There are over 400 varieties of sweet potatoes with the most common being the orange or white-fleshed variety. Despite their similarity to potatoes, sweet potatoes belong to a completely different botanical family. Native to South America, the hardy root vegetable is thought to date as far back as 10,000 years. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, copper, potassium, iron and dietary fiber and also feature many antioxidants.
In New Zealand, the sweet potato is known as “kumara”. It was once a staple in the Maori diet and is still enjoyed today.
When selecting sweet potatoes, choose firm, unblemished roots without any cracks or spots. They should be stored in a cool, dark place with good ventilation and can last up to 10 days. Avoid storing them in the fridge as the low temperature starts to effect the natural sugars, turning them into starch.
The versatile root vegetable can be eaten raw, roasted, fried, boiled, mashed, grilled or steamed. One of my favorite ways to enjoy sweet potatoes is roasted and then blended into a soup like this aromatic curried sweet potato soup with coconut milk.
More Sweet Potato Recipes
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