Know Your Ingredients — Sweet Potatoes

April 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Know Your Ingredients

Know Your Ingredients – Sweet Potatoes

The softer, orange-fleshed variety of sweet po...

The softer, orange-fleshed variety of sweet potato, commonly referred to as a yam in the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What has as much fiber as a bowl of oatmeal, almost twice the Vitamin A of carrots, more potassium than a banana, and is a good source of Vitamin B6 and Manganese? The sweet potato! Surprised?

The sweet potato is one of the healthiest foods in the Southern diet, achieving super food status for its powerful antioxidants and carotenoids that protect the body against cancer, heart disease and boosts the immune system.

One large sweet potato has approximately 162 calories, compared to 278 for a regular baked potato. It is naturally low in sodium and fat.

Of course, the problem is that most sweet potato recipes tend to drown them in butter and sugar. But this no longer needs to be true. Sweet potatoes are gaining attention of chefs and home cooks for their delicious flavors and outstanding nutrition.

How to Use Sweet Potatoes

Healthy Baked Sweet Potatoes

Baking or microwaving is one of the easiest ways to use sweet potatoes. Simply cook them the same way you would an Idaho potato. When it comes time to dress them, get a little creative. Instead of butter, try topping them with a sprinkle of cinnamon and top with a spoon full of pineapple tidbits. This is a healthy way to enjoy the flavors of sweet potato casserole, without the fat and sugar.

To Bake Sweet Potatoes:

Wrap each potato in foil and place in a 400 degree oven for 1 hour.  Remove from the oven and slit open. Stuff as desired.

To Microwave Sweet Potatoes:

Wash the outside of each potato and prick the skin in several places with a fork. This will allow the steam to escape without rupturing the skin. Place on a microwave safe plate and microwave on high for 8 minutes. Press the potato, it will yield easily when done. If it is still hard, microwave for 2 more minutes or until done. Cooking times vary with the size of the potato and the power of the microwave.

How to Make Crispy Sweet Potato Fries

Candied Sweet Potato Recipes

 

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How to Make Sweet Potato Fries

April 24, 2012 by  
Filed under How To

Sweet potatoes are now listed as a super food. These southern favorites are high in fiber, vitamins A, B6 and C, potassium, manganese and complex carbohydrates.  The extra fiber means that they don’t affect your blood sugar the way that white potatoes do. (Assuming, of course, that you aren’t loading them up with sugar.) Try these baked sweet potato fries with salt and pepper or be adventurous and try them with garlic powder, cinnamon, or your favorite seasoning mix. Sprinkle the seasoning on the pan to prevent the fries from sticking.  While the amount listed may seem like a lot, a good bit of it will be left behind on the pan.

Picture of fries made from sweet potatoes.

Picture of fries made from sweet potatoes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries Recipe

4 Sweet potatoes, cut into wedges

2 Tablespoons olive oil or canola oil

1 Tablespoon kosher salt

1 Tablespoon crushed black pepper

Large sheet pan

Oven, preheated to 425 degrees F.

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spread the salt and pepper over the sheet pan.

Toss the sweet potato wedges in the olive oil to coat.

Spread the sweet potatoes in a single layer on the baking sheet. Turn them once so that a little of the seasoning sticks to all sides. The majority of the salt and pepper should remain on the pan, creating a barrier to sticking.

Bake the sweet potatoes for 40 minutes, turning the fries halfway through the cooking time. The fries are done when they are brown and crispy on the outside and soft in the center. Large wedges may take longer.

For more information on sweet potatoes, visit: Know Your Ingredients- Sweet Potatoes. Also check out other ways to make sweet potatoes on the Sweet Potatoes Recipes page.

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Sweet Potatoes Recipes

April 18, 2012 by  
Filed under Vegetables

Sweet potatoes...

Sweet potatoes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve collected all of my favorite sweet potato recipes together here for your enjoyment. I hope you will try these. Sweet potatoes are now classified as a “super food”, although the sugar that Southerners usually add might kick them off of the list.

For more information on sweet potatoes, check out Know Your Ingredients–Sweet Potatoes. If you are looking for a Fried Sweet Potatoes recipe, that recipe is on How to Make Crispy Sweet Potato Fries.

Microwaved Sweet Potatoes

My favorite way to enjoy sweet potatoes.

Prick sweet potatoes all over with a fork and place on a microwaveable plate or a paper towel. Microwave one or two potatoes at a time. Actual cooking time will depend on your microwave and the size of the potato, but I usually start with 5 to 8 minutes and then check for doneness. Sweet potatoes are done when they easily yield to slight pressure. Slit open and enjoy with butter or your favorite toppings. I usually skip the butter and top with some canned pineapple tidbits.

 

Candied Sweet Potatoes
6 medium sized sweet potatoes
¾ cup of brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter

  1. Boil sweet potatoes whole.  Peel and slice.
  2. Arrange a layer of sweet potato slices of in a greased casserole. Sprinkle with salt, brown sugar and dot with butter.
  3. Repeat with additional layers of sweet potatoes, brown sugar and butter until all is used.
  4. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or cook in a heavy skillet on top of stove, basting frequently.

Serves 6

Hawaiian Sweet Potatoes
6 medium sized sweet potatoes
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1 cup drained crushed pineapple
1/3 cup butter

  1. Boil sweet potatoes whole.  Peel and slice.
  2. Arrange a layer of sweet potato slices of in a greased casserole. Sprinkle with pineapple and brown sugar, dot with butter.
  3. Repeat with additional layers of sweet potatoes, pineapple, brown sugar and butter until all is used.
  4. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or cook in a heavy skillet on top of stove, basting frequently.

Serves 6

Honey Glazed Sweet Potatoes
6 medium sized sweet potatoes
½ cup honey
1/3 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup melted butter

  1. Boil sweet potatoes whole.  Peel and slice.
  2. Combine honey, orange juice, salt and melted butter
  3. Arrange a layer of sweet potato slices of in a greased casserole. Moisten with honey – orange juice mixture.  Repeat with additional layers of sweet potatoes and juice.
  4. Pour any remaining orange juice mixture over all.
  5. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes.  Serves 6

Vermont Candied Sweet Potatoes
6 medium sized sweet potatoes
¾ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter

  1. Boil sweet potatoes whole.  Peel and slice.
  2. Arrange a layer of sweet potato slices of in a greased casserole.  Drizzle with maple syrup and dot with butter.
  3. Repeat with additional layers of sweet potatoes, syrup and butter until all is used.
  4. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes.  Serves 6

Easy Glazed Sweet Potatoes
6 medium sized sweet potatoes
¾ cup of brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter

  1. Boil sweet potatoes whole.  Peel and slice.
  2. Arrange sweet potato slices  in a single layer on a shallow baking pan
  3. Sprinkle with brown sugar and dot with butter.
  4. Bake in a 300 degree oven for about 40 minutes, or until potatoes are glazed.  Turn during baking.

Sweet Potato Croquettes, Sweet Potato Cakes or Sweet Potato Patties
3 cups of cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
¼ cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ cup crushed pineapple, drained
2 eggs, used separately
bread crumbs

  1. Combine sweet potatoes, butter, salt, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, pineapple and 1 egg.
  2. Shape into 1 ½ inch balls.
  3. Roll balls into a beaten egg, then into bread crumbs.
  4. Fry in hot fat (375 degrees) until browned.  Drain on paper towels  and serve hot.

Grated Sweet Potato Pudding
4 cups grated sweet potatoes (raw)
1 cup cane syrup
½ cup sugar
1 cup milk
½ cup butter
3 eggs
½ cup chopped pecans
1 cup raisins
½ teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon

  1. In a heavy iron skillet, melt the butter.
  2. Mix all the ingredients except eggs and butter together.
  3. Beat eggs and add to remaining ingredients.
  4. Pour into pan of hot butter and stir until heated.
  5. Put skillet into a 375 degree oven to bake for 40 minutes, stirring half way through.
  6. Serve with sweetened cream if desired.

The iron skillet will make the pudding dark, which is desirable.  If baked in a different pan, pudding will be lighter.

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