Sweet potatoes are simple to prepare, but some methods are better than others. Sautéing is tricky, due to the oil content needed, while frying is a flat out no-no for some healthy eaters.
Steaming your spud
Place water in your steamer and put whole or largely diced sweet potatoes in the basket. Depending on the size, this can take up to 45 minutes or longer. If you do not have a steamer, use a metal colander and large pot. Place the colander in the pot with the handles hanging over the edge. This will hold the colander above the water so the potatoes can steam. Put the spuds in the colander, and use a lid to prevent the heat from escaping.
Oven steam your spud
What if you don't have a pot or a steamer? You can still get the same effect directly from the oven. In a shallow baking dish, add a half-inch of water, and place your clean, potatoes in the baking dish. Cover it with aluminum foil or lid.
Boil your tuber
Place your clean potatoes in a pot of boiling water. There should be enough water to cover the sweet potatoes. Boil until it's slightly soft, and remove from the water. Let it cool before removing the peel.
Throw it in the oven
Bake your sweet potatoes at 400 degrees until they are slightly soft. Sweet potatoes will ooze sweet, sticky syrup so line your pan with foil, or wrap your sweet potatoes individually. Do not place them on the rack without a pan underneath. The syrup will leak, and cause the oven to smoke with the possibility of catching on fire.
Get the grill out
Grilling your sweet potato is another way to cook your spud. Grill your sweet potatoes at the same time as your protein to save time in the long run. After you've turned your grill on place aluminum wrapped potatoes on the outer edges, or top tray, of the grill. Put them on before your meat because they will take longer to cook. T
The sweet potato can char if you place them over direct heat. Turn them over once or twice for even cooking.
*Lightly coat your potato with olive oil and salt if you prefer not to use aluminum.
Quick fix with the microwave
Microwaves commonly have settings for potatoes, which makes the cooking time less complicated. Different size potatoes will need less or more time, but here is a guideline to follow:
- 1 potato, 4 to 6 minutes
- 2 potatoes, 6 to 8 minutes
- 3 potatoes, 8 to 12 minutes
- 4 potatoes, 12 to 16 minutes
- 5 potatoes, 16 to 20 minutes
North Carolina Sweet Potatoes
Leslie Beck, RD