Sweet potatoes grown in South Carolina are now beginning to arrive in local grocery stores and farmers markets. These tasty potatoes are exceptionally good for you.
All ages enjoy sweet potatoes because of the flavor. It’s an added bonus, however, that the potatoes pack in more than twice the amount of vitamin A needed by an adult each day. Plus, they contain a generous amount of vitamin C, iron and thiamin.
Sweet potatoes pair well with lots flavors.
Try one of these healthy add-ins for variety at your dinner table:
• Pecans or walnuts
• Cinnamon, ginger or nutmeg
• Orange juice or pineapple juice
• Raisins or dried cranberries soaked in apple juice
It’s a great idea to purchase extra sweet potatoes while they are in season and on sale so you can use the extras later. But knowing how to store them is essential. Steer clear of the refrigerator. Exposure to temperatures below 50 degrees will create off flavors and cause the flesh to deteriorate quickly.
The laundry room and under the kitchen sink are poor storage locations, too. If the potatoes become too warm and moist, they become spongy and develop sprouts.
The best location to store sweet potatoes is a cool, dry space. So look for place such as the pantry shelf away from any type of heat source. Properly stored sweet potatoes purchased from the supermarket can last up to six months.
For longer storage, consider freezing sweet potatoes. Here’s how: Wash and trim the potatoes of any blemishes. Place several potatoes on a baking sheet, prick the skin and cook in a 400 degrees oven until soft.
Cool and wrap individually in aluminum foil. Drop the wrapped potatoes in a freezer bag and place them in the freezer until they are needed later on.
When you are ready to eat the potatoes or use them in a recipe, simply remove as many as desired from the freezer, discard the aluminum foil and reheat in the microwave.
They can be served whole, sliced, or they can be mashed for soufflé, pie or custard.