How to Add Sweet Potatoes to Your Diet
Sweet potatoes are a nutritious and delicious vegetable with easy ways to enjoy them.
Here are some creative ways to get this nutrient-dense vegetable into your diet:
- Boiled and snacked on with some melted coconut oil and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast.
- Boiled and blended into a smoothie.
- Baked into a grain-free almond flour muffin.
- Whisked into coconut flour pancakes.
- Made into sweet potato fries.
- Used in place of regular mashed potatoes.
- Cooked, cubed, and added to salads.
How to Buy Sweet Potatoes
Buying Tip #1 Consider your options
When shopping for sweet potatoes, you will want to decide which variety you want. If you want a sweet potato that is softer when cooked, you will want to choose a garnet or Jewel variety, which remember, will likely be labeled as a “yam.”
Buying Tip #2 Pick the healthiest potato
If you are looking for a sweet potato that will add in a powerful punch of antioxidants, go for a purple sweet potato which contains nearly 150% more antioxidants than blueberries!
Buying Tip #3 Watch out for bruising
Once you decide which sweet potato to select, you will also want to look for any bruising or wrinkled outer skin. You want the outer skin to be smooth and avoid any sweet potatoes with any dents, bruises, or sprouts growing from them.
How to Store Sweet Potatoes
Now it’s time to store your sweet potatoes until you are ready to enjoy them.
- Store them in a cool and dry place for optimal freshness.
- Avoid washing or rinsing your sweet potatoes before storing them to avoid any mold growth or to help prevent them from rotting before you are ready to use them.
- If the outside of your sweet potatoes are noticeably dirty, simply wipe them with a dry cloth to remove the dirt.
- Keep them away from certain fruits and vegetables that may cause sprouting due to the gasses they let off. These foods include onions, bananas, and apples.
If properly stored, you can expect your sweet potatoes to last for 1-2 weeks, so be sure to add them to your recipes as soon as possible.
Boiling Your Sweet Potato Preserves More Nutrients
No matter how you cook your vegetables, some of the nutrients will be lost in the process. The good news is that there is one cooking method that preserves the nutrients better than others.
Boiling sweet potatoes has been found to be more beneficial when it comes to preserving vitamin A. Boiling sweet potatoes has also been found to support a more positive impact on the glycemic index and the effect sweet potatoes have on blood sugar.
And, don’t forget to add some fat to your sweet potatoes to help with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamin A. It only takes about 3-5 grams of fat to help support better absorption.
How to Grow Sweet Potatoes
If you want to grow your own sweet potatoes at home, the good news is that these root veggies don’t require a green thumb. With just a little bit of maintenance, you can grow your own sweet potatoes and have them available throughout the year.
The most important thing to know is that sweet potatoes aren’t grown like other fruits or vegetables. They are grown from slips which are shoots that come from mature sweet potatoes. You can order these slips from a reputable plant seed supplier to start growing your own.
If you already have an herb or vegetable garden, sweet potatoes make a wonderful nutrient-dense fairly low maintenance addition to your garden.