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What Are the Best Tips for Cooking Sweet Potatoes?

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  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 05 September 2016
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Sweet potatoes are delicious and nutritious foods that can be prepared in a number of different, relatively simple ways. The best tips for cooking sweet potatoes largely depend on how an individual or family likes to eat them; for some people, simply baking the sweet potato in the oven or microwaving it and then eating it plain is perfectly fine. Others may try roasting the potatoes, creating sweet potato fries, or creating the popular holiday dish of candied sweet potatoes. One of the best tips to remember when cooking sweet potatoes is that they take a bit longer to cook than other types of baking potatoes, so it is important to factor this into cooking time.

Some of the easiest methods of cooking sweet potatoes are baking them in the oven, or microwaving them. For baking them in the oven, it is generally recommended to bake them on a baking sheet rather than flat on the oven rack, and to rotate them halfway through to be sure they cook evenly. They will take quite a while in the oven; generally upwards of half an hour or 45 minutes, though wrapping them in tin foil may shorten that time a bit. Microwaving them takes a fraction of the time, but it is important to remember to poke a few holes in the skin with a fork to make sure they don't explode.

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Other methods of cooking sweet potatoes can make them a bit more flavorful. Cutting them into chunks and roasting them in the oven with olive oil and spices such as onion, garlic, and pepper is a simple method that gives them a more savory rather than sweet flavor; others will prepare them with cinnamon or nutmeg to enhance sweetness. Many people also make sweet potato fries instead of traditional fries because they are more nutritionally dense. The sweet potatoes may be peeled or unpeeled for this recipe, and then baked in the oven or fried. Baking is healthier, but frying them gives them that crispy texture.

Candied sweet potatoes, often served with marshmallows, are another popular method of cooking sweet potatoes. These are prepared more like a casserole than the other options. Of course, these are just a few of the most common methods for cooking sweet potatoes. There are many different recipes to be found online, and it is also fairly easy to experiment with them to try to find new flavors. It is difficult to ruin sweet potatoes unless they are overcooked and burned, so be sure to keep an eye on them when they are in the oven.

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KoiwiGal
Post 3

@croydon - I've never tried sweet potato fries but now I want to. Usually we just use them like carrots, chopping them up and adding them to stews or curries or dishes like that.

Although I often get yams and sweet potatoes mixed up. I think that different parts of the world call them different things.

croydon
Post 2

@Iluviaporos - I like making sweet potato fries and honestly I don't know exactly how long it takes. I usually just cut them into sticks, pop them into the oven and then check every few minutes until they are starting to turn golden on the edges.

I like the taste better, but apparently they are also better for you than the average potato because they have a lower glycemic index and they have a few more anti-oxidants and vitamins and things.

The only bad thing is that I don't really like eating the skin of sweet potato but I will eat the skins of normal potato and I know the skins are the most nutritious part.

lluviaporos
Post 1

I've found that the sweet potatoes we eat most regularly around here actually take much less time to cook than normal potatoes, using every method, like boiling, microwaving and baking.

I don't know why they do that, but it's enough of a difference that I've got into the habit of adding them about ten minutes after the potatoes if I'm cooking them in the same dish.

That might not be true for every kind of sweet potato though, so it would pay to experiment with a new type until you know how long it takes to cook thoroughly. You don't want to over or under-cook them when you've got to serve guests.

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