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Posted in Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating, Natural Living

Flavors Of Fall: Sweet Potato

Written by Kim Fuller on November 16, 2011 with 3 Comments

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This article is part 9 of 9 in the series Flavors of Fall

Sweet PotatoesSweet potatoes are a classic autumn side dish, but you may not know about their nutritional abundance.

The vitamins and antioxidants in these root vegetables will nourish your body and give your skin a golden glow.

Origin

Sweet potatoes are native to Central America, and their cultivation in the United States began during the 16 century. They are in season during November and December, which is why they so often grace our plates on Thanksgiving day. The variety of sweet potatoes that are grown in the southern United States are generally referred to as “yams.”

Enjoyment

When choosing potatoes, pick those that are firm with smooth skin, and avoid potatoes with soft spots, cracks and blemishes.

Roast sweet potatoes by washing them and cutting them into one inch slices and adding a small amount of cooking oil and seasoning to the pieces. Cook them in the oven for 30 minutes at 375 degrees F, turning the pieces once half-way through cooking.

Season sweet potatoes with salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme for a more savory flavor, or add combinations of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, honey, lime and ginger for sweeter complements. You can also add sweet potato pieces to stews, casseroles, breads and cakes, or you can cook them on their own as baked potatoes with a little butter and seasoning.

Benefits

Sweet potatoes are rich in complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, beta carotene, vitamin C and vitamin B6. The sweet potatoes with a deep orange inner-flesh have more beta carotene than the lighter varieties. It’s this orange color that signifies the abundance of beta carotene in the vegetables, which can help give your skin a vibrant glow.

A medium sweet potato provides over 300% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin A, which helps to promote eye, bone and immunity health. Sweet potatoes can also help to lower and stabilize blood sugar levels, so they are considered to be a diabetic-friendly food.

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3 Comments

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  1. How do we verify the origin of sweet potatoes and the “southern United States – yams?” I find that a bit curious that I heard they came via the slave trade from Africa. Help me to become more knowledgeable. Nonetheless, they are great for you and I do love them! Curious….!

  2. I was always under the impression that yam implied merely a difference in ones own geographic location? Sort of like one says soda or pop dependent upon where one grew up?

    • Hello Christine, there is a difference.

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