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Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes: Main Image

Preparation, Uses, & Tips

To prepare sweet potatoes, scrub them well with a vegetable brush.

To boil

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into chunks. Boil until tender—about 25 to 30 minutes. Boiled sweet potatoes can be mashed with butter or margarine and a small amount of orange juice for extra flavor. Or add brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

To fry

Julienne-cut sweet potatoes can be deep fried to make French fries.

To roast

Cut unpeeled sweet potatoes into wedges, toss with olive oil and herbs, and roast at 375°F (190°C) for 25 to 30 minutes, until tender.

To bake

Pierce the skin of each sweet potato in several places with a fork, and then bake for 15 minutes at 400°F (220°C), followed by 45 to 60 minutes more at 375°F (190°C). They should be placed on a baking tray since they produce a sticky syrup while baking. Sweet potato slices can also be layered with slices of apple and then topped with brown sugar and butter or margarine and baked in a covered casserole dish at 375°F (190°C) for about 30 minutes.

To microwave

Pierce the skin in several places and bake whole potatoes on high for 5 to 9 minutes.

To grill

Peel the sweet potatoes and slice them lengthwise into 1/2 (1.25cm) inch thick slices. Grill until browned, about four minutes on each side. Serve grilled sweet potatoes brush with melted butter and brown sugar.

Puréed, boiled sweet potatoes—particularly the type known as yams—can be used in baked goods, and can replace pumpkin in pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread. Sweet potato pie is a traditional dish in the southern United States. Finely diced sweet potatoes make good hash browns.

Good flavors for seasoning sweet potatoes include orange, pineapple, apples, pecans, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, maple syrup, chile peppers, cilantro, lemon, lime, and curry.

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The information presented in the Food Guide is for informational purposes only and was created by a team of US–registered dietitians and food experts. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements, making dietary changes, or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2023.