Guide to Sweet Potatoes

Staff Writer
Guide to Sweet Potatoes

Photo by Alexandra Hayes

Eating healthy in college is an emotional challenge that usually involves tricking ourselves into liking foods that  taste like water and/or cardboard. That’s why I am thankful for the sweet potato: the one food that genuinely tastes amazing and is also extremely healthy. Here’s why sweet potatoes are one of my top 5 favorite foods:

Nutritional:
One sweet potato only has about 103 calories and 0 grams of fat. The 4 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein give you energy and keep you feeling full, and the high levels of vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin D, iron, potassium and manganese give you a great mood, healthy heart, clear skin and strong teeth (leave the skin on sweet potato to get the most out of the nutritional benefits!).

Economical:
Sweet potatoes are inexpensive (about $1.50-1.99 per lb) and can be stored in the pantry for 3-5 weeks. With our busy schedules, it’s easy to throw money away alongside bags of  uneaten, rotting fruits and vegetables, but you can stock up on sweet potatoes without worrying about them going bad.

Easy to cook:
There are basically a million and two different, delicious and easy ways sweet potatoes can be enjoyed. Here are some of my favorites:

Microwave (whole):


Photo by Alexandra Hayes

Total prep time: 10 minutes

  1. Wash and poke several holes in sweet potato.
  2.  Cook on high for 5 minutes on each side (10 minutes total).

Microwave (mashed):


Photo by Alexandra Hayes

Total prep time: 11 minutes

  1. Wash and poke several holes in sweet potato.
  2. Cook in microwave for 5 minutes on each side (10 minutes total).
  3. Let cool, then slice in half and scoop the inside of the potato into a bowl.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of milk and 1 tablespoon of butter and mash.

Oven baked (whole):


Photo by Alexandra Hayes

Total prep time: 35-40 minutes

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Wash and poke several holes in sweet potato.
  3. Wrap sweet potato loosely in aluminum foil. For a more moist sweet potato, rub a little olive or vegetable oil on the skin.
  4. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until tender.

Oven Roasted (my personal favorite):


Photo by Alexandra Hayes

Total prep time:  35-40 minutes

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Wash and cut sweet potato into cubes.
  3. In a baking tray, mix the cubes with olive oil, salt and pepper. For more flavor, add garlic powder, onion powder and paprika.
  4. Bake for 35-40 minutes (until tender).

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