Produce Spotlight on Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes are sweet root vegetables that grow underground. They are an excellent source of vitamins A and C and a good source of fiber, potassium, and vitamin B6.
Shopping for Sweet Potatoes
When shopping, choose firm, dry, and smooth sweet potatoes without cuts, sprouts, soft spots, or bruises. Massachusetts-grown sweet potatoes are available from October through January. Frozen and canned sweet potatoes are available year-round.
Beauregard – most common all-purpose type, sweet flavor, and orange flesh and skin. They are juicy and good for mashing and baked goods.
Jewel – light orange skin and orange flesh; less sweet than Beauregard. Used for baking, boiling, and casseroles.
Japanese Satsuma – dark purple skin and pale yellow flesh. They have a slight nutty flavor and are denser and starchier than other varieties.
Garnet – also know as red yam. Dark redish-purple skin, sweet flavor, and very moist. Ideal for pies, mashing and casseroles.
Storage and Preparation
- Store unwashed sweet potatoes in a cool, dark area, in an open container or bag that allows for airflow. Do not store whole sweet potatoes in the refrigerator; doing so may cause the center to harden and flavor to become unpleasant. For best quality, use within two weeks.
- Scrub under cool running water just before using.
- Cooked sweet potatoes can be stored in the refrigerator in a covered container for 4 to 5 days.
- Cooked sweet potatoes can be frozen whole, sliced, or mashed. Package them in a freezer bag or container and use within 10 to 12 months.
- Cut a sweet potato into slices, toss with vegetable or olive oil, and bake in an oven at 400° F for 20 to 30 minutes to make delicious sweet potato fries.
- Roast or sauté sweet potatoes with other mixed vegetables or add to a casserole dish.
- Add mashed sweet potatoes to your muffin or pancake batter for a healthy breakfast.
Sweet Potato Math
1 pound of raw, fresh sweet potato = 3 cups shredded, cubed, or sliced = 1¾ cups cooked, or mashed
Using Locally Grown Produce
Visit the UMass Extension Nutrition Education Program’s website featuring recipes using fruits and vegetables. To locate places to buy local produce, visit www.mass.gov/massgrown.