The Harvest of the month for November is sweet potatoes. Despite potato being in its name, sweet potatoes are not part of the same family as traditional white potatoes. They belong to the Convolvulaceae family, along with morning glories. Sweet potatoes are commonly mistaken for yams. Yams are cylindrical, have rougher skin, and typically contain white-flesh. Sweet potatoes have tapered ends with smoother skin and can range in color from white to orange to purple. The most common varieties are Garnet “yam”, Hannah, Jewell, Japanese and Purple sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are available in the Seacoast area throughout the fall time.
Sweet potatoes are packed with nutrients. One cup of sweet potato contains 103 calories, 24 grams carbohydrate, 3.8 grams fiber and 2.3 grams protein. One cup of sweet potato also contains 438% vitamin A, 37% vitamin C, 28% manganese, 16% vitamin B6, 15% potassium and 10% pantothenic acid of the daily recommended values. Due to its high levels of vitamin C and vitamin A, sweet potatoes aid in immune health, helping to prevent sickness and inflammation in the body. Sweet potatoes are also high in the antioxidant beta carotene, which has been shown to prevent signs of aging, promote healthy vision and support the respiratory system.
Many of you have probably heard the controversy over potatoes and considered whether you should be consuming sweet potatoes over traditional white potatoes. While both types of potatoes contain different nutrient profiles the decision ultimately comes down to what you are looking to achieve in your diet. Both sweet potatoes and traditional potatoes are high in fiber and vitamin C, folate, vitamin B6 and potassium. Sweet potatoes have significantly higher levels of vitamin A and the antioxidant beta carotene. Although both types of potatoes have high levels of carbohydrate, sweet potatoes have more fiber which prevents blood sugar levels from spiking so high after a meal. Another component to consider is the meal you are trying to create. White potatoes are typically used in savory dishes, while sweet potatoes can be incorporated into both the main meal and dessert dishes. All in all, both types of potatoes can be incorporated into a healthy diet in moderation.
While there are lots of both savory and sweet ways to use sweet potatoes in your diet, below is one of my favorite sweet potato dishes.
Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash
- 1 sweet potato
- ½ red onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 bell peppers
- 1 jalapeno
- 2 green onions
- 1 TBS fresh rosemary
- 4 eggs
- Dice the sweet potato.
- Add olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat. Add diced sweet potato. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, while stirring occasionally.
- Dice and mince the garlic and red onion. Add to the skillet.
- Dice the bell peppers. Add to the skillet.
- Dice the jalapeno. Add to the skillet.
- Chop the green onion and rosemary. Add the skillet. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, until the sweet potato is tender.
- Create 4 wells in the vegetable mixture. Crack one egg into each well. Cover and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes.