Harvest of the Month: Sweet Potatoes

People who grow sweet potatoes can be forgiven for bragging about their crop: Food scientists have ranked it as the healthiest vegetable you can eat. In fact, the Center for Science in the Public Interest gave the sweet potato more than double the nutritional-value score of the baked potato, spinach or broccoli.

Why the high score? Well, for one thing, sweet potatoes are packed with vitamins A, B6 and C, they have loads of fiber, beta-carotene, iron and potassium, and they’re virtually fat- and sodium-free.

Of course, they also taste great.

If you want to get the most from these orange nutrition bombs, choose ones that are firm and relatively free of blemishes – accepting, of course, that these are roots, so they might appear dirty or a little “gnarly” in the store. They’ll be best if you eat them within a few days, although they can be stored up to a month. But don’t refrigerate them before cooking, because that could diminish the flavor. Instead, keep them in a cool, well-ventilated area.

When it is time to prepare them, wash and dry the sweet potatoes, and then cook and eat them with the skin on. The skin adds to the nutritious punch these roots deliver.

Try this Delicious Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quinoa Bake

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