A Rainbow of Sweetness: Sweet Potatoes 101

By Laura Petrolino

I LOVE sweet potatoes. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them. They are one of my favorite carbohydrate sources and fit into my super busy life because they are quick and easy to prep, travel well, and taste great plain, cold, and just the way they are (at least to my plain jane tastebuds.)

Sweet Potatoes of Many Color

A lot of people make a mistake and only experience the common orange fleshed sweet potato, but there is a rainbow of sweet potato option just waiting to be explored….and today friends, we shall do just that.

Most of you know the common orange fleshed variety, these often come under the names “garnet” (my favorite) and  “jewel,” which are different types of this variety.

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 7.16.07 PMLately the Japanese sweet potato has gained popularity. This variety has a deep red skin and white flesh. It’s one of my favorites because it has a really creamy, cake like consistency and sweet nutty flavor.

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 7.18.55 PM

Finally, there is the colorful purple sweet potato, which is like the oddball uncle of the sweet potato family. These have more of consistency and a taste like a russet, with a hint of sweetness.

sweet potatoHow to Cook

I personally love to cook sweet potatoes of all varieties the same way (and normally I mix my colors up for a rainbow of sweet potato wonder.) I slice them up in large chunks and bake on 450 for 30 to 45 minutes. This makes them crispy on the outside and sweet and moist on the inside. The perfect combo!

If you need something more exciting you can find some excellent recipes HERE and HERE.

A Rainbow of Nutrition

Taste isn’t the only reason to go with a more colorful variety, different colors of sweet potatoes, as with other fruits and vegetables, offer different micronutrients– a variety of which are all very important for a healthy, fitness lifestyle.

Purple offers anthocyanins, health-promoting chemicals that help protect cells and heal your body.

While orange offers beta carotene, vitamin a, and vitamin c.

Taste the rainbow and the health benefits as well!

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