Sweet potatoes are white potatoes’ lesser known cousin and, despite sweet potato pie and sweet potato casserole, sweet potatoes can be eaten as a vegetable to maximize their nutritional value. Read on to learn more about sweet potato’s health benefits and how to incorporate the sweet potato into a healthy diet.
Sweet Potatoes and Nutritional ValueSweet potatoes are recommended by the Mayo Clinic because of their high nutritional value and lower starch content. The United States Department of Agriculture suggests everyone eat more orange vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, for their increased nutrients and fiber.
With the sweet potato’s high nutritional value, it is no wonder this vegetable comes so highly recommended. Sweet potatoes are high in beta carotene, which the body converts to Vitamin A, shown in studies to slow the aging process and reduce the risk of some cancers. Sweet potatoes are also high in fiber, folate, potassium and other vitamins.
Substituting Sweet Potatoes for White Potatoes in Cooking
Sweet Potatoes can be substituted for white potatoes in some cases. Baked sweet potatoes are easy to microwave and oven bake, though they may take longer than regular white potatoes. Try drizzling a little olive oil, baker’s salt, and pepper on baked sweet potato for a low-fat, healthy side dish.
How to Make Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potatoes can also become sweet potato fries, either baked or fried. For a low-fat version, try frying the sweet potatoes in olive oil. As sweet potatos are less starchy, they will take longer to fry. The fries, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, go well with ketchup or barbecue sauce.
Mashed Potatoes with Sweet PotatoesSweet potatoes are less starchy than white potatoes, and therefore cannot be completely substituted for white potatoes in recipes where the potato’s texture is important, such as mashed potatoes and scalloped potatoes.
To make mashed potatoes using sweet potatoes, use three times as many white potatos as sweet potatoes. Any more sweet potato, and the texture will be stringy like squash rather than fluffy like mashed potatos.
Scalloped Potatoes with Sweet Potatoes
To make scalloped potatoes with sweet potatoes, use the same three to one ratio of three white potatos to one sweet potato of equal size. Sweet potatoes add extra color to scalloped potatos, in addition to nutritional value.
With some creativity and experimentation, eating more sweet potatoes can become part of a healthy, low-fat diet. This superfood, and its many health benefits, are indeed too good to pass up.