In Season: Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes have long been a very tasty November staple … but did you know they are a superfood? One of nature’s best sources of beta-carotene, a single cup provides 438 percent of our daily vitamin A needs with a modest 102 calories. To get the full benefit of the beta-carotene, it’s important to have a little fat at the same time … butter anyone? (Or you could opt for extra virgin olive oil.) To maintain the nutritional value, try steaming or boiling them. Along with vitamin A, sweet potatoes offer antioxidants, anti-inflammatory benefits, and help with blood sugar regulation. And they come in purple!

>>Healthy Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Bring lightly salted water to a boil in a steamer with a tight fitting lid. Steam two medium-sized peeled and sliced sweet potatoes in steamer basket, covered, for about 10 minutes, or until tender. When tender, mash with potato masher, adding 1/2 teaspoon garam masala, a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, and salt and white pepper to taste. Source: whfoods.com

>>Roasted Purple Sweet Potato Wedges

Fire up the oven to 400 degrees. Cut two medium purple sweet potatoes and three large carrots into one inch by two inch pieces. Chop one tablespoon each of fresh rosemary and thyme. Put potatoes, carrots, rosemary, and thyme into large bowl along with four tablespoons olive oil, one teaspoon coarse salt, and 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper. In an artistic fashion spread the purple sweet potatoes and carrots on a cookie sheet and roast until tender, about 45 minutes. Serve warm all by themselves or as a side dish. Source: onehundreddollarsamonth.com

>>Spicy Sweet Potato Chips

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Stir together two tablespoons olive oil, two tablespoons maple syrup, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Brush slices from three large sweet potatoes with the maple mixture and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Bake in preheated oven for eight minutes, then turn the potato slices over, brush with any remaining maple mixture, and continue baking until tender in the middle, and crispy on the edges, about seven minutes more. Source: allrecipes.com

Sweet Potatoes and Yams: What’s the Difference?

Sweet potatoes are yellow or orange tubers popular in the South. True yams are the tubers of a tropical vine and not related to the sweet potato. They’re popular in Latin America and the Caribbean, and slowly catching on here. Sweeter than the sweet potato, they can grow to be seven feet long!