Sweet Potatoes – All You Need to Know

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The sweet potato can be said to be a vegetable with a great health benefit. It emerged from the regular potato; the sweet potato is distinctly grown for its unique color and flavor. Many people class them as yams, but the two species are entirely different.

Growing Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes thrive best under the light and heat of the sun, they will also respond better in soil that’s evenly moist and organically rich. You can readily start a sweet potato vine from a slip, which is a small slice of the vegetable that has been rooted. The common ones grow as a vine, but there are also varieties that will do well in small spaces.
Beauregard is a very common variety, although the Bush Puerto Rico and the Patriot are two other great choices for the home vegetable garden. Many of the varieties are orange, but you can also find some with purple and yellow flesh.

Your sweet potatoes should be harvested when the vine has yellowed, but you should dig out the tubers with great care. Potatoes grow fairly close to the surface, and you should be careful not to mar the skin. The sweet potato season runs through the early winter months of November and December.

Nutritional Values of Sweet Potatoes

Nutrients: Value per 1 med tuber, baked (77 g)
Energy / Calories 95 Kcal
Protein 1.76 G
Fat (total) 0.08 G
Fiber 3.14 G
Sugar (total) 16.34 G
Vitamin C 17.06 Mg
Vitamin A 13108 IU
Calcium 22 Mg
Magnesium 19 Mg
Potassium 306 Mg
Beta Carotene 7864 Mcg

Cooking with Sweet Potatoes

This vegetable is very versatile when on you eat them, they are a hearty lunch or tasty side dish. It is a popular traditional meal for Christmas and Thanksgiving; sweet potatoes is a meal that can be enjoyed throughout the year in a wide variety of dishes. Your sweet potatoes that you harvested should be stored with the skin on in a place that is dark and cool. It is best to cook the sweet potato immediately after unpeeling it. You should aim to consume at least three full sweet potatoes each week, which should be simple given the culinary options this vegetable delivers.

Special ways to add sweet potatoes to your diet include:

Sweet Potato Fries – Wedges of sweet potato should be coated with paprika and olive oil, then bake it, until it is slightly crisp. This is a superb alternative to French fries.
Smoothie With a Twist – Puree baked sweet potato together with a banana, adding cinnamon and maple syrup to taste.

Baked Goods – Sweet potato is an excellent base for pies, muffins, breads and other desserts. It can be interchanged with cooked pumpkin during baking.
Baking Sweet Potatoes – Bake sweet potatoes as a side dish for lunch/dinner. They can also go long distance, and this makes them perfect for school or office lunches and also picnics.

Concerns and Cautions of Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes have oxalates that could do harm to people that are suffering from kidney diseases and gall bladder that are not properly treated. You have to get in touch with your doctor prior to consuming this vegetable to know if it may cause you problem. Organic sweet potatoes that are homegrown can be consumed whole together with the skin. However, the common store bought varieties have to be peeled so as to avoid eating chemicals. 

Learn more about the health benefits of sweet potatoes:

Watch Your Garden Grow: Sweet Potato from University of Illinois Extension
Purple Sweet Potato Means Increased Amount Of Anti-Cancer Components from Science Daily

 

Source: GardeningChannel

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