Whether it’s spring, summer, winter or fall, sweet potatoes are prepared to be your best spud! Dress it up or down, season sweet or savory, and enjoy all that this fun-loving root has to offer.
Basic Sweet Potato Facts
Sweet potatoes will never go out of style. Their mild yet sweet flavor creates the perfect match for an extremely wide variety of seasonings, making them a recipe staple all year round! From sweet to savory and everything in between, the sweet potato can do it all!
Sweet potatoes are cultivated and grown in warm climates, mostly across the Southern United States! They are a root vegetable, which means the part that grows beneath the soil is eaten. Did you know the top producing sweet potato state in the US is North Carolina?
Types of ‘Taters
Although there are many different varieties of sweet potatoes – over 1,000 globally – the most common variety often found in grocery stores has orange skin and orange flesh. Sweet potatoes can even be red, purple, yellow or white! Each variety has a slightly different flavor, as well.
The Great Yam Debate
Sweet Potatoes are very different from yams. Oftentimes, people may mistake long sweet potatoes with red skin for yams, and grocery stores even make the mistake of labeling sweet potatoes as yams as well! However, these so-called “yams” are simply another variety of sweet potatoes.
Yams are also roots, but they are native to Africa and Asia. These root vegetables have a bark-like exterior and are white with occasional purple on the inside. Compared to sweet potatoes, yams are more starchy, a lot drier and don’t have that signature sweet potato sweetness! Sweet potatoes can be used in everything from casseroles to breakfast hashes, pies to sauces, chips to fries.
Sweet potatoes are packed with beta-carotene, which is the pigmentation that gives them their signature bright color! Beta-carotene is transformed into vitamin A in your liver, making it a great source of vitamin A and other nutrients, such as B6, vitamin C, potassium and fiber.
Sweet Potato Hacks
Pick the Perfect Potato
When choosing the perfect sweet potato, examine them for signs of decay. Sweet potatoes are more perishable than white potatoes, and therefore should typically be used within a week or two of purchasing. Make sure to store them in a cool, dark and dry place. However, sweet potatoes can develop a hard core and lose their delicious taste when stored in the refrigerator, so it’s best to avoid the fridge!
When at the grocery store, select similar sized sweet potatoes so they can each cook at an even rate!
Mix and Mash Your Recipes
Once ready to cook, make sure to give the potato skins a good scrub before you start to prep them. Next, take a fork and poke the sweet potatoes to provide ventilation when cooking. And finally, great creative with your recipes!
Wake up with a warm sweet potato breakfast hash with eggs and bacon! Or, try a new take on an old classic by baking a sweet potato pie for the holidays. Whip up a sweet treat with sweet potato cookie dough bites, or satisfy your savory side with a sweet potato white bean burger. Through every season, sweet potatoes are here to make your life a lot tastier (and healthier)!
Ward’s is Rooting for You
Wards is here to fulfill all of your sweet potato needs! Remember to bring your reusable shopping bag during your next visit. See you soon!