Sweet potatoes are rich in Beta Carotene and vitamins E and C, and are a great source of fiber when eaten with the skin on. They provide much needed nutrients such as potassium, iron and vitamin B-6.
Sweet potatoes offer various methods of preparation. They can be can be: baked, steamed, boiled,
microwaved, fried, juiced, pureed and can even be eaten raw.
Sweet potatoes are roots, compared to regular white potatoes, which are tubers (underground stems).
Did you know that George Washington grew sweet potatoes on his plantation in Mount Vernon, Virginia. And George Washington Carver, a noted scientist, developed 118 products from sweet potatoes including glue for postage stamps and starch for sizing of cotton fabrics.
Here in the U.S., North Carolina is the leading producer of sweet potatoes, growing nearly 40% of the national supply. Most of the production is concentrated east of Interstate 95 in the Coastal Plain. GO TARHEELS!
Sweet potatoes are fat-free and cholesterol-free, and they are loaded with antioxidants that can help prevent heart disease and cancer, bolster the immune system and even slow the aging process by promoting good vision and healthy skin. They have been recently reclassified as an “anti-diabetic” food. They are anti-inflammatory and can protect against emphysema. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of copper, manganese, potassium, iron and vitamin B-6.
Sweet potatoes are a super food and they taste great! They are excellent accompaniments to poultry, pork, beef, lamb or seafood. They can also be substituted in virtually any recipe that calls for apples, squash or white potatoes.
The sweet potato was a staple in diets of ancient Americans. It is native to the tropical areas of South America, and remains of sweet potatoes have been found there dating back to 8,000 BC. The sweet potato was domesticated more than 5,000 years ago. In 1492, Christopher Columbus’s shipmates were the first Europeans to eat sweet potatoes.
This healthful root is only minimally related to the common potato. When the French settlers made their home in Opelousas, Louisiana, they found that the sweet potato was a staple of the local natives. They ended up becoming a staple in the French settlers’ diet as well.
Orange sweet potatoes, sometimes called yams, but actual yams are a totally different food. Sweet potatoes labeled as “yams” in the United States are required by the USDA to also be labeled “sweet potatoes.”