Wednesday, February 18, 2009

national sweet potato month

February is National Sweet Potato Month.  And what a delicious choice for a featured food.  Sweet potatoes are versatile, nutritious and easy to add in to your diet.

The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) is sometimes confused with a yam which comes from a completely different plant family.  It's also only distantly related to traditional potatoes.

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene and a good source of vitamin C, both of which are anti-inflammatory antioxidants.  They are also a good source of fiber with 3.14 g per serving (a single sweet potato averaging about 77 g).

Most people are used to thinking of sweet potatoes candied with marshmallow and brown sugar on the Thanksgiving table, or perhaps baked into a sweet potato pie or just baked and served with butter.  But there are a lot of different ways to serve them across many different cultures.  In Korea they are used to make dangmyeon, a cellophane noodle, while in Japan it's frequently used in tempura.  In Africa sweet potatoes are dried and then served with a peanut sauce in a dish called Amukeke.

As I've mentioned in a previous post we like to eat them in potato pancakes.  Another favorite i our house is sweet potato fries but we don't do that too often because we don't eat a lot of deep fried foods.  

Recently KatieR  had a great idea which calls for using a dehydrator to make sweet potato chips.  You cut the potato into the desired thickness, brush with a thin coating of olive oil, sprinkle with your favorite spices, such as curry powder, and dehydrate until done.    If you don't have a dehydrator you can use your oven set to it's lowest setting and bake until you reach the desired crispness.

I think the next time I go to the grocery store there will be a couple of extra sweet potatoes in my basket so we can give this a try.  If you try it too let me know what spices you used and how it turned out.

photo courtesy of

No comments: