The sweet potato, scientifically known as Ipomoea batatas, is a dicotyledonous plant member of the Convolvulaceae family, including morning glory and bindweed.
The sweet potato is native to Central and South America but has been cultivated in many tropical countries for thousands of years. It was introduced into the United States during the colonial era and is now widely grown in warm climates worldwide.
The sweet potato is often confused with the yam, a different plant belonging to the Dioscoreaceae family. The term “yam” generally refers to any starchy tuberous root vegetable used for food in the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, Asia, and Oceania.
⬇️ Table of Contents
- Types of Sweet Potatoes
- Sweet Potato Varieties Defined
- Amish Bush Porto Rico Sweet Potato
- Apache Sweet Potatoes
- Bam-Goguma | Korean Purple Sweet Potato
- Beauregard Sweet Potatoes
- Berkeley Sweet Potatoes
- Camote Sweet Potatoes
- Centennial Sweet Potatoes
- Covington Sweet Potatoes
- Charleston Sweet Potatoes
- Cilembu Sweet Potatoes
- Darby Sweet Potatoes
- Envy Sweet Potatoes
- Evangeline Sweet Potatoes
- Excel Sweet Potatoes
- Ginseng Red Sweet Potato
- Hannah Sweet Potatoes
- Hayman Sweet Potatoes
- Hernandez Sweet Potatoes
- Jewel Sweet Potatoes
- Khoai Duong Ngoc
- Kotobuki Sweet Potatoes
- Kūmara Sweet Potatoes
- Martha Washington Sweet Potatoes
- Murasaki Sweet Potatoes | Japanese
- Nancy Hall Sweet Potatoes
- North Carolina Sweet Potatoes
- O'Henry Sweet Potatoes
- Okinawa | Hawaiian Sweet Potatoes
- Puerto Rican Sweet Potatoes
- Red Garnet Sweet Potatoes
- Satsuma-Imo Sweet Potatoes
- Southern Delight Sweet Potatoes
- Stokes Purple Sweet Potatoes
- Sumor Sweet Potatoes
- Tahitian Sweet Potatoes
- Vardaman Sweet Potatoes
- West African Sweet Potatoes
- Yamaimo Sweet Potatoes
- Yellow Jersey Sweet Potatoes
- Sweet Potatoes vs. Yams: What's the Difference?
- Sweet Potato Fry Technique
Types of Sweet Potatoes
There are four main types of sweet potatoes: Beauregard, Garnet, Jewel, and Purple.
- Beauregard is the most common type grown in the United States. They have red skin and orange flesh and are perfect for roasting, baking, or mashing.
- Garnet has dark red skin and deep orange flesh. They're often used in soups and stews because they hold their shape well when cooked.
- Jewel has copper-colored skin and yellowish flesh. They're great for roasting or baking.
- Purple has purple skin and white flesh. They're perfect for making chips or fries because they hold their shape well when cooked.
The sweet potato is an important source of starch and vitamin A. It is one of the most nutritious foods on earth. They contain more than 100% of your daily requirement of Vitamin A, plus vitamins B6, B1, C, E, K, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, and thiamine.
Sweet Potato Varieties Defined
The sweet potato has many names: batata de Arroz (in Spanish), kaloubatika (Greek), bai cai (Chinese), taro root, yam, yautia, etc. The sweet potato is also known as the yam or cassava plant. This vegetable is a staple food crop for millions of people in Africa, Asia, South America, and the Caribbean.
Amish Bush Porto Rico Sweet Potato
This potato has ivy-shaped leaves and orange flesh. Amish Bush Porto Rico is a variety of potatoes developed by the USDA Agricultural Research Service. It has a sweet and delicious taste when it is cooked. Amish Bush Portoro Rico is a good choice for a yummy meal during autumn.
Amish Bush Porto Rico has been grown in Pennsylvania since the 1940s. In addition to being used as a food crop, it is also planted for seed production.
Apache Sweet Potatoes
The Apache potato is a warm-red potato with cream-colored patches. It tastes like chestnuts and is a great alternative to roasted potatoes. The Apache potato is packed with flavor and goodness and is just as easy to cook. Home cooks would love this type of potato because it is different than the norm yet still tastes great.
Bam-Goguma | Korean Purple Sweet Potato
Bam-Goguma sweet potato variety is native to Korea. It is one of the most popular varieties in Korea. It flesh tastes like actual pumpkin and has a beautiful purple skin color.
The name "bam" means "sweet," while "goga" means "potato." The word "maisa" comes from the Korean language, which means "to be good at something." Thus, Bam Gogumais extends to mean "good at being a sweet potato."
In the early 20th century, the government of Japan encouraged Japanese farmers to grow bam-goguma. At first, the crop was not successful. However, after World War II, the demand increased dramatically.
Today, Koreans consume more than 2 million tons of bam-gogumas each year.
They contain high levels of nutrients such as Vitamin C, E, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Riboflavin, Thiamine, Niacin, Folate, Copper, Manganese, Zinc, Selenium, Beta Carotene, Vitamin B6, Vitamin K, and Fiber.
Beauregard Sweet Potatoes
Beauregard sweet potato is a large, round, yellow flesh sweet potato that reaches up to three meters. It is a highly productive sweet potato cultivar that yields up to twenty pounds of sweet potatoes per plant. Beauregard is resistant to many major diseases, including common scabs, blackleg, and ring rot. Additionally, Beauregard is tolerant of drought conditions and does not require irrigation.
The Beauregard sweet potato is grown primarily in the southern states of the US. It is the primary cultivar used for commercial sweet potato growing in the south. With its long history of cultivation dating back over 200 years, the Beauregard is considered one of the oldest cultivated sweet potato varieties in existence.
During World War II, the American government encouraged farmers to increase food production for the war effort. As part of this program, scientists at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), located within the USDA, developed several new sweet potato cultivars. One of those cultivars was "Beauregard." ARS scientist John T. Gentry traveled to Louisiana during the 1940s and collected seeds from local farmers. These seeds were sent to the ARS laboratory and crossbred with existing cultivars. From this breeding process came the Beauregard cultivar.
Berkeley Sweet Potatoes
Berkeley sweet potatoes are typically light orange. They have thin skin and are moist and sweet when cooked. Berkeley is named after the University of California, Berkeley, where it was developed.
Berkeley was developed in the late 1970s by a team of scientists led by Dr. James N. Doyle. The project aimed to create a sweet potato that was more resistant to disease and pests and had a higher sugar content than other varieties.
After years of cross-breeding different varieties, the team finally succeeded in creating the Berkeley Sweet Potato. This variety was more resistant to disease and pests and had a higher sugar content than other varieties.
Camote Sweet Potatoes
Camotes sweet potatoes are native plants found in the tropical regions of Central America and Mexico. They grow well in warm climates and produce large tubers. In Mexico, camotes are grown mainly in the states of Veracruz, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Guerrero, Morelos, Michoacan, San Luis Potosi, Hidalgo, Tamaulipas, Quintana Roo, Yucatán, Jalisco, Colima, Guanajuato, Sonora, Zacatecas, Durango, Nuevo León, Coahuila, Chihuahua, Sinaloa, Baja California Sur, Nayarit, and Puebla.
In addition to being eaten raw, camotes are used to make desserts such as flans, dumplings, bread, cakes, cookies, and candies. They can be mashed into a puree, fried like French fries, boiled, roasted, steamed, baked, grilled, braised, sautéed, deep-fried, stewed, added to soups, and even served as a side dish.
Centennial Sweet Potatoes
Centennial refers to the fact that these tubers were originally introduced into cultivation around 1900. This cultivar of the Ipomoea batatas species was developed in Louisiana in the early 20th century. The Centennial's origins are unknown, but it is considered a cross between the Porto Rico and Nancy Hall cultivars. It was first grown commercially in Mississippi in the 1960s and has become one of the most popular sweet potatoes in the United States.
Centennial sweet potatoes are characterized by their oblong shape, smooth skin, and deep orange flesh. They are often used in pies and other baked goods due to their sweetness and moist texture.
Covington Sweet Potatoes
Covington sweet potatoes are typically small to medium in size and have reddish-brown skin. The potato's flesh is white or yellowish and has a sweetness that some liken to a yam.
The potato is native to the Covington area in Louisiana. They are also grown in other parts of the United States, including Mississippi, Alabama, and Texas.
Whether you’re looking for a new type of potato to try in your cooking or just curious about the Covington, it’s worth giving them a try. They are a versatile and tasty option that can add some sweetness to your dishes.
Charleston Sweet Potatoes
This variety of sweet potatoes is sometimes referred to as "Charleston" because it originated in Charleston, South Carolina, and was developed by Dr. James Edward Smith in 1869. It is now grown throughout the United States and Canada.
They are a cross between regular white potatoes and purple yams. These purple potatoes are much sweeter than regular ones and have a unique flavor.
Cilembu Sweet Potatoes
This potato is a native plant in Indonesia. Its name comes from the word cili, meaning "tooth," referring to the shape of the tuber. In the Cilembu Village in West Java, Indonesia, there are many different types of potatoes, including Cilembu. These potatoes grow in areas where the altitude reaches about 1,000 meters above sea level. Because the soil here is rich in nutrients, the plants produce large amounts of fruit.
The Cilembu sweet potato is one of the most delicious varieties of potato in Indonesia. The potato becomes a soft paste with a nice aroma and taste when cooked. Baking is the best cooking method for this variety of potatoes because the potato's natural sweetness makes it easy to eat.
Darby Sweet Potatoes
Darby sweet potatoes are native to North America and have dark reddish brown skins and bright orange flesh. They are round, about 2 inches across, and weigh around 3 ounces each. When cooked, they turn out quite moist and creamy inside. You can eat them plain, sliced into salads, or baked.
To grow, they require little attention once planted. They do well in most soil types but perform best in potassium-rich soils. They are uniform in shape and size, making them easier to harvest, store, and cook. Once cooked, they become very soft and tender. This makes them ideal for baking.
Envy Sweet Potatoes
Heirloom potatoes are called "envy" because they're hard to find. They grow well in cool weather and don't produce many seeds. They're often used in dishes where you want something different from your usual potato. Several varieties of heirloom potatoes are available, including Red Pontiac, Purple Peruvian, Goldrush, and White Rose.
Evangeline Sweet Potatoes
This is a new variety from Louisiana, and they have a skin of a rose color and very moist, deep orange flesh. They're small to medium in size and have a nutty flavor.
They are excellent boiled, baked, or mashed and make a fantastic sweet potato pie.
The Evangeline sweet potato was introduced commercially in 2009 and is currently grown on a limited basis. They are available through mail orders and at some farmers' markets in Louisiana.
The Evangeline Variety Company produces Evangeline Sweet Potatoes in St. Martinville, Louisiana. They were developed from the Beauregard cultivar that was grown in the area for many years. The name "Evangeline" comes from a long poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow about two lovers who were separated by the Acadian expulsion from Canada in the 1700s.
Excel Sweet Potatoes
Excel Sweet potatoes have thin, light brown skin and white flesh. They are often used in recipes that call for sweet potatoes, such as pies, casseroles, and soups. Excels are also sometimes used as a side dish or an ingredient in salads.
Excel Sweet potatoes are known for their sweetness and their ability to be cooked quickly. Excel is grown in many parts of the world but is especially popular in the United States.
Ginseng Red Sweet Potato
Ginseng red sweet potato is native to Korea and has reddish skin. The flesh of the ginseng red is white and has a sweetness to it, also known as hong gao shu or hong gao yam, which is a variety of Chinese yam (Dioscorea opposite). The tubers are long and thin, with red skin and white flesh. They have a sweet, nutty flavor and are often used in Chinese cuisine, either cooked or candied.
The word "ginseng" in the name of this potato variety refers to the plant's similarity in shape to the root of the ginseng plant. Ginseng red sweet potatoes are native to China and have been cultivated for centuries. They have become increasingly popular in other Asian countries and in North America in recent years.
This sweet potato is often used in Korean dishes such as japchae (a dish made with noodles and vegetables) and gamjatang (a soup made with pork bones).
Hannah Sweet Potatoes
Hannah sweet potatoes are medium to large, bulbous, oblong, and cylindrical with rounded to tapered ends. Hannah sweet potatoes are a type of root vegetable classified as Ipomoea batatas.
This type of sweet potato is slightly sweet with a dense, starchy texture. The semi-smooth skin is light tan and has many shallow eyes scattered across the surface.
Hannahs tend to be slightly sweeter than other varieties with a creamy texture when cooked, whereas different types can be more starchy with a drier texture when cooked.
Hannah sweet potatoes are a type of root vegetable classified as Ipomoea batatas.
Hayman Sweet Potatoes
Hayman sweet potatoes are native to Barbados. It grows well in cool climates and produces large tubers with a naturally sweet flavor that is good roasted or boiled. The potato develops a creamy texture and slightly nutsty flavor when cooked properly.
The Hayman is a cross between purple and orange sweet potatoes. Its name comes from the town where it was originally discovered, Hayman Island.
In 1847, a farmer named Edward Hayman noticed his crop of sweet potatoes had turned greenish brown. He sent some samples to England, where scientists identified the problem as a disease called "black rot." The British tried to breed out the trait by crossing the "golden" variety with the purple one, but the resulting offspring did not fare much better.
Hernandez Sweet Potatoes
The Hernandez sweet potato has light red skins with moist orange flesh. Each bunch will result in lots of big roots with a stunning sweetness. The skin is moderately smooth, and the plant produces tubers that resist disease. This species resists fusarium wilt, one of the most destructive diseases affecting worldwide sweet potato production.
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette has been working on developing this delicious tuber since 2013. They call it "Hernandez Sweet Potato," named after Dr. Jose A. Hernandez Jr., director of the university's Plant Science Research Unit.
Although the plant grows well in Louisiana, it does best in warmer regions where temperatures remain above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. These conditions allow plants to produce larger root systems and yield better yields.
Jewel Sweet Potatoes
Jewel sweet potatoes are like nothing you've ever experienced before. They're small, round, and almost translucent and pack a powerful punch.
They're called "jewels" because they're so beautiful. But what makes them truly special is their unique shape and taste of natural sugars. Unlike most potatoes, they're shaped into perfect spheres. This allows them to cook evenly without drying out. And unlike regular potatoes, they have no starch granules to thicken sauces or soups. Instead, they absorb flavors beautifully.
Khoai Duong Ngoc
Khoai Duong Ngoc sweet potato, or purple sweet potato, is native to Vietnam. It is one of the most popular vegetables in Vietnam and is often used in savory dishes. As you might have guessed, purple has deep purple flesh and white or light-colored skin. It is slightly sweeter than the traditional orange-fleshed sweet potatoes. Purple sweet potatoes are used as an ingredient in many Vietnamese dishes, such as phở bò, xôi lẩu, and bánh xèo. They are also commonly served boiled or roasted.
Kotobuki Sweet Potatoes
Kotobuki sweet potatoes, or Japanese sweet potatoes, are grown in several states in the United States. They are available year-round. These are good for baking and roasting. This type of potato has existed since the 1800s. In Japan, kotobuki is used as a snack food, but it is also eaten during celebrations such as weddings.
Kūmara Sweet Potatoes
The Maoris brought Kumara sweet potatoes into New Zealand in the late 18th century. They were originally found on the South Island and were named after the Maori people who discovered them, called "kumarau."
In the mid-19th century, kumara became popular among European settlers because it grew well in the warm weather of the central North Island. Today, kumara is grown throughout New Zealand.
Martha Washington Sweet Potatoes
Few vegetables can claim the distinction of being named after America's first First Lady, but the Martha Washington sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas 'Martha Washington') is one of them. Though this variety is not as well-known as some others, it has a rich history dating back to the early 1800s.
Martha Washington sweet potato is a white-fleshed variety that was once quite popular in the southern United States. It gets its name from Martha Washington, who was reportedly fond of eating sweet potatoes. The origins of the Martha Washington sweet potato are unknown, but it is believed to have been developed in either North Carolina or Virginia.
Murasaki Sweet Potatoes | Japanese
Murasaki sweet potato is one of the most popular vegetables in Japan. It is considered an essential food item. This is because it contains many nutrients, such as vitamin A, B6, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and fiber. As well it is rich in antioxidants and flavonoids. These compounds help protect against cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, osteoporosis, and even Alzheimer’s disease.
Murasaki is often used in soups, salads, stir-fries, side dishes, desserts, and snacks. It is also commonly eaten boiled, roasted, steamed, fried, baked, mashed, puréed, deep-fried, pickled, and dried. It is also used in sushi rolls, tempura, kabayaki, nimono, and misozuke.
Nancy Hall Sweet Potatoes
Nancy Hall sweet potatoes were discovered in the 1930s. They have light-colored skin and yellow flesh and are very sweet when baked.
They originated from the accidental crossing of potato and flower seeds, and the taste is so adored that a 1919 farmers’ bulletin proclaimed it one of the most popular varieties of the day. A parade was once held in their honor, and they are one of the most popular varieties today.
North Carolina Sweet Potatoes
North Carolina sweet potatoes have long been known for growing some of the best sweet potatoes in the world. Many sweet potatoes are grown in North Carolina, including Yukon Gold, Jewel, Red Pontiac, Kennebec, White Beauty, and others.
These produce large tubers with beautiful orange color and a firm texture. They grow well in a hot and humid climate (mature in about 120 days) and have a uniform shape with smooth skins.
The rich soil in this part of the United States makes it ideal for cultivation. Many farmers use composted manure and fertilizer to ensure healthy growth. North Carolinians love making delicious meals from sweet potatoes, such as fries, soups, casseroles, pies, and candies.
O'Henry Sweet Potatoes
O'Henry sweet potatoes are native to Central America, where they were cultivated by the Maya long ago. They were introduced to North America during colonial times, and today they're grown worldwide. There are over 70 varieties of sweet potatoes. Some are orange, some are purple, some are white, and some come in different sizes.
Okinawa | Hawaiian Sweet Potatoes
The Okinawans have cultivated sweet potatoes for over 2000 years, and today it’s one of their most important crops.
Okinawa sweet potatoes, also known as Hawaiian sweet potatoes, are native to the Ryukyu Islands. The potato was introduced to Hawaii in the early 19th century and is now grown on all major islands.
Okinawa sweet potatoes are shorter and stubbier than other sweet tubers, and they have thin, smooth skin ranging in color from pale yellow to purple. The potato's flesh is also very moist and has a deep orange color. When cooked, Okinawa sweet potatoes are very sweet and have a similar flavor to yams.
Puerto Rican Sweet Potatoes
Puerto Rican sweet potatoes are typically small and round, with smooth, reddish-brown skin and orange or pink flesh. They have a slightly sweet flavor and are often used in stews, soups, and casseroles.
Puerto Rican sweet potatoes, also known as batata, are one of the most popular vegetables on the island. They are used in many traditional Puerto Rican dishes and are a staple of Puerto Rican cuisine.
Puerto Rican sweet potatoes are also sometimes baked or fried.
Red Garnet Sweet Potatoes
The garnet sweet potato is a unique deep purple tuber that has a rich flavor and creamy texture. It contains more vitamin A than any other sweet potato type.
Red Garnet is now available in stores nationwide. These are the newer generation of potatoes developed by the University of Idaho Potato Research Center and the USDA Agricultural Research Service. They are grown under controlled conditions in the center's field research station near Pocatello, Idaho. Potato breeders are selected for superior coloration and flavor traits.
Red garnet potatoes are high in carotenoids, a naturally occurring pigment that gives them their brilliant red appearance. Carotenoids help protect against cancer and heart disease; they are also believed to boost immune function.
Satsuma-Imo Sweet Potatoes
Japanese Satsuma-imō sweet potato color ranges from deep purple to almost black, and the skin is covered in small bumps that give it a rough texture. When cooked, it turns golden brown and becomes soft enough to eat like a regular potato.
Southern Delight Sweet Potatoes
Southern Delight sweet potatoes have dark orange flesh and rose or dark copper skin. They were developed in the mid-1980s, and they store fairly well. When cooked, Southern Delight Sweet Potatoes have a rich, creamy texture that is perfect for use in pies, soups, and casseroles.
Stokes Purple Sweet Potatoes
In North Carolina, one type of sweet potato has a deep purple hue inside. This potato has been named 'Stokes purple' because it was found growing near where Stokes County was formed.
Mike Sizemore was working in a field and noticed some strange-looking potatoes. He took home some of those potatoes and planted them in his garden. They grew into such huge plants that they had a purple tint inside.
He asked his wife about the colors, and she told him that it was a rare variety. She showed him pictures of purple potatoes online, and he recognized them immediately.
According to the USDA Agricultural Research Service, the name' Stokes purple' refers to the county where the plant was found.
Sumor Sweet Potatoes
Sumor is an Old English word for "summer." and is native to tropical Americas. They grow well in hot climates and are easy to grow, making them an important food crop in many parts of the world. Sweet potato production accounts for about 5% of global vegetable production.
Sumor sweet potatoes are easy to grow, require little maintenance, and produce many tubers per vine. Their bright orange skins are covered with deep purple spots and stripes. These are excellent for baking because they hold up well under high heat.
Tahitian Sweet Potatoes
The Tahitian sweet potato has a thick, oval-shaped tuber with smooth skin. The skin is dark greenish blue with purplish streaks. It has a firm texture and white flesh, and its taste is rich and nutty, with a slight sweetness.
Tahitian sweet potatoes are grown in the South Pacific region. They are similar to the common American potato, except for their size and shape. These tubers vary from small to large with different shapes and colors, depending upon how the farmer grows them.
Tahitian potatoes grow up to 10 inches long and 5 inches wide. Tahitians are often used in salads because they don't require peeling like other varieties.
Vardaman Sweet Potatoes
Vardaman sweet potatoes are heirlooms native to North America and originated in Alabama and Mississippi. They are a bushy herbaceous perennial vines growing up to 4 feet tall. Its leaves are dark green and oval-shaped. The flowers are small white tubular blossoms.
The tuberous root grows underground with a diameter of about one inch. The roots are harvested when they mature and are used for cooking. The Vardaman sweet potato is an heirloom variety that originated in the South. These sweet potatoes are easy to grow and do not require special care or fertilizer. They are ready to eat within 60 days.
When cooked, they develop a rich flavor and a creamy consistency.
West African Sweet Potatoes
West African sweet potatoes are one of the oldest cultivated root vegetables in the world. They are native to tropical climates around the globe. Many cultures consider it a symbol of prosperity. Some believe that eating sweet potatoes brings good luck.
In West Africa, they are known as "batata." This name is derived from the Bantu language of Congo and Angola. Batata is considered a very important part of traditional cuisine. The word batata describes both the tuber and the dish prepared with it.
Yamaimo Sweet Potatoes
Yamaimo sweet potatoes are native to Japan and have a sweet and sticky texture. This variety of sweet potatoes is known for its sweetness and stickiness. It is often used in salads or as a julienne vegetable. You can also fry it or use it to make soba noodles.
Yellow Jersey Sweet Potatoes
The Yellow Jersey sweet potato is a popular variety in the United States and produces large tubers that are yellow-orange and have smooth, waxy surfaces. They are usually harvested when the tuber reaches about 10 inches long. These potatoes are often used in baking recipes because they retain their shape better than round potatoes.
This variety originated in New Jersey and is called "Jersey." However, there are several different types of Jersey potatoes. In addition to Yellow Jerseys, there are Red Jersey, White Jersey, and Purple Jersey. All of these varieties produce similar-sized tubers and store well.
Sweet Potatoes vs. Yams: What's the Difference?
There's no doubt about it—the world loves sweet potatoes. But many people don't know that there's another type of tuber vegetable out there called a yam. And while you might think that they look similar, they're quite different.
The name "yam' refers to a family of root vegetables that includes sweet potatoes, cassava, taro, and others. These tubers grow underground and come in several varieties. Sweet potatoes are native to South America and Central Africa; cassava is found in East and West Africa, and taro grows in Southeast Asia and Oceania. All three are popular around the globe.
Sweet potatoes and yams are both tubers, but they come from two different plants. Sweet potatoes belong to a group called the nightshades, while yams belong to another group called the amaryllids.
This doesn't mean that they don't taste good together, though. Combining them creates some delicious dishes. You can find sweet potato recipes like Yam Fries, Sweet Potato Pie, and Sweet Potato Pancakes online.
But even though they're close relatives, they're still completely different types of foods. Here's how they differ.
Yams are much larger than sweet potatoes. On average, they weigh anywhere from 3 pounds to 10 pounds each. A typical sweet potato weighs less than 2 pounds.
Sweet Potato Fry Technique
Are Sweet Potatoes Paleo?
Yes! Sweet potatoes are a fantastic source of vitamins and minerals - especially vitamin A. They are also great sources of high-quality protein and antioxidants.
Please note, however, that the type of Vitamin A found in sweet potato is beta carotene, and only about 5% of the Beta Carotene is converted into Retinol, the usable and active form of Vitamin A.
Vitamin A is important for vision, bone growth, reproduction, cell division, immune function, skin maintenance, and healthy teeth. However, most people don't consume enough beta-carotene-rich foods like sweet potatoes, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, spinach, kale, collard greens, turnip greens, and winter squash to meet their daily requirements.
How Do Potatoes Become Sweet?
Sweet potatoes are one of the most popular root vegetables around the world. They're a staple food throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America. But how does a vegetable often cooked in water turn into something that tastes like candy?
The answer lies in what happens to the potato as it cooks. Unlike other fruits and vegetables, which contain starch, potatoes contain many complex carbohydrates known as starches. The starches begin to swell up like little balloons inside each cell when you cook a potato. As they expand, the potato becomes softer and sweeter.
How To Store Sweet Potatoes
Once you get them home, put them in a cool, dark spot away from heat and moisture. Ideally, store them in a room where there is air circulation. If you live in a warm climate, try putting them in a cold garage or basement. A closet works too.
The ideal temperature for storage is around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. This allows the starch inside the potato to remain soft without causing the skin to become tough. Temperatures above 60 degrees can cause the potatoes to turn brown.
Don't refrigerate them. Refrigeration causes the starch to go rancid and makes the potatoes taste like cardboard.
If you want to refrigerate them, take them out of the fridge for about 30 minutes before cooking. Otherwise, they won't cook evenly.