Growing up in India, I remember my mother steaming sweet potatoes on chilly evenings. Seasoned with a generous sprinkling of salt and cooked to perfection in her old pressure cooker, sweet potato was a perfect after school snack. Starchy, soft, creamy, sweet tasting and full of fiber, it kept me full all the way to dinner.
Fast-forward to the US where I now live. I’ve seen these tubular vegetables available at grocery stores all year round. However, their true seasons are in the fall and winter. The orange variety is the most popular, though sweet potatoes also come in beige, yellow and purple.
A baked (medium sized) spud is low in sodium and saturated fat while being rich in vitamin A (contains 438% of your daily intake), vitamin C and manganese. Icing on the cake? 103 calories! In our eyes, that’s a superstar. All the more reason to incorporate them into your daily menu.
In case you were wondering if sweet potatoes are the same as yams — the answer is no. They are both tuberous root vegetables, but from different plant families.
Yams, native to Africa and Asia are drier and starchier compared to the moist texture of a sweet potato. True yams are not usually available at our local supermarkets, though you can find them at international or specialty stores.
We’ve put together some of our favorite sweet potato recipes for you. Enjoy!
Sweet Potato Peanut Stew with Spinach and Cilantro
Get the recipe: sweet potato peanut stew with spinach and cilantro
This is a beautiful dish with bright orange sweet potatoes, green swirls of sturdy flat-leaf spinach and a cilantro-peanut crumble dusted on top. It’s our softest, creamiest stew ever.
Cod with Sweet Potato, Chorizo, and Saffron
Get the recipe: cod with sweet potato, chorizo and saffron
Caramelized chorizo and sweet potato combine with a heady pinch of saffron to make a flavorful bed for cod fillets.
Vegetarian Chili with Corn, Dried Mushrooms, and Pinto Beans
This is a hearty vegetarian chili, just the kind you’ll yearn for on a wintery evening. There’s the creamy texture of pinto beans and sweet potatoes, and the fresh crunch of corn kernels, finished with a splash of hot sauce for heat and acidity.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Spiced Chickpeas with Tahini Dressing, Pomegranate Seeds, and Dill
We’ve roasted sweet potatoes until soft enough to spoon. These are the perfect base for dark red pomegranate seeds, crisped up chickpeas dusted with plenty of spices, and feathery dill.
Roasted Sweet Potato and Kale Salad with Almonds, Dates, and Pecorino
This salad is a symphony of textures: soft-as-velvet roasted sweet potatoes, chopped almonds, and sticky morsels of dates.