This delicious spud is a healthy carbohydrate that boasts a high fibre content and a low glycaemic index (GI). It’s a great alternative to regular potato because it not only satisfies hunger, but also helps stabilise blood sugar.
In Australia, this vegie usually ranges from gold to orange in colour, but you’ll also find white, red and purple varieties. Choose the most brightly coloured spuds, as these contain high levels of antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E as well as beta-carotene, all of which boost your immunity. The body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, which is vital to healthy eyes and skin.
Pick the best
Choose firm, smooth tubers with evenly coloured skin, avoiding those with cracks, bruising and dark or soft spots. Store sweet potatoes in a cool, well-ventilated dark spot, not in the fridge, and they’ll keep for up to two weeks. Scrub and cook this veg before eating. (It usually cooks a bit faster than regular potatoes.) The skin is edible, but trim it of bruises, woody parts and the ends.
Three ways to capture the flavour of sweet potato
Spicy fries: Slice 2 to 3 large sweet potatoes into chips (about 1 to 2cm thick). Place chips on a lined baking tray, spray with cooking oil, sprinkle with smoked paprika and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until crisp. Serve fries with light sour cream and sweet chilli sauce.
Sweet and crunchy mash: Use sweet potato instead of regular potato when you make mash for dinner. To give it a tasty twist, add a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and top it with crushed toasted walnuts just before serving.
Baked treats: Fill your home-baked goodies with flavour and fibre! To make delicious sweet-potato scones, add 1 cup of mashed sweet potato to your scone batter and bake as usual. You can add sweet spuds to the batter for chocolate brownies, too!
Did you know? Studies suggest a link between high levels of carotenoids (the pigments that colour sweet potato) and a lower risk of breast cancer.