The Large Orange Veggie: The Sweet Potato
The sweet potato is a delicious root vegetable with a distinct orange color. First cultivated in Central and South America around 8,000 years ago, the sweet potato is one of the oldest known cultivated plants. Today, it is one of the most popular worldwide, as its numerous health benefits have made it a mainstay side dish for millions.
The sweet potato contains a variety of vitamins and minerals that make it a great source of nutrition. It is a good source of:
- Vitamin A – great for vision and the immune system
- Vitamin C – an antioxidant that fights free radicals
- Vitamin B6 – helps with liver and kidney function
- Manganese – important for metabolism and hormones
- Potassium – helps with cell growth, fluid balance, and muscle contractions
The sweet potato is also relatively low in fat, yet contains lots of fiber which helps promote digestion.
Sweet potatoes can be used in a variety of dishes, from breakfast to dessert. Some popular uses for sweet potatoes include:
- Mashed Sweets – a popular replacement for mashed potatoes
- Fries & Chips – a great snack and alternative to potato chips
- Soups & Stews – can be easily blended for a creamy consistency
- Cakes & Pies – often used in traditional desserts like sweet potato pie
- Veggie Burgers – a great base for veggie burgers