Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Super Sweet Potato and How To Eat It

I grew up with soft, squishy, canned yams being served on Thanksgiving Day.  It didn't matter how much butter, brown sugar, or marshmallows they were drenched in... I just couldn't bring myself to eat them.  Of course since they were a tradition, I always put a spoonful on my plate.  And I did try them every year but I never liked them.  So, I always just assumed that sweet potatoes were gross.

Then, one year instead of the traditional sweet potatoes I was used too, someone showed up with a sweet potato pie topped with coconut and candied pecans... YUMMY!  This quickly became my favorite of ALL the Thanksgiving dishes (sometimes even better than the pie we had for dessert).

Don't fool yourself, this "pie" was filled with butter and sugar too, but it was good.  Even more importantly, it opened up my eyes to the idea that sweet potatoes could be good.  Years later, I'd dare say that sweet potatoes are my most favorite type of potato and I completely understand when people say that sweet potatoes are "so delicious, you can eat them for dessert!"

Not only are sweet potatoes naturally more moist than your typical Russet, they have a natural sweetness to them providing an excellent compliment for turkey or pork.  In addition to tasting fantastic, they are nutritionally one of the best types of potatoes you can eat, too.  In fact, sweet potatoes were recently ranked one of the best superfoods (even ranking above Spinach and Kale).

Sweet potatoes have either a white flesh or an orange flesh.  In the United States, the orange variety are typically referred to as yams, but don't get confused.  An actual yam is a completely different vegetable of it's own!  My family loves both types of sweet potatoes.  We eat different types depending on how we are serving them and what we are serving them with.  Both are delicious and nutritious!

So serve up a sweet potato at your next meal.  Below are just a few ideas to get you started.

My favorite ways to eat (orange) sweet potatoes:

1. baked, plain (best alongside turkey or pork)
2. peeled and oven-roasted with garlic and rosemary
3. mashed (without gravy)
4. sweet potato pie
5. sweet potato fries
6. for dessert (with butter and brown sugar)

My favorite ways to eat (white) sweet potatoes:

1. baked, plain (great alongside ham)
2. mashed (with pork gravy)
3. in casseroles like Cranberry Pork Casserole
4. baked then sliced and skillet fried with garlic salt and rosemary (great for breakfast!)

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