Not just reserved for the fall months of the year, sweet potatoes are always a versatile, healthy option for a colorful, filling meal. Not only are they beautiful, they’re also loaded with fiber and nutrients, including beta-carotene, vitamins A and C, and antioxidants.
Depending on the variety, sweet potato flesh can vary from white to orange and even purple.
The orange-fleshed variety was introduced to the United States several decades ago. In order to distinguish it from the white variety everyone was accustomed to, producers and shippers chose the English form of the African word “nyami” and labeled them “yams.”
Even though the USDA requires that orange-colored sweet potatoes always be labeled “sweet potato,” most people still think of sweet potatoes as yams regardless of their true identity.
- Their orange flesh may be one of nature’s unsurpassed sources of Vitamin A.
- The 6 grams of dietary fiber in a medium sweet potato can help steady the pace of digestion and manage blood sugar.
- Tubers contain resistant starch — complex starch molecules that we can’t digest, which lead to a healthy gut environment.
To get the most of your potato, make sure to pair with a small amount of fat (even just 3-5 grams, or one teaspoon of oil) for better absorption of the beta-carotene from sweet potatoes.
Best Ways to Use
- Purée cooked sweet potatoes with cinnamon and chopped walnuts for a great dessert or side dish.
- Steam cubed sweet potatoes and add with your favorite protein and vegetables for a simple and quick dinner.
- Baked sweet potatoes are delicious even when served cold and therefore make a great food to pack in to-go lunches.