By Jennifer Howard
3:25 PM EST, December 5, 2012
Sweet potatoes are a favorite holiday dish and they are in their peak season now. They are savory, sweet and nutritious and very versatile too. Sweet potatoes are a good source of fiber, complex carbohydrates and vitamins A and C.
There are two varieties of sweet potatoes grown in Kentucky. The pale, or “white,” sweet potato has a light yellow skin and pale yellow flesh that is dry and crumbly.
The darker “red” variety has a dark skin and orange sweet flesh that cooks up moist. Choose small to medium-sized ones with smooth, unbruised skin.
Sweet potatoes spoil rapidly, so keep them stored in a cool, dry place with good ventilation, like a cellar, pantry or the garage. Do not store them in the refrigerator, where they will develop a hard core and an “off” taste.
If stored properly, sweet potatoes will keep for up to a month or at room temperature for about two weeks. Be sure not to wash them until you are ready to cook them. The moisture from washing will increase the chance of spoiling.
To prepare sweet potatoes, scrub the outside well. You can leave the potato whole or peel it and then slice, dice or shred.
Sweet potatoes can be baked in the oven at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes to an hour; boiled in water; microwaved or baked in the slow cooker. Cooked, mashed sweet potatoes can be used interchangeably in recipes calling for cooked pumpkin, anything from bread, pies, soups, cakes and casseroles.
Try this delicious biscuit recipe using fresh cooked sweet potatoes.
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup mashed sweet potatoes
6 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup butter, melted
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon milk
In a large mixing bowl, combine flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and walnuts. Set aside.
Combine sweet potatoes, sugar, butter, vanilla and milk; add to flour mixture and mix well. Turn out onto a floured surface; gently knead 3 or 4 times. Roll dough into ½ inch thickness. Cut with a 2 inch biscuit cutter and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 12 minutes or until brown. Makes 18 biscuits. Nutrition facts: 100 calories, 4 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 210 mg sodium, 14 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 2 g protein.
For more information on KY Proud Products, contact the Clark County Extension Office at 744-4682 or visit us on the web at http://ces.ca.uky.edu/clark.