How To Cook Sweet Potatoes

While they are called sweet potatoes, these root vegetables aren’t actually a type of potato but they stay true to the sweet with a gentle sweet taste. The big problem of many people are how to cook sweet potatoes?

Sweet potatoes come in a variety of colors. In Europe, you typically find sweet potatoes that have an orange flesh.

There are also sweet potatoes that are white or purple inside.

How To Cook Sweet Potatoes?

No matter what their color, you can make so many delicious dishes with sweet potatoes but how do you cook sweet potatoes properly?

Sweet potatoes can be mashed, baked, fried, roasted, boiled, steamed and even barbecue. These many cooking options is what makes this root vegetable (You might want to check out these Incredible Vegan Turnip Recipes To Try Right Now) so versatile.

In this article, we take a closer look at a few different ways how you can cook sweet potatoes, and what you can serve with them.

How To Cook Sweet Potatoes

Just like with some regular potato varieties, you don’t need to peel sweet potatoes if you want to bake or fry them.

Leaving the skin on when frying or baking means that the skin is crispy and the inside fluffy.

Saying this, you can also peel sweet potatoes very easily but bear in mind that due to their color, they will discolor the rest of your food.

This means that you need to make sure that you have everything else read to cook.

With the many different ways that you can cook sweet potatoes, you are spoiled for choice. Here are our two favorite cooking methods for sweet potatoes.

Jacket Sweet Potatoes

Jacket potato is one of the easiest ways to cook this delicious vegetable, and you only need a few sweet potatoes and some cooking oil.

Start by preheating your oven to a good temperature. Then, pierce your sweet potatoes a couple of times with a fork.

Next, rub each sweet potato with some oil and your favorite seasoning. This could be any spices, herbs, pepper and salt of your choice.

Once done, place your sweet potatoes on a baking tray and bake them in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes.

The potato skin should feel crisp when they are done. You can use a fork to pierce the potato again to check whether the inside is fluffy and soft.

Once the potatoes are done, take them out of the oven and enjoy them piping hot.

Sweet Potato Wedges

Sweet potato wedges are probably the best way to get your kids to try a few new vegetables. You can make lots of the wedges for all the family.

For a serving of 2 to 3, you will need 500g of sweet potato, some cooking soil, barbecue seasoning (or any of your favorite harissa or chipotle paste) and sour cream with chives.

Start by preheating the oven to a good temperature and then cut your sweet potatoes into any size wedges.

You can cut them as thin or thick as you like, or why not vary, so everyone gets their favorite?

Then, add the barbecue seasoning or your harissa paste as well as some of the cooking oil. Combine everything properly and then put the wedges on a baking tray.

Put the tray with the wedges into the preheated oven and cook the sweet potatoes for 35 to 45 minutes.

The exact time depends on the thickness of your wedges, so make sure to check them after half an hour with a fork.

You can serve these delicious sweet potato wedges with the soured cream and chives.

What Do You Need To Look For When Buying Sweet Potatoes?

What Do You Need To Look For When Buying Sweet Potatoes?

When you pick your sweet potatoes make sure that they have a strong, vibrant color. Some sweet potatoes are red, while others are yellow, pink, purple or red.

Whatever sweet potatoes you choose, check that their skin is firm and smooth. They shouldn’t have any holes or mold on them.

It’s important to know that sweet potatoes can perish much quicker than normal potatoes, so store them in a cool and dry place for less than a week.

It’s best not to put them into the fridge however as the cold temperatures can affect the flavor of the sweet potatoes.

Can You Overcook A Sweet Potato?

Yes, you can overcook a sweet potato if you decide to boil it before grilling or baking it. 

Just like normal potatoes, sweet potatoes pick up water when they are boiled for too long. This means that they can get mushy.

Make sure that you check your sweet potatoes with a fork to avoid any overcooking.

Is It Better To Bake Or Boil Sweet Potatoes?

From a nutritional perspective, boiling sweet potatoes is much better than baking them as it keeps the nutrients, such as beta-carotene, inside the vegetable for longer.

In addition, boiling a sweet potato also makes it easier to absorb when you eat it. You can keep over 90% of the nutrients, if you keep the cooking time as short as possible.

What Goes Well With Sweet Potatoes?

Thanks to their sweet flavor, sweet potatoes add a lot more taste to a dish than normal potatoes.

You can pair sweet potatoes with almost anything, including cumin, curry powder, chipotle, chili, paprika, pepper, ginger and even sour citrus juice.

Sweet potatoes go particularly well with other earthy vegetables, like spinach and beetroot. You can serve sweet potatoes with a variety of meats, such as chorizo, duck and lamb.

In some parts of the US, sweet potatoes are also used as a replacement for the traditional pumpkin pie for the Christmas holidays and Thanksgiving.

Health Benefits Of Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes have a variety of health benefits. While they are similar in calories and carbohydrates to normal potatoes, they have a lot more fiber, vitamin C and vitamin B.

Sweet potatoes also contain a lot of antioxidants which converts to vitamin A in our body.

Healthy Ways to Cook Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a great way to add nutrition to your diet. These tasty potatoes are packed with vitamins, minerals, and potassium. In addition to their vitamin A content, sweet potatoes are also a great source of calcium. You can find a variety of healthy ways to cook these tasty vegetables.

Sweet potatoes are easy to prepare. Depending on how you want to eat them, you can boil, bake, microwave, or roast. However, cooking sweet potatoes in the oven offers the best results. The temperature of the oven, along with the long cook time, will result in tender, delicious potatoes.

Roasting sweet potatoes helps to release the natural sweetness of the sweet potato. This method also makes it possible to add other flavors to the dish. For instance, you can add cinnamon, ground cumin, or fresh ginger. Alternatively, you can toss the roasted potatoes in a few tablespoons of olive oil and some freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

If you are going to serve your baked sweet potatoes with a variety of toppings, make sure they do not contain high-fat condiments. Adding feta cheese, broccoli, cooked beans, or other flavorful ingredients can help boost the nutritional value of this side dish.

When you are cooking sweet potatoes in the oven, you may want to use foil. Foil is a great way to insulate the potatoes and make cleanup easier. But if you plan to use foil, be sure to use a rimmed baking sheet. Otherwise, the potatoes will steam instead of getting crispy.

Final Thoughts

Sweet potatoes are so versatile that you can cook them in almost any way. 

From creamy mashed sweet potatoes and tasty wedges to fluffy Jacket potatoes, this root vegetable can add a special flavor to every dish.

Clara Howie
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