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Fabulous Fall Foods: Sweet Potatoes

(SouthBeachDiet.com) Sweet potatoes have recently become the rising star in the world of superfoods… It’s rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C, both powerful antioxidants that work to prevent and possibly reverse the cell damage caused by free radicals. Sweet potatoes are most abundant from September through December, but you can find them at your local supermarket year-round. Here are a few tips for buying, storing, and enjoying sweet potatoes.

Buying Sweet Potatoes: There are two types of sweet potatoes — dry-fleshed and moist-fleshed. The dry-fleshed types tend to be starchier and have a tan or light-colored flesh, ranging from almost white to light yellow. The moist-fleshed sweet potatoes have a dark, red-brown skin and an orange to deep-orange flesh. Look for firm potatoes that do not have any cracks, bruises, or soft spots. Since sweet potatoes can vary in size, choose small ones (4 to 5 ounces) when first reintroducing them to your diet.

Storing Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes spoil easily, so keep them in a cool, dark, and dry place, like a pantry. Refrigeration is not a good idea, as the cold temperature can negatively alter their taste. They should be used within two weeks of purchase.

Enjoying Sweet Potatoes: Before preparing, make sure to scrub them thoroughly with a stiff brush. Since sweet potatoes grow under the ground, they can collect a lot of dirt. To cook, you can boil and mash them as you would regular potatoes, or you can roast or bake them in the oven. If you choose to bake sweet potatoes whole, make sure you pierce the skin several times with a fork to prevent an explosion. Sweet potato “fries” are also a delicious way to prepare them, as long as they are baked (not fried).

Read more, including a recipe for oven fried sweet potatoes.

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