My mom occasionally baked sweet potatoes when making a roast. My sisters, brother and I wouldn’t touch it, so my parents happily enjoyed these tuberous roots to themselves. Come to think of it, they never really insisted or enforced that we partake in its consumption and happily enjoyed it for themselves. 🙂
So all these years later, I’ve decided to give sweet potatoes (also sometimes mistakenly referred to as yams in the United States) another try. These colorful roots boast some impressive health benefits. Did you know that sweet potatoes rank #1 in nutrition compared to other vegetables? What isn’t there to like about them? If you’re not familiar with its flavor and sweetness, you will be surprised how much they are not like potatoes. They remind me more of a squash. Even cutting into them while prepping to roast them, revealed a rougher texture.
They are sweet, and I admit…took some getting used to because my mind stubbornly held that they looked like potatoes, but didn’t taste like potatoes. Tossed with some Parmesan, thyme and olive oil, these were a tasty, sweet and savory side dish with dinner. Rosemary in place of the thyme would also probably give it a tasty spin.
Serving these roasted Parmesan sweet potatoes alongside some BLTs with avocado proved to be a complimentary combination. A serving with tender, juicy meat, like a roast, would be a good pairing too. As suggested by the crate my produce was packaged in: Depending on what you’re serving with the potatoes, a Chardonnay, Fume Blanc, French Colombard or Syrah would pair well with its distinct flavor.
- Interesting article: What is the Difference between a Sweet Potato and a Yam?
- One medium sweet potato is an excellent source of beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, copper, folate, and fiber.
- According to the American Cancer Society, foods with high amounts of beta carotene help reduce the risk of some cancers.
- The skins are edible and add even more fiber nutrients.
- According to CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest), sweet potato ranks #1 in nutrition compared to other vegetables. Higher in nutrition then even carrots, spinach, broccoli, peas, tomatoes and squash!
- Rich in potassium.
- Some studies have shown that sweet potatoes may help stabilize blood sugar levels and are considered natural sources of inhibitors, which help diabetic patients to manage their sugar levels.
Note: I am not a dietitian or nutritionist. Consult with your family doctor(s) for nutrition and dietary needs.
- More perishable than other types of potatoes. Store in a dry, dark area for up to 2 months.
- Dampness will cause the potatoes to spoil.
- Placing raw sweet potatoes in the refrigerator will cause the insides to become hard and can affect its taste and shelf life.
If you cook/bake with sweet potatoes and have some favorite recipes or suggestions, please share with me what types of savory or sweet dishes you make that include them. I have a savory dish I’m going to experiment with this week that include using both sweet potatoes and turnips…I’m looking forward to its results.
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2-3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, finely grated
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and position oven rack to middle position. Line the bottom of a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.
In a medium sized bowl, place the prepared, cubed sweet potatoes, garlic, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, dried thyme. Distribute the ingredients evenly to cover the sweet potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the sweet potato mixture to the prepared baking sheet and spread out the potatoes so that they are in a single layer.
Roast in oven for about 40 minutes -OR- until the sweet potatoes can be easily pierced with a sharp knife. Set the oven to broil and broil until the tops of the sweet potatoes start to brown, about 8-10 minutes (keep an eye on the potatoes when broiling, as your time may differ and you want to take care not to burn them).