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Sweet Potato Facts, Tips and Recipes
Potato Facts, Harvesting and Storing Tips
Sweet potatoes are a root crop that require a long growing season - 90 to 130
days. They are commercially grown in the Deep South and Texas. In the
United States, they are also called Yams, but these are usually the same; it is
just a cultural or regional naming difference, like "soda" or "pop". True Yams
are diffferent, a genuine yam (Dioscorea), which is native to Africa and Asia,
belongs to a different plant family. Both Sweet Potatoes and Yams come in a
variety of colors, sizes and shapes, from yellow, orange, red, and even purple
and blue. In
the U.S. Sweet Potatoes typically peak during June in the South, and in July in
the North.. See this page for a list of
Sweet Potato festivals around the U.S.
Sweet Potato Facts and Tips
- Sweet potatoes contain simple starches, and are also rich in complex
carbohydrates, dietary fiber and beta-carotene (a provitamin A carotenoid),
- They have moderate contents of other micronutrients,
including vitamin B5, vitamin B6 and manganese
- When they are baked, they are a good source of Vitamin
C as baking increases the content of vitamin C to 24% of the
Daily Value per 100 g serving .
- The Center for Science in the Public Interest ranked the
nutritional value of sweet potatoes as highest among several
- Sweet potato cultivars with dark orange flesh have more
beta-carotene than those with light-colored flesh.
- Baked sweet potatoes is the most common way to prepare them;
often served with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Candied sweet potatoes are a side dish consisting mainly of
sweet potatoes prepared with brown sugar, marshmallows, maple
syrup, molasses, orange juice, marron glace, or other sweet
ingredients. It is often served in America on Thanksgiving.
Sweet potato casserole is a side dish of mashed sweet potatoes
in a casserole dish, topped with a brown sugar and pecan
- Sweet potato pie is also a traditional favorite dish in
Southern U.S. cuisine.
- Sweet potato fries or chips are another popular side dish,
made by julienning and deep frying sweet potatoes, like French
- Sweet potato butter can be cooked into a gourmet spread.
General Digging Tips
are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Most of the potatoes are found under the center of the plant. More
appare out along the runners, where they have rooted.li>Use a pitchfork to
- Started a few feet away from where the vines are rooted
and work inward.
- LLoosen the soil, then feel for the roots with your
Curing the sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are traditionally cured to improve storage,
flavor, and nutrition, and to allow wounds on the periderm of the
harvested root to heal.
Proper curing requires drying the freshly dug roots on the ground
for two to three hours, then storage at 29-32 °C (85-90 °F) with 90
to 95% relative humidity from five to fourteen days. Cured sweet
potatoes can keep for thirteen months when stored at 13-15 °C (55-59
°F) with >90% relative humidity. Colder temperatures than that
injure the roots.
wash the potatoes until you are ready to use them or freeze them. Washing
makes them more prone to spoiling./li>
- Pour them out into shallow pans and remove any mushed, soft or rotting
- Store them in a cool dry, dark place, where there will be no frost.
Sweet Potato Recipes, Freezing and Jam directions
- Canning sweet potatoes
- How to
Sweet Potato Festivals: Where, When and More to Find an Sweet
Festival Near You this year:
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers About Sweet Potatoes
Canning & Preserving for Dummies by Karen Ward
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and Preserving For Dummies
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