Harvest of the Month: Sweet Potatoes

Even though sweet potatoes are typically harvested August through October, they are readily available in supermarkets all year. You probably notice them featured the most around Thanksgiving and Christmas, but they make a great addition to a meal any time of the year. They are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, dietary fiber, and potassium.

How to Select

When shopping, look for sweet potatoes that are firm and do not have any cracks, wrinkles, bruises, decay, soft spots, or sprouts. Even when cut away, decayed spots may have already altered the flavor of the whole potato. Be cautious of those that are displayed in the refrigerated section of the produce department, as the cold temperature can also negatively affect their taste.

How to Store

Sweet potatoes can keep up to ten days if they are stored in a cool, dark, and well-ventilated place. Ideally, they should be kept out of the refrigerator, but away from excessive heat (i.e. the stove). It is best to keep the sweet potatoes loose, but if desired, you may keep them in a brown paper bag with multiple air holes for ventilation.

How to Prepare

Do not wash sweet potatoes until you are ready to cook them. The skins are easier to remove after being cooked, and it is best to cook them whole, as most of the nutrients are next to the skin. Popular ways of preparing sweet potatoes include steaming, baking, pureeing, boiling, or stir-frying.

Try sweet potatoes in the delicious recipe for Pepper Chicken with Roasted Sweet Potato Salad from Health.com.

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