoids help strengthen eyesight and boost immunity to disease.**

In addition to all that healthy goodness they are just plain tasty.

So eat a sweet potato or two this weekend!

Some yummy sweet potato recipes from around the web:

*Sweet potato fries are super easy to make. Preheat oven to 400. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into even fry shapes. Spray baking pan with canola or olive oil spray. Place sweet potato fries on baking pan and spray again with oil. Sprinkle with Lawry's season salt. Bake for 10 to 15 min. Flip. And continue to bake for 10 to 15 minutes until crispy. Watch them to make sure they aren't burning. Taste great drizzled with a little agave syrup or honey.

**information complied from this website.

Peace, love, sweet potatoes, and happiness!

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