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Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite foods. They are an excellent source of vitamins A and C. When selecting sweet potatoes pick the small to medium size for flavor at the peak of perfection. Choose firm, dark, smooth sweet potatoes without wrinkles, bruises, sprouts or decay. Even if cut away, a decayed spot may have already caused the whole potato to take on an unpleasant flavor.
Keep sweet potatoes fresh by storing them in a dry, cool (55-60°F) place such as a cellar, pantry, or garage. Do not store them in the refrigerator, where they will de¬velop a hard core and an “off” taste. If stored properly, sweet potatoes will keep for a month or longer. At normal room temperature, they should be used within a week of purchase. Brush off any excess dirt before storing, but don’t wash until you are ready to cook them. The moisture from washing will increase their spoilage.
Cook sweet potatoes whole whenever possible as most of the nutrients are next to the skin, and skins are easier to remove after they have been cooked. Pierce skin with a fork. Place potatoes in a pan and cook in an oven heated to 375°F for about 45 minutes or until tender. Cool potatoes slightly before removing skins.
Sweet potatoes can be cooked in a microwave oven to save time. Wash and pierce potatoes, then place them on a paper towel. The cooking time on high is 5-9 minutes for two potatoes, and10-13 minutes for four potatoes.
Try this delicious biscuit recipe using fresh cooked sweet potatoes.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes
6 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon milk
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and walnuts. Set aside.
2. Combine sweet potatoes, sugar, butter, vanilla and milk; add to flour mixture and mix well.
3. Turn out onto a floured surface; gently knead 3 or 4 times. Roll or pat dough into 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with a 2 inch biscuit cutter and place on a lightly greased baking sheet.
4. Bake at 450°F for 12 minutes or until golden brown.
Yield: 18 biscuits
Nutritional Analysis: 4 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 210 mg sodium, 14 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 2 g protein.
For more delicious recipes for sweet potatoes or other “Kentucky Proud” fruits and vegetables, contact the Anderson County Extension Office or www.kentuckyproud.com. These recipes are part of the Kentucky Proud Project sponsored by County Extension Agents for Family and Consumer Sciences and University of Kentucky, Dietetics and Human Nutrition students.
Educational programs of Kentucky Cooperative Extension serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability or national origin. University of Kentucky, Kentucky State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Kentucky Counties, Cooperating. Disabilities accommodated with prior notification.