Sweet Potato Recipe & Nutrition | Precision Nutrition's Encyclopedia of Food

Sweet Potato

Sweet Potato

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At a Glance

Sweet potatoes are starchy tubers with orange, sweet-tasting flesh. Sweet potatoes are a good source of fiber, vitamins C and D, beta-carotene, and minerals such as iron, potassium, and magnesium. Stored properly, in a cool, dark and dry place, sweet potatoes can keep for weeks or months. Sweet potatoes can be prepared similarly to ordinary baking potatoes: they can be baked, boiled, or mashed. Because of their high sugar content, they are also excellent in baked goods or desserts.

Overview

A sweet potato is a starchy, sweet-tasting, tuberous root vegetable. Typically yellowish-orange with thin, edible skin, the sweet potato has, as the name suggests, a distinctive sweet flavor.

Sweet potatoes can be found year-round but are most seasonal (and tasty) during fall and early winter. They have a common place at Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday tables, but are also enjoyed throughout the year.

Sometimes sweet potatoes are mistakenly referred to as yams, which are actually a different vegetable altogether.

Identification

Most sweet potatoes have a yellowish-orange color, inside and out (though different varieties and colors – like purple – do exist).

Sweet potatoes are large tubers and generally oval in shape. Of course, exact size varies: some are short and plump, others are longer and thinner.

Nutrition Info

One raw, whole sweet potato (weighing about 100g) has about 86 calories, 1.6g of protein, 0.1g of fat, 20.1g of carbohydrates, 3.0g of fiber, and 4.2g of sugar.

Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B6, as well as beta-carotene, iron, potassium, and magnesium.

Selection

Choose sweet potatoes that are firm (not rubbery) and without blemishes or cuts.

Sweet potatoes store well, but as usual, buying fresh is a perk: seek out sweet potatoes in fall farmers’ markets for best flavor.

Storage

Store whole sweet potatoes in a cool, dark place. Avoid anywhere with overly damp or humid conditions. Stored properly, sweet potatoes can keep for months.

Preparation

Sweet potatoes can be prepared similarly to ordinary baking potatoes: they can be baked, boiled, mashed, or sliced into matchsticks, and made into fries.

They can be a good substitute for pumpkin or butternut squash, due to their sweet flavor, starchy texture, and bright orange color.

Because of their high sugar content, sweet potatoes are sometimes used in desserts or baked goods: for example, sweet potato pie is a common preparation at Thanksgiving.

How to bake a sweet potato

To bake a sweet potato, set oven to 450F. Meanwhile, clean the sweet potato well under running water, then dry well with a paper towel. Using a fork, poke holes all over the sweet potato, then place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes, then flip to its other side, and bake for another 30 minutes. When cooking is completed, cut the sweet potato open and prod the flesh with a fork: it should be soft and fluffy, and thoroughly cooked.

Recipe: SWEET POTATO “TOASTS”, THREE WAYS

Sweet Potato

As an alternative to bread, sweet potato is a delicious and nutritious vessel for a variety of sweet or savory toppings. This is more of a “method” than a recipe - feel free to experiment with your choice of toppings, or try our ideas below!

Ingredients

    
Toast:
sweet potato, cut into 1/4 slices (lengthwise)
1 large
olive oil
2 tsp
   
    
    
Topping #1:
ricotta cheese
sprinkle of
smoked salmon
few slices
capers, drained
sprinkle of
red onion, very thinly sliced
few slices of
salt, pepper, and olive oil
to taste
   
   
   
Topping #2:
Avocado, smashed
1/2
salt
pinch of
tomato, sliced
1/2
egg, poached
1
microgreens or fresh chopped herbs
sprinkle of
salt and red chile flakes
to taste
   
   
   
Topping #3:
almond butter, plus extra for drizzling
4 tbsp
maple syrup
2 tsp
cocoa powder
1 tbsp
sea salt
pinch of
fresh berries
handful
brazil nuts, chopped
sprinkle of

Directions

Prep Time: 10 minutes   Cook Time: 25 minutes   Yield: 2-4 servings

First, cook the sweet potato “toasts”: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a very sharp knife, cut sweet potato in even, lengthwise slices that are about 1/4 inch thick. (Each large sweet potato will yield between 4 and 6 slices.) Place slices in a bowl and toss with olive oil. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and arrange slices, being careful not to crowd them too much. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven, flip the slices, and bake again for 10 minutes.

Once the “toasts” are baked, top them with your choice of ingredients.

Or try one of our versions:

Topping #1:

Ricotta & Smoked Salmon: Spread the sweet potato slice with ricotta cheese, then layer it with smoked salmon, and thinly sliced onions. Sprinkle with capers, then drizzle with olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Topping #2:

Smashed Avocado & Poached Egg: Smash up 1/2 a ripe avocado and a pinch of sea salt per slice. Layer with sliced tomatoes. Poach an egg by bringing a saucepan of water to a simmer, then carefully releasing a cracked egg into the water. Simmer the egg untouched for about 4 minutes (for a runny yolk). Remove the poached egg with a slotted spoon, then place on top of the slice. Sprinkle with fresh microgreens or chopped herbs, and salt and red chile flakes to taste.

Topping #3:

Chocolate Almond Spread with Berries: Make the chocolate almond spread by adding almond butter, maple syrup, cacao powder, and salt to a bowl and mixing until well combined. Spread a portion of this mixture onto a sweet potato slice, then top with fresh berries and chopped nuts. Drizzle with extra almond butter if desired.

Leftover cooked sweet potato slices can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To reheat, sweet potato slices can actually be toasted in a toaster. Just set the toaster to high, place the slice in the slot, and toast as you would bread. When the sweet potato “toast” pops, serve with your choice of toppings!

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At a Glance

Sweet potatoes are starchy tubers with orange, sweet-tasting flesh. Sweet potatoes are a good source of fiber, vitamins C and D, beta-carotene, and minerals such as iron, potassium, and magnesium. Stored properly, in a cool, dark and dry place, sweet potatoes can keep for weeks or months. Sweet potatoes can be prepared similarly to ordinary baking potatoes: they can be baked, boiled, or mashed. Because of their high sugar content, they are also excellent in baked goods or desserts.