sweet potato

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Also Known as
Shakarkand

Description
Although sweet potatoes may be part of the Thanksgiving tradition, be sure to add these wonderful naturally sweet vegetables to your meals throughout the year; they are some of the most nutritious vegetables around. Sweet potatoes can be found in your local markets year-round, however they are in season in November and December.
The sweet potato has yellow or orange flesh, and its thin skin may either be white, yellow, orange, red or purple. Sometimes this root vegetable will be shaped like a potato, being short and blocky with rounded ends, while other times it will be longer with tapered ends.

Chopped Sweet Potato
Sweet Potato can be peeled or unpeeled, as desired. Take a sharp knife, slice it from the top to remove the stem and then cut it into half from the centre. Cut the half portion into another half and remove the seeds from centre. Chop ingredients by cutting them in small pieces approximately ¼ inch in diameter, although the chopped food doesn't need to be exactly the same size. If the recipe calls for the ingredients to be "coarsely chopped," make the pieces slightly larger.

Boiled sweet potato
Wash sweet potato thoroughly in cold water. Drop clean sweet potatoes into enough boiling water to cover them. Cover pan and return water to boiling as quickly as possible. Lower heat and cook until tender. Peeled or unpeeled sweet potatoes, either cut into chunks or not is one's choice. The time will vary depending on the size of the potatoes or chunks - from 5 minutes for small chunks to 30 minutes for whole potatoes Boiled sweet potatoes can be used for pies, cookies, casseroles, glazed, candied or frozen.
Chopped sweet potato
Grated sweet potato
Wash and peel or unpeel as preferred. To grate the sweet potato, rub it against a grater. These shreds will range in size according to size of the holes in the grater. It can be grated thinly or thickly using a grater as required by the recipe.
Sliced sweet potato
Peel or Unpeel sweet potatoes. Then, cut the apple in half. Slice using a sharp knife by cutting vertically across the cutting board. Slice them thinly or thickly as the recipe demands.
Sweet potato cubes
Dice or cube sweet potato by cutting them into uniform strips. Line up the strips with your non-working hand and cut them into square pieces. Cube them as per the recipe's need regarding the size of the cubes, (for example, "cut into ½-inch cubes").

How to Select
Choose sweet potatoes that are firm and do not have any cracks, bruises or soft spots. Avoid those that are displayed in the refrigerated section of the produce department since cold temperature negatively alters their taste.

Culinary Uses
· You should peel them before eating since sometimes the skin is treated with dye or wax; if preparing the sweet potato whole, just peel it after cooking.
· As the flesh of sweet potatoes will darken upon contact with the air, you should cook them immediately after peeling and/or cutting them. If this is not possible, to prevent oxidation, keep them in a bowl covered completely with water until you are ready to cook them.
· Purée cooked sweet potatoes with bananas, maple syrup and cinnamon. Top with chopped walnuts.
· Steam cubed sweet potatoes, tofu, and broccoli. Mix in raisins and serve hot or cold with a curried vinaigrette dressing.
· Desserts made with sweet potatoes are an autumn favorite but can be enjoyed year round.
· Try making sweet potato pie, bread, muffins or pudding.
· Baked sweet potatoes are delicious even when served cold and therefore make a great food to pack in to-go lunches.
· Sweet potatoes can be baked, boiled, fried, broiled, canned or frozen. They can also be cooked in the microwave oven.
· A freshly baked or boiled sweet potato is delicious and nutritious. You need only to add a pat of butter or serve it plain.

How to Store
Sweet potatoes should be stored in a cool, dark and well-ventilated place, where they will keep fresh for up to ten days. Ideally, they should be kept out of the refrigerator in a cool, dry, dark place not above 60F, which would fit the characteristics of a root cellar. Yet since most people don't have root cellars, we'd suggest just keeping your sweet potatoes loose (not in a plastic bag) an storing them in a cool, dark, and well-ventilated cupboard away from sources of excess heat (like the stove)

Health Benefits
· Sweet it is for your health to eat sweet potatoes! Not only do they taste like dessert but it has surprisingly lots of health benefits.
· Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A.
· They are also a very good source of vitamin C and manganese.
· In addition, sweet potatoes are a good source of copper, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, potassium and iron.
· Sweet potato is the richest low-fat source of vitamin E.
· It contributes to heart health and is a good source of dietary antioxidants.
· It can help to regulate high blood pressure and also helps anaemia.
· It may also protect against inflammatory conditions.
· An Antioxidant-Rich, Anti-Inflammatory Food
· Sweet potatoes - the antidiabetic food.




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