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10 Things to do with Sweet Potatoes

Updated on March 19, 2013
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Kathy is a busy mom of two teens who loves to cook tasty and simple food for her family and friends.

Sweet potatoes are nutritional powerhouses, high in vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, beta carotene and other nutrients. They are a great source of complex carbs and have a low glycemic index. Despite their name, sweet potatoes are actually better for diabetics than regular potatoes and are believed to help lower insulin resistance. They can be an important part of a healthy diet, and should not be reserved for special occasions only.

Sweet potato pie or sweet potato casserole are a common part of many people's traditional Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Typically, these holiday dishes contain a high amount of fat and sugar, as they often include lots of brown sugar, syrup and even marshmallows. However, there are many other ways to prepare sweet potatoes that make them a healthy choice for everyday meals.

Here are 10 suggestions for different ways to cook sweet potatoes to make them a part of your everyday meals:

How many calories are in a sweet potato?

A medium size sweet potato (approx 110-115 g) has about 105 calories and contains more than 100% of the RDA of Vitamin A, and 35% of the RDA of Vitamin C.

Source: USDA

1. Serve mashed sweet potatoes as a side dish

Bake or boil some sweet potatoes, then mash them up. Add any of the following: milk, butter, sour cream or maple syrup and serve. Obviously, you will want to only add a bit of any of the above if you are watching your fat or sugar intake. Plain yogurt is also a good option.

Sweet potato fries
Sweet potato fries | Source

2. Make sweet potato fries

Sweet potato fries can be a healthy substitute for regular french fries - particularly if they're baked instead of fried.

3. Roast them

Roasted sweet potatoes are so easy to prepare. Cut the sweet potatoes into chunks or wedges, toss them in some olive oil or vegetable oil and cook in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes. You can add extra seasonings like cumin, garlic, honey or lemon juice if you want a bit more flavour.

Short on time?

For a speedier version of a baked sweet potato, poke a few holes in a raw sweet potato and cook it in the microwave for five minutes.

4. Make baked sweet potatoes

Baked sweet potatoes are a nice change from a traditional baked potato. Because the sweet potato has more flavour than a normal baked potato, you may find that you don't need as many high fat toppings as you would normally add.


5. Cook them on the barbecue

Barbecuing a sweet potato allows it to caramelize, bringing out its natural sweetness. You can either cook sweet potatoes, whole or sliced, directly on the grill or wrap them in tin foil first.

6. Make sweet potato soup

Soup made using sweet potatoes can be savoury, with the addition of curry and apples, or rich and sweet with maple syrup and nutmeg. Serve the soup as an appetizer, or freeze some for a delicious and nutritious lunch.

7. Use sweet potatoes in a salad

Cubed cooked sweet potatoes add colour and nutrition to a green salad, or you can even make a potato salad with them instead of using white potatoes.

8. Use sweet potatoes in stews

You can substitute sweet potatoes for regular potatoes in your favourite stew recipe to increase the nutritional value and add a bit of extra colour.

9. Make sweet potato pancakes

Depending on the recipe, you can make sweet potato pancakes using either mashed potatoes or grated potatoes. The result can be like traditional potato pancakes, or more like a regular breakfast pancake. Both variations up the nutritional factor, and are worth trying.

10. Bake sweet potato muffins

Although it may sound unusual, sweet potato muffins are delicious and very nutritious. You can puree them, or leave them chunky for a bit more texture. Cinnamon and nuts compliment sweet potatoes nicely in muffins.

Healthy Sweet Potato Muffins

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    • savingkathy profile image
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      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Simple is good! I've never thought of having them with tea or coffee. Interesting...

    • profile image

      frances-clare 4 years ago

      hi, down here we just boil with a little salt. have them on their own or with tea/coffee :-)

    • savingkathy profile image
      Author

      Kathy Sima 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      That's a great idea TT! I use my crockpot a lot, but have never tried using it for baked potatoes. I will definitely give that a try. Thanks for the suggestion!

    • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

      TIMETRAVELER2 5 years ago

      The easiest way I've found to bake sweet (or white) potatoes is to wash them off and stick them in a crockpot for 3 to 4 hours. They come out perfect every time and are SOOOO good!

    • savingkathy profile image
      Author

      Kathy Sima 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks very much Sherri! I'm glad to hear you found the hub interesting and useful. I hope you'll be inspired to try some new ways to prepare sweet potatoes. Thanks for your comments!

    • savingkathy profile image
      Author

      Kathy Sima 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks very much Sherri! I'm glad to hear you found the hub interesting and useful. I hope you'll be inspired to try some new ways to prepare sweet potatoes. Thanks for your comments!

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      These are great ideas for sweet potatoes. I bake them whole, make casseroles out of them with apples, and also make an occasional sweet potato pie for a special occasion, but I haven't really put them through their possible paces, so to speak. I love the idea of a sweet potato salad made like a white potato salad. Up, interesting, useful!

    • savingkathy profile image
      Author

      Kathy Sima 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I love sweet potato fries too! Glad you enjoyed the hub - thanks for commenting!

    • CZCZCZ profile image

      CZCZCZ 5 years ago from Oregon

      I am a big sucker for sweet potato fries. Enjoyed reading through this hub.

    • savingkathy profile image
      Author

      Kathy Sima 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks MJ! My grandfather was a champion potato farmer, so we ate a lot of white potatoes growing up. I still love them, but find sweet potatoes a nice change. The health benefits are a nice bonus!

    • profile image

      mjkearn 5 years ago

      Hi savingkathy, I love me spuds but where sweet spuds fit with the ordinary ones I don't know. Certainly makes me hungry though. Great hub, fab layout. Voted up,

      MJ.

    • savingkathy profile image
      Author

      Kathy Sima 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Wow Claudia, all of those ways sound great. I will have to check out your recipe for the flourless chocolate cake. That sounds very interesting!

      Thanks for stopping by and your votes. :)

    • Claudia Tello profile image

      Claudia Tello 5 years ago from Mexico

      I love sweet potatoes and I have eaten them baked, roasted, in salads, in high protein pancakes, in a delicious chocolate cake I make (a flourless chocolate cake I wrote a Hub about, it uses sweet potatoe mash instead of flour). I have yet to try the fries (which look mouthwatering in that picture) and the muffins sound very appealing as well.

      Great Hub, voted up and useful.

    • savingkathy profile image
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      Kathy Sima 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks for commenting RTalloni. Sweet potatoes are so versatile - I think I might make some muffins this weekend with them too. :)

    • savingkathy profile image
      Author

      Kathy Sima 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I''m glad that you found these suggestions helpful, Movie Master. Thanks for the feedback!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Thanks for these great reminders to add more sweet potatoes to our diets. We love sweet potatoes and always enjoy new ways to use them. I think a sweet potato muffin recipe might be on the menu for our weekend. :)

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      We are just starting to eat more sweet potatoes, so will find your suggestions useful!

      Many thanks and voted up

    • savingkathy profile image
      Author

      Kathy Sima 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks randomcreative and rebeccamealey. I hope you'll get a chance to try some new ways to enjoy sweet potatoes. Let me know if you discover any new favourites!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I love sweet potatoes! I frequently make sweet potato fries and mashed sweet potatoes. I would love to try some of your other suggestions, too!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      I love sweet potatoes and their health benefits. I like making sweet potatoes home fries and sweet potato souffle. I vote this UP, UP and Up!