Calorie counters do not have to shy away from sweet potatoes. Despite its sweet taste, a 3 1/2 ounce serving contains only 141 calories, less than a glass of whole milk. Even with a teaspoon of butter, the total number of calories is under 200. And yet this same serving is packed with over 100% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of Vitamin C. It also contains important iron, thiamine, riboflavin and phosphorus.
There are several ways to cook sweet potatoes. First, scrub skins, trim ends and cut out bruised spots. For best results, use stainless steel knife as carbon blades may cause the sweet potato to darken.
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One pound raw, fresh sweet potato equals:
3 cups shredded sweet potatoes
1-3/4 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
3 cups cubed sweet potatoes (approx. 1/2 inch)
3 cups sliced sweet potatoes
Maple Orange Sweet Potato Mash
Makes 6 servings
(December/January 2012 issue of HealthMonitor)
2-1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes (about 4 medium), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
2 tsp. maple syrup
2 tsp. grated fresh orange zest
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. butter or margarine
2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice or frozen orange juice concentrate
Place the sweet potatoes in a saucepot with enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cook until tender, 10 to 13 minutes.
Add the chopped nuts to a skillet over medium-high heat. Toss until the nuts are slightly toasted and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat. Drizzle 1 tsp. maple syrup over the nuts and toss to evenly coat. Remove the nuts from the skillet and set aside.
Drain the sweet potatoes and place them back in the saucepot on the hot burner with no heat. Let the sweet potatoes sit for 1 minute to let the excess water evaporate. Add the orange zest, cinnamon, salt, butter or margarine, orange juice, and remaining 1 tsp. maple syrup. Using a potato masher or fork, mash the potatoes until smooth or until the desired consistency.
Remove to a warm serving bowl and garnish with the reserved nuts.
Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Set the oven to 350 degrees F.
Scrub potato and cut in 1/2-inch pieces.
Bake on a lightly greased tray for 20 minutes.
Turn and bake an additional 15-20 minutes until tender.
Serve with your favorite spicy or sweet seasoning.
If you use a hotter oven you can bake them faster but you have to watch that they don’t burn.
Sweet Potato Buttermilk Cornbread
Makes 12 servings
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. cornmeal
1/4 c. sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 c. butter
1 c. buttermilk
1 1/2 c. peeled and grated sweet potatoes
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. In a small bowl, beat egg until frothy. Stir in buttermilk and sweet potatoes. Pour sweet potato mixture into flour mixture, stirring just until blended. Pour batter into greased 9 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish. Bake 20 minutes or until center springs bake when lightly pressed with fingertip. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into squares and serve. You can omit the sugar in this recipe and use this cornbread in your southern style dressing.
Sweet Potatoes and Carrots a L’Orange
Makes 4 servings
2 cups sweet potatoes (1 large), thinly sliced
1 cup carrots, sliced
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tsp. orange peel, grated
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsps. slivered almonds or pecans
Boil or steam sweet potatoes and carrots until tender throughout.
Heat orange juice to boiling in saucepan. Add the orange peel and lemon juice.
Dissolve the cornstarch in the water and add to orange mixture. Continue to heat, stirring until thickened.
Remove vegetables from pan and place in serving dish. Drizzle orange sauce over it and sprinkle nuts on top.