Oh, How Sweet They Are! – Sweet Potato 101
Buying in bulk is so fabulous. You get a good price, have enough to eat and “put some up” for the future – the frugal way to be prepared. A few weeks ago I purchased a box of oranges and discovered 24 ways to use an orange. I also have 20 pounds of asparagus in the works right now – more about that in a few weeks. At my house, this weeks bulk buy is 40 pounds of sweet potatoes at .63 per pound. We love sweet potatoes and this bulk buy has really helped me learn how to add them to my food storage plan.
Does the wonderful sweet potato have a part in your food storage plan? It should.
Get the Nutrition Facts
Sweet potatoes are a good source of protein, calcium, beta carotene and vitamin E. They have twice the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A and when you eat the skin, sweet potatoes have more fiber than oatmeal. Sweet potatoes digest slowly, so among root vegetables, they have the lowest rating on the glycemic index.
One medium sized Sweet Potato really packs a nutritional punch. According to the US Department of Agriculture it has:
Fat 0.39 g
Protein 2.15 g
Net Carbs 31.56 g
Dietary Fiber 3.9 g
Calcium 28.6 mg
Sodium 16.9 mg
Potassium 265.2 mg
Sweet Potato Storage – Not the same as a Russet
Since I purchased my sweets, I don’t have to worry about harvesting or curing them. They should be stored like pumpkins or winter squash – in a moderately warm (55-60 degrees) and dry place. Storing them at temperatures under 50 degrees will make them susceptible to mold. If your storage room is well ventilated, sweet potatoes will keep throughout the winter. A closet or under a bed would make a better storage place than a cold cellar. They will not turn green in a lighted area like regular potatoes.
Incorporating them into your long term food storage is easy too. If you have the room, put some in the freezer. Just cook until tender – then peel, cut into slices or mash, and pack into containers. Be sure to leave room for expanding.
Pressure canning sweet potatoes is Tyra’s favorite option. She recommends boiling or steaming them for 15 minutes until they are slightly soft. Cut them into smallish chunks and pack them into hot pint size jars. Cover with boiling water or a light syrup. Leave an inch of headroom and process in a pressure canner at 11 pounds pressure for 65 minutes.
Oh, How Sweet They Are!
What sweet and savory things can you make with your box of sweet potatoes? If you are willing to branch out from the holiday standard – sweet potato casserole – the possibilities are endless. I encourage you have fun and experiment with them.
Here are some of my “experiments” this week and my DH isn’t sick of them yet!
Make Sweet Potato Boats: Wash and thinly slice a sweet potato, but make sure not to cut it all the way through. Make a foil boat for each potato and place them on a cookie sheet. Add your yummy toppings – I’ve put butter, brown sugar and cinnamon on mine.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Lay a foil top on them for the first 30 minutes so they won’t burn.
Resources around the web:
Dehydrating Mashed Sweet Potatoes from End of Ordinary
You can learn to grow your own sweet potato slips by watching this YouTube video series
Simply Recipes has a recipe for oven baked sweet potato fries that we tried the other night. Once I got the hang if it they were fantastic. The secret – a bit of sugar to aid with crispiness, but only a bit. Don’t add too much though, or they are really sweet, trust me! This was filling enough for dinner. ALSO -Take time to look through the comments section for spice and dipping ideas from readers. I have some great combinations to try later this week.
What is your favorite non-traditional way to eat sweet potatoes? Share with us on our Facebook page.