If you’re like most people, the answer to the question, “Have you had your North Carolina sweet potatoes today?” is probably and unfortunately no. As healthy and flavorful as these vegetables are, many people don’t think about them until the holidays roll around. And that’s a shame, because they are actually available for purchase all year long.
Sweet potatoes come in several varieties. The most common is the orange sweet potato, though you can also find red, purple and white ones. All sweet potatoes have a sweeter taste than traditional potatoes, but like their counterparts, there is no shortage of ways to prepare them.
If you’re somewhat new to the world of sweet potatoes, it would be a good idea to sample the different varieties to see which ones you like best. Many people like orange sweet potatoes, though that might be because they are the most visible of all the varieties.
The most common way to prepare North Carolina sweet potatoes is to bake them. Because they are hardier than white or gold potatoes, it can take up to an hour to cook them through completely. However, when they are given enough time to cook, they are just as soft, fluffy and delicious.
As most of the nutrients of a sweet potato are located near its skin, it’s advisable that you cook them whole whenever possible. You can always peel away the skin when you’re done if you don’t like the idea of eating it, but by cooking them whole, you will preserve more of the vitamins.
Sometimes, time constraints will leave you chopping up North Carolina sweet potatoes in an attempt to cook them faster. While cubing and boiling them is a quick way to prepare them, a faster and less complicated way is to just microwave them.
Not only does this process involve no cutting, it takes less than 10 minutes to cook two potatoes. Better yet, this method preserves the skin, allowing the vitamins and minerals to transfer into the potato itself.
After you’ve microwaved your potatoes, you are free to cube them, mash them or eat them whole. If you’ve got little ones, mashed sweet potatoes are a tasty and nutritious treat that is easy on the stomach. Of course, no chewing is involved, so it’s also gentle on gums.
If you’ve got older kids who want something a little more elaborate, consider topping your mash with marshmallows or cinnamon. To make the mash a little sweeter, use honey rather than sugar.
Another dish you can prepare with mashed sweet potatoes is sweet potato pie. Similar in looks to a pumpkin pie, this veggie-infused treat is much sweeter without the need to add exorbitant amounts of sugar.
As you can see, North Carolina sweet potatoes are a versatile and delicious veggie that can be prepared a number of ways. They ideal for kids of all ages, as well as adults both young and old. If you’re watching your waistline, you’ll love knowing that they are low in calories and contain no fat. They’re also an incredible source of Vitamin A.