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How to Cook A Sweet Potato

Chop-Sweet-Potatoes

Regular potatoes are pretty hard to top, but they’re not the healthiest. Their healthier cousin, the sweet potato, might seem related, but they’re not even in the same botanical group. That doesn’t mean you can’t cook them the same way! 

This vegetable is basically a superfood with a delicious taste, unlike kale which is not easy on the tongue. So let’s get our chef hats on!

Preparing Sweet Potatoes

You can find sweet potatoes in your local grocery store all year round. But if you want the best ones, you’ll have to scour your farmer’s market during the spooky season, which is from October through December. 

Step 1: Wash Them

Once you’ve gathered the perfect sweet potatoes, you’ll have to wash them well first since they’re usually covered in dirt. 

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After giving them a good scrub and rinse, it’s time to chop them up. Since uncooked sweet potatoes can be tougher than regular ones, make sure your knife is super sharp. 

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Step 2: Chop Sweet Potatoes

If you’re not a fancy home cook, you can just peel them and cut them into cubes. 

But if you want to go the extra mile, you can always cut them into wedges, batons, medallions, or spiralize them into swoodles, and of course, you can just leave them whole too. 

How to Make the Perfect Baked Sweet Potato 

Let’s be honest, baked sweet potatoes can top regular mashed potatoes as a side dish any time. This might just be the best way to cook sweet potatoes. So let’s dive in! 

For most baked sweet potato recipes, try to choose long and thin ones, as they’ll cook faster in the oven. You don’t even need to peel the potatoes for this. 

  1. First of all, preheat your oven to 400 Fahrenheit. 
  2. Next, rub your potatoes in canola or olive oil, and pierce them with a fork for steam to escape. Then, bake sweet potatoes for about an hour. 
  3. When they’re tender, let them cool and split them in half, mashing the insides slightly. 
  4. You can top the potatoes with roasted chickpeas, some sesame oil, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. 
  5. Since sweet potatoes pair really well with pungent flavors, make a sauce out of tahini, fresh ginger, garlic, vinegar, and a few spoons of water to loosen it up. 
  6. Assemble your perfectly roasted sweet potatoes and enjoy them as a side dish or just a light snack. 

Microwave Sweet Potatoes

Fall can be a busy time of the year for many people, so if you need something easier than oven-baked sweet potatoes, this is the one for you. 

  1. Simply poke holes in a medium-sized sweet potato and place it on a paper towel. 
  2. Then microwave at 2-minute intervals, rotating each side between a couple of times. Once it’s tender enough to pierce with a fork, that’s when it’s ready. 
  3. After it’s cooled down, cut it in half, and add some butter, cinnamon sugar, or any sauce you choose. 

The best part about this super easy recipe is that it’s highly customizable and takes less time than oven-baked sweet potatoes.

Sweet Potato Fries 

There are only so many potato fries you can eat. So it’s time to switch over to sweet potato fries!

Their extra crispiness makes them the perfect snack for a family movie night or a cookout. 

Slice them into thin and even sticks. Place them on a baking sheet, and use a vegetable brush to rub some olive oil on them. Then toss them in some salt and pepper and bake in a 450-degree oven till they start to get golden brown. 

The only thing you have to be careful of is to avoid overcrowding your baking sheet so it can crisp upright. You can also cut them into thicker wedges or cook them in an air fryer for a healthier option. 

Lastly, the defining factor of your fish will be the dipping sauce. A sriracha aioli or a greek yogurt sauce will cut down the sweetness of the potatoes. It’s up to you to decide!

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Thanksgiving and sweet potato season clashing can’t be a coincidence. It’s actually a blessing that they overlap! This way, you can make the crowd-pleaser mashed sweet potatoes! 

The recipe can vary a lot depending on the style you want to go with, but you really can’t mess these up. First of all, do you want to peel them or not? Leaving the skin on provides additional fiber and gives it a good texture too. 

Next, what sort of consistency do you like? Next, you boil the potatoes for about 15 minutes or till they’re tender. Use a potato masher to reach a perfectly smooth and creamy texture, or leave a few chunks for a funky texture. 

Your last decision will be if you want a savory mashed sweet potato dish or a sweeter one. If you want the latter, fresh herbs, parmesan cheese, garlic, and ginger are your best friends. 

However, if you want it to be sweeter, grab some honey, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, pecans, or maple syrup. Not everyone is a fan of mashed sweet potatoes, so why not try a sweet potato pie instead?

What to Pair Sweet Potato Fries With

A lack of knowledge of flavor profiles can ruin the recipe for novice cooks. To avoid that, here are a few safe ingredients sweet potatoes pair excellent with. 

Meat 

Any meat works well with sweet potatoes, including pork, chicken, and beef. Make some stuffed sweet potatoes with some BBQ pork, and it’ll leave you wanting more and more. Bacon-wrapped sweet potatoes are quite a popular dish too!

Fish 

You can cook sweet potato alongside salmon, walleye, halibut, cod, and Mahi Mahi as a mashed side dish or as a traybake. 

Vegetables 

To be perfectly honest, any sort of veggie goes really well with these sugary potatoes. Carrots, collard greens, mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli, and even bell peppers taste amazing when they’re all tossed into one salad bowl. 

The Takeaway 

Judging by how many textures and pairings a sweet potato can provide, you can tell how versatile they are. We’ve just mentioned a few ways to give you the inspiration you need to start exploring the world of sweet-tasting tuberous roots. 

Keep experimenting and eating! 

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