You Can't Beat Sweet Potatoes

February is National Sweet Potato Month so it is a great time to review some facts on this super-spud. Sweet potatoes are low in calories and sodium, naturally fat and cholesterol free and rich in nutrients like vitamins A and C, fiber, folic acid and potassium. Fall and winter are the peak seasons for sweet potatoes but fortunately, you can find them in the produce department of your local Bag 'N Save or No Frills Supermarket year-round. 

When buying sweet potatoes, look for those that are firm with a smooth skin free from wrinkles, bruises, sprouts, or decay. To prevent spoilage, it is best to store sweet potatoes in a dark, cool (55-60°) and dry place. Do not store them in the refrigerator. To keep them free from extra moisture, hold off on washing them until you are ready to cook them. If stored properly, sweet potatoes can keep for a month or longer.

Sweet potatoes are delicious prepared a variety of different way including mashed or baked whole or cut into fries. When preparing sweet potatoes, cook them with the skins whenever possible as most of the nutrients are next to the skin, and skins are easier to remove after they have been cooked. To bake, pierce the skin with a fork then place potatoes in a pan and cook in an oven heated to 375° F for about 45 minutes or until tender. To cook sweet potatoes in a microwave oven, wash and pierce potatoes, then place them on a paper towel. The cooking time for 2 medium potatoes is on high for 5–9 minutes, and 4 potatoes, 10–13 minutes. To make sweet potato fries, slice the potatoes into wedges, toss with a little olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper and bake at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes, turning occasionally, until they are golden brown and tender.

Source: Fruits and Veggie More Matters: www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov

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