My family loves sweet potatoes. Alot. I like that they are cheap, so easy to cook (in a bajillion different ways) and mostly that I can put one in the microwave and serve it with a bit of honey and a dash of cinnamon inside of 5 minutes. Sweet potatoes make a great after-school snack.
Some dieters say sweet potatoes are too starchy and should be avoided in the same category as white rice. In fact, my husband used to be one of these misguided folks, which was very inconvenient. Actually, sweet potatoes are full of vitamins and minerals and that lovely orange color brings with it tons of goodness. Dieticians may recommend eating the skin, which is full of fiber, but to me it looks like cardboard and I just don’t find potato skin appealing. Besides, sweets are filling and naturally sweet.
Sometimes, on a good day, (when don’t overload them with butter and honey or brown sugar) sweet potatoes can kind of, sort of soothe a sweet tooth. I suppose a sweet potato with a little maple syrup is a better choice than say….a Snickers bar….sometimes–rarely– and under extreme circumstances. OK–always….
Sweet potatoes are very to grow on your own. Last year we bought some organic Beauregards at a local store, put them in jars over the heater vents, and had our own starter plants by Mother’s Day. This is a great spring project for the little ones, to show them how Mother Nature grows incredible, edible foods. This site has some photos to show just how easy it is to start your own plants: http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/how-to-plant-and-grow-sweet-potatoes/index.html.
Sweet potatoes aren’t like other varieties of potatoes–they like really hot weather and humidity, and most varieties take about 90 days to mature. They like to be out of the ground before frost and they need about 10 days to cure (this means you set them outside in a protected area before you bring them in to the cellar/cool garage for the winter). If you do the math, this means that in the Annapolis area sweet potatoes should go in around June.
They do take up some space in the garden because they are vining plants, but they look quite pretty. Some varieties have petite and beautiful blooms. Sweet potatoes can’t be trellised like other vining plants (obviously as the potato grows into the ground) but the vines can be maintained so they don’t take over everything.
If you want to know what goes into your food, try growing your own, then try one of these recipes.Feel free to share...