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Best sweet potato recipes

Updated on January 9, 2012

Sweet potato

The sweet potato

Ya know, I firmly believe that the lowly sweet potato doesn't get nearly the love it deserves. That may sound a bit drastic, but the sweet potato has been playing second-fiddle to the mighty potato for far too long

Sweet potato recipes

So, I started to do little research, see if I could find some great recipes online that utilize the natural sweetness of the sweet potato. There turned out to be a goldmine of information on the subject, far more than I could list here on the site

Actually, some of the links on this Huppage will lead you directly to some of the material on sweet potatoes that will help educate on all the wonderful possibilities they possess

The sweet potato is the 6th principal world food crop, approx 90% of the worlds' crop comes from Asia

'Sweet Potato Capital of the World.' Vardaman, MS

1.8 billion pounds of sweet potatoes are produced by major producing states. North Carolina (667 million pounds) produced the most. California (426 million pounds). Mississippi and Louisiana also produced at least 300 million pounds apiece
US Census Bureau - Oct 2008

Per Capita U.S. Sweet Potato Consumption
• In 2007 - 4.6 pounds.
• In 2004 - 4.2 pounds
• In 1943 - 21.7 pounds.
Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission

98,300 acres of sweet potatoes were planted in the U.S. (2004)

yams and sweet potatoes are not related. They're in 2 different botanical families. Yams are related to grasses, lilies and the like



Decadent Sweet Potato Pie-Food Network

The sweet potato continued

Historical Facts:

  • Sweet potatoes were grown in Peru as early as 750 BC.

  • Native Americans were growing sweet potatoes when Columbus arrived

  • George Washington grew sweet potatoes on his farm at Mount Vernon

  • George Washington Carver developed 118 different products from sweet potatoes, including a mucilage for postal stamps, an economic method for sizing cotton fabrics, dehydrated food and an alternative to corn syrup

  • 1896, Carver was appointed head of the Agricultural Department at the Tuskegee Institute where he showed the value of soil regeneration by planting sweet potatoes as the rotation crop for cotton. A diet of peanuts and sweet potatoes was found to be nutritionally viable

  • During WWI, when the supplies of wheat flour were lagging, the USDA utilized sweet potato flour to stretch wheat flour

Sweet potatoes are a Native American plant that was the main source of nourishment for early homesteaders and soldiers during the Revolutionary War

The tuberous roots are among the most nutritious foods in the vegetable kingdom. They are packed with calcium, potassium, and vitamins A & C

Sweet potatoes are often confused with yams, but yams are large, starchy roots grown in Africa and Asia. Yams can grow up to 100 pounds and are rarely available in American supermarkets. Nutritionally, sweet potatoes greatly surpass yams

Sweet potatoes contain an enzyme that converts most of its starches into sugars as it matures. The sweetness continues to increase during storage and when they're cooked.
Sweet potatoes are harvested in August through October, but they are available in supermarkets all year long

Many stores feature them during the holidays. There are 2 varieties of sweet potato; the pale yellow dark orange. The dark orange variety is plumper in shape and somewhat sweeter than the yellow

Tater Day Festival, one of the few festivals devoted to sweet potatoes, is held in Benton, Kentucky. The 3-day event began in 1843. Farmers would bring their products to the town square to sell or trade. 'Tater' is a nickname for potato. In Benton, this eventually morphed into an annual festival honoring the sweet potato, with a parade, carnival, and baking and canning competitions

The stats and facts surrounding the sweet potato seem to be endless, helping to illustrate the vast uses of the plant and the vegetable. It truly is a remarkable product, certainly one worthy of praise and distinction

Sweet potato recipes

With all this talk of facts and tidbits, it's about time to get to some actual sweet potato recipes. And the conversation will always begin and end with Sweet potato pie. The culinary landscape is littered with sweet potato recipes, but this the one that put this tuber on the map, in my humble opinion.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound 3 ounces sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 1/4 cups plain yogurt
  • 3/4 cup packed, dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 5 egg yolks
  • Salt
  • 1 (9-inch) deep dish, frozen pie shell
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • Special equipment: steamer basket

Directions:

Put cubed potatoes into steamer basket and place steamer basket into a large pot
of simmering water that is no closer than 2 inches from the bottom of basket.
Allow to steam for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. Mash with potato masher and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place sweet potatoes in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat with the paddle attachment.
Add yogurt, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, yolks, and salt, to taste, and beat until
well combined. Pour this batter into the pie shell and place onto a sheet pan. Sprinkle
pecans on top and drizzle with maple syrup.

Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until the custard reaches 165 to 180 degrees. Remove from oven and cool. Keep refrigerated after cooling.

Sweet potato pie bares a very close resemblance to pumpkin pie, but both have very unique characteristics. Personally, I prefer pumpkin, but that's what I grew up with.

Sweet Potato Fries

  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium chili seasoning
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil; set aside.

Peel the sweet potatoes. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise then cut into 1/2-inch thick fries.

Place sweet potato fries in a large bowl. Toss with oil and spices until they are thoroughly coated.

Spread fries in a single layer on baking sheet. Place in preheated oven.
Bake for 30 minutes, flipping once to ensure even cooking.

Remove from oven and serve hot and crispy.

For me, sweet potatoes definitely fall under the category of acquired taste. I wasn't born with a taste for this tuber, but over the years, with each passing holiday season, I've become more adventuresome with the foods I'm willing to try. Sweet potatoes are one such food, and I'm personally glad I gave them their fair due. I haven't regretted the decision.

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