Growing up, I probably ate a lot of things most kids did NOT. I think that's what happens when your mom is a REALLY good cook and makes every meal taste like like you are in a world class restaurant. She also wasn't a "short order cook" so what she made, we ate. Ironically enough, though, there were 3 foods we never really ate when I was a kid. I don't think it was for any specific reason, it just never made it to the menu. Once I got into college, I realized that these 3 foods were staples in most of my friends' houses and I started eating them and quickly made up for lost time. Those 3 foods were: BAKED BEANS, CREAM CHEESE and SWEET POTATOES. And it was that third one on the list that continues to blow my mind even today. I am in love with the sweet potato :-)
Let's be honest, you can pretty much incorporate the sweet potato into any part of your daily eating routine. You can roast it, fry it, bake it, steam it, boil it and mash it. You can make pancakes out of them for breakfast, roast one and top it with some craisins, walnuts and arugula for lunch, fry it up in the form of a fry as a snack or side dish and puree it into a soup for dinner. You can even use them in a cake for dessert! And that's just a tip of the iceberg. You can do SO many things with a sweet potato! And the best part is they are SUPER nutritious. They are loaded with beta carotene, which functions as a powerful antioxidant and they have a ton of Vitamin A. Eating sweet potatoes can help your immune system and they are also good for your skin and bones and may even help to prevent cancer. But my favorite part about the sweet potato is that it's satisfying and filling. Eating them simply makes me feel good!
I thought it would be fun to list some interesting facts about the lovely sweet potato and then tell you about my FAVORITE way to eat a sweet potato. And no, it's not the sweet potato fry, although that is definitely a close second!
Sweet potatoes are flowers! The flower that blooms from a sweet potato looks very similarly to a Morning Glory.
It is believed that in Central America, domesticated sweet potatoes were present 5,000 years ago!
Christopher Columbus was the person responsible for bringing the sweet potato to Europe.
The leaves, shoots and stems of the sweet potato are edible!
Sweet potatoes come in many colors, not just that beautiful orange color. Try white sweet potatoes. They are DELICIOUS!
Yams and sweet potatoes are NOT the same thing. The yam is related to grass!
90% of the world's sweet potatoes are grown in Asia.
February is National Sweet Potato Month!
And FINALLY, here is the most DECADENT way to eat a sweet potato. I'm not kidding. It will change your life. Try it!
THE BEST SWEET POTATO EVER
Wash sweet potato and pat dry. Poke holes in the sweet potato with a fork and then bake in a 400 degree oven for 75 minutes. Slice the potato in half and lightly mash the potato with a fork, but keep it in the skin! Drizzle a little melted butter (YES, BUTTER...I eat a little bit and so should you! It's good for the soul!) over the potato halves. Then, drizzle a little maple syrup followed by a dash of salt and a squeeze of lime juice. YOU ARE WELCOME!!!!!