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Produce Spotlight: Sweet Potato

Pick of the Crop:

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C. Choose firm and dry sweet potatoes without any wrinkles, bruises, sprouts, or moldy spots. To keep fresh, store in a dry, cool place, like the pantry. Wash sweet potatoes just before preparing.

Recipes:

Visit Massachusetts Locally grown featuring recipes for fruits and vegetables grown in Massachusetts and found at most local farmers’ markets.

Fun Facts:

  • Sweet potatoes are grown for their tuberous roots. Its botanical name, Ipomoea batatas, was derived from the Native Americans of Louisiana who were growing them as early as 1540 and referred to the roots as batatas.
  • The sweet potato is commonly confused with the yam, which belongs to another botanical family.
  • Avoid storing sweet potatoes in the refrigerator or they will develop a hard core and an "off" taste. Store in a cool, dry place.
  • George Washington grew sweet potatoes on his family farm in Virginia.
  • At room temperature, sweet potaotes should be used within one week. If stored properly in a cool, dry place, sweet potatoes can keep for one month or longer.

More Matters! Fruit and Veggie Tips for Parents:

  • Bake sweet potatoes and then stuff them with black beans, tomatoes, scallions and low-fat sour cream.
  • Sweet potaotes and apples make the perfect warm soup for a chilly day.
  • Top sweet potatoes with cinnamon and raisins.

A Super Snack Idea:

Wash and cut a sweet potato into slices, coat them with vegetable or olive oil. Bake them in an oven at 400º F for 20-30 minutes to make delicious sweet potato fries.

Veggie Humor:

Question: Why did the sweet potato farmer plow his field with a steamroller?

Answer: Because he wanted to grow mashed sweet potatoes.