It’s hard not to love the slightly sweet flavor and bright orange hue of a sweet potato. And luckily enough, sweet potatoes are actually very good for you and your kids! Easy to cook and packed with nutrients, the sweet potato is a superfood your family can get behind.
Sweet Potato Basics
Sweet potatoes are a starchy, tuberous root vegetable with a red skin outside and rich orange-colored inside. You may know them as yams, but that’s actually a misnomer. Yams have a rough, barklike exterior and dry, starchy inside. They also lack the beautiful, bright orange flesh.
Sweet potatoes can also sometimes be found in a purple variety, which has a slightly different flavor and texture. While sweet potatoes are in season in November and December, they can be found at grocery stores and supermarkets year-round.
Benefits of Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamins and they are packed with beta carotene, which works as a powerful antioxidant. Sweet potatoes are great for the immune system, healthy skin and bones, good eyesight and a healthy reproductive system.
They are also a good source of fiber, which is important for gut health, as well as calcium and iron. With all these nutrients, it’s no wonder the sweet potato is considered a superfood!
Cooking with Sweet Potatoes
When choosing a sweet potato, select one that is firm and has no soft spots. You also want to avoid bruises and cracks. Store them in a dark, cool place at home, and they’ll last up to ten days raw.
Then skin is edible, so it’s up to you whether or not to peel them. However, many of the nutrients are found in the skin. If you decide not to peel, make sure to give the skin a good scrub before cooking. If you do peel, you should cook them right away. But if you need to peel ahead of time, they can be stored in a bowl of cool water until you are ready to use them.
Sweet potatoes are also a very versatile vegetable, so you should be able to find a way to prepare them that will even satisfy picky eaters. They can be boiled and mashed, steamed, roasted, cut into fries and baked, pureed, you name it. They can accompany all kinds of mains, and go great in a variety of dishes like soups, buddha bowls and casseroles.
So next time you visit the store, grab a couple sweet potatoes and try a few new recipes your kids will love.