Friday, October 26, 2012

The Great White Sweet Potato - October 26, 2012

We were at the farmer's market at the end of the season and I saw something I'd never seen before - white sweet potatoes.  I just had to try it especially since my wonderful brother-in-law has decided to start eating sweet potatoes versus Russets because they are better for him.  It turns out these might be a good choice for him.  They have the consistency of a sweet potato but are more starchy, less sweet than the traditional sweet potato.

Because Wilson had decided to eat them for their health features, I looked up sweet potatoes and it turns out, they are great for you.  A 4-ounce serving of sweet potato (about 1/2 cup) provides 390% of your daily need for vitamin A, 40% vitamin C, 18% of fiber and 13% of potassium.  It also has vitamin E, iron, and magnesium and beta carotene. 

They are also easy to put up for the winter months.  Cured potatoes will keep for four to six months.  Once you dig the potatoes (or get them at the farmer's market), store them in a warm humid room for five to ten days. The temperature in the room should be about 80 to 85 degrees and about 80 to 90 percent humidity.  An area near the furnace that is warm or a spot in a large bathroom with a warm temperature is ideal.  If you have an area that's moist but only 75 to 80 degrees, cure the potatoes eight to ten days.  For temperatures ranging At 70 degrees, you'll need to wait at least 25 to 30 days.  Don't cure too long, however, since it causes the potatoes to sprout.  Once you cure your potatoes, store them in a cool place with adequate humidity like a basement or cellar.  A refrigerator is too cold. 

It turns out, I actually prefer the regular sweet potato and rather than curing, I just bake the potatoes until soft at 350 degrees in the oven.  When they cool, I scoop out the warm meat, mash and freeze in plastic containers.  This can be kept for up to a year.  I just take one to lunch and add a little Splenda.  If you're smart enough to store in one cup sizes, you can pull out what you need for a particular recipe.  Here is a great healthy example to start your day:

Sweet Potato Whole Grain Muffins

2 ½ c. whole wheat flour
¾ c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
¼ c. melted butter
¼ c. vegetable oil
1 c. cooked mashed sweet potato
1 beaten egg
½ c. buttermilk

Bake sweet potatoes until soft (about an hour).  Cool and scoop from skins and mash.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease 12 -16 muffin tins or fill with paper liners.  Combine dry ingredients.  Combine wet ingredients.  Mix the two only until fully combined.  Fill cups ¾ full and bake 20 -25 minutes.

No comments:

Post a Comment