Kitchen secrets - How to cook sweet potatoes

Written by: Shanthi Muthuvel

Sweet potato is a root vegetable which has awesome health benefits in it. There are four different ways to cook sweet potatoes, they are boiling method or open cook method, pressure cook method, baking and finally healthy steam cook method. You can choose best method of yours to enjoy this healthy vegetable.

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene). They are also a very good source of vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6. Additionally, they are a good source of potassium, dietary fiber, niacin, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, and phosphorus. Be sure to add these wonderful naturally sweet vegetables to your meals throughout the year.

Sweet potato

Boiled sweet potato

Sweet potatoes are native to Central and South America and are one of the oldest vegetables known to man. There is often much confusion between sweet potatoes and yams. They are completely different foods, belonging to different plant families.

There are different varieties of sweet potatoes which are orange, yellow, pink, white and deep purple in color. Sweet potatoes should be stored in a cool, dark and well ventilated place, where they will keep fresh for up to ten days.

Choose sweet potatoes that are firm and do not have any cracks, bruises or soft spots. Avoid those that are displayed in the refrigerated section of the produce department since cold temperature negatively alters their taste.  

If you purchase organically grown sweet potatoes, you can eat the entire tuber, flesh and skin. Yet, if you buy conventionally grown ones, you should peel them before eating since sometimes the skin is treated with dye or wax; if preparing the sweet potato whole, just peel it after cooking.

As the flesh of sweet potatoes will darken upon contact with the air, you should cook them immediately after peeling and/or cutting them. If this is not possible, to prevent oxidation, keep them in a bowl covered completely with water until you are ready to cook them.

Sources: http://whfoods.org/

Boiled sweet potato

Ingredients:

Serves :3 to 4

      • 4 to 5 nos – Sweet potato
      • 1/4 tsp – Salt

Boiled sweet potato

Preparation method:

Open cook method / boiling method:

  1. Wash sweet potatoes 2 to 3 times in warm water to remove dirt completely.
  2. Take a wide vessel, add washed sweet potatoes, enough water and salt, bring it to boil and cook over medium flame until soft and tender. Use knife to check whether it is done or not. It will take around 20 to 30 minutes to cook.
  3. Once done, drain water completely and allow them to cool completely. Remove skin and enjoy it with honey or sugar or as it is.

Sweet potato - Open cook method

Pressure cooker method:

  1. Take a pressure cooker, add washed sweet potatoes, enough water and salt, cook for 2 or 3 whistles or until well cooked.
  2. Allow the pressure to leave and open the lid.  Drain water completely and allow them to cool completely. Remove skin and enjoy it with honey or sugar or as it is.

Sweet potato - Pressure cook method

Steam cooking:

  1. Apply few drops of oil all over cleaned sweet potatoes and keep it aside.
  2. Take a idly platter or steamer, place whole or sliced sweet potato (washed) and steam them for 7 to 10 minutes or until well cooked.
  3. Allow them to cool completely, remove skin and enjoy. Healthy steaming not only brings out their great flavor but helps to maximize their nutritional value.

Baking method:

  1. Apply few drops of olive oil all over cleaned sweet potatoes and keep it aside.
  2. Heat oven to 400° F. Pierce each sweet potato several times with the fork or knife. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking tray lined with foil. Bake until tender and allow them to cool completely.

Recipes using sweet potatoes:

  1. Baked sweet potato fries
  2. Sakkaravalli kizhangu sweet

Boiled sweet potato

Notes:

  • I used pink variety of sweet potatoes from Indian grocery store.
  • Cooking time depends on the size of sweet potato and method of cooking.
  • Sweet potatoes don't take a long time to prepare.
  • Applying oil to sweet potatoes while steam cooking helps sweet potato to hold its shape not mashed.
  • Do not forget to add salt while boiling or pressure cooking sweet potato because it will bring out the exact taste of sweet potato.
  • Thoroughly wash sweet potatoes with warm water for 2 to 3 time to remove dirt.
  • Use knife or fork to check whether sweet potatoes are done or not.
  • You can serve this cooked and sliced sweet potatoes as a evening snacks to kids with or without honey.

Sweet potato

1 comment:

  1. reminds me of my mom...as she loves to eat these sweet potatoes with jaggery...honey is a nice alternative...

    Cheers
    Anu @ RasA-svAda

    ReplyDelete

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