Sweet potatoes are underrated. The scrumptious root vegetable is often inexpensively available at local supermarkets throughout the winter and stores well, especially if you have a root cellar. Still, the sweet potato often gets overlooked for the starchier Maine classic, the potato.
Sweet potatoes aren’t only delicious, though — they’re good for you. If you are looking to eat more colors of the rainbow in order to have a more nutritious, well-rounded diet, the colorful sweet potato — which is usually orange, but can also be purple or white — fit the bill. Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A, as well as fiber, iron, calcium, selenium, some B vitamins and vitamin C.
Note, though, that despite potatoes’ oft-maligned nutritional reputation, both sweet potatoes and white potatoes are nutritious in their own right — they are comparable in their calorie, protein, and carb content, but white potatoes provide more potassium.
Here are 6 recipes that you can use to unlock the health — and flavor — benefits of sweet potatoes in your own home cooking.
Baked sweet potatoes with crispy pancetta veggie topping
Baked sweet potatoes are great by themselves, but with the right toppings, they can be absolutely divine. The tender, sweet mashed flesh of baked sweet potatoes is a punchy contrast to the salty, crispy pancetta and vegetable topping. This recipe for baked sweet potatoes with crispy pancetta veggie topping seems fancy, but you can easily achieve it in your home kitchen.
Rosemary sweet potato casserole
Forget what you know about sweet potatoes, sweet potato casseroles. There are no marshmallows or creamy soups — just thinly sliced sweet potatoes are layered with garlic, rosemary, parsley, salt, pepper and parmesan cheese. This tender, herbed casserole would be lovely with a pork roast, a roast chicken or even with an egg on top. This recipe for rosemary sweet potato casserole is sure to become a favorite in your kitchen.
Sweet potato and black bean chili
This chili is so good, you won’t miss the meat. Chunky, rich sweet potato and earthy black beans combine with a melange of spices for a warm meal that will please even the most voracious carnivore. Try this recipe for sweet potato and black bean chili to see for yourself.
Golden vegetable casserole
Butternut squash, carrots and sweet potatoes meet up in this easy-to-make casserole. Onion and a little thyme makes this dish savory. Topped off with brown sugar and moistened with cream, this recipe for golden vegetable casserole will not only take great advantage of your winter storage crops, but also your taste buds.
Warm chipotle maple roasted sweet potato salad with farro and kale
Healthy food can be delicious, and this salad is proof. It starts with a healthy grain, topped with a good-for-you green and spicy-sweet warm sweet potatoes, along with a refreshing lime-cilantro dressing. Make good on that New Year’s resolution to eat healthier by following this recipe for warm chipotle maple roasted sweet potato salad with farro and kale.
Sweet potato cake
Yes, you can eat sweet potatoes for dessert. This cake is spicy, moist and firm with a tasty crisp crust. The cream cheese frosting makes this sweet potato cake a decadent dessert despite the surprising vegetable base. Check out this recipe for sweet potato cake for a sweet treat with flavors reminiscent of pumpkin-based desserts or carrot cakes.
Sweet potatoes have seemingly infinite uses in the kitchen. Snatch up a few at the grocery store or farmers market next time you’re out shopping for your week’s groceries and try one of these recipes to enjoy their nutritional and flavor benefits in your home kitchen.