Sunday, December 9, 2012

Baked Sweet Potatoes


I realize it looks like I've gone sweet potato crazy with one post after another about this under-appreciated vegetable. When I was a kid, we had been invited to a neighbor's home for supper. I thought they were serving mashed carrots. Boy, was I surprised when I took a bite. That ruined me on sweet potatoes for a good 35 years. My BFF Claudia baked a sweet potato for me one day and I have loved them since.  

This past Friday Andy was off from work. While he was enjoying his coffee he took in a cooking show and sent me a text with that night's menu: Grilled pork tenderloin, baked sweet potatoes and sauteed mushrooms and onions. My momma didn't raise a fool! I texted him back "I luv u" immediately and couldn't wait to get home to eat! A baked sweet potato is delicious alongside any type of pork dish.

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Wash outside of sweet potatoes
  3. Pat dry with a paper towel
  4. Rub down in vegetable oil (helps the peel come off easier)
  5. Roll up in aluminum foil
  6. Place rolled up potatoes on a baking dish! 
Why?
Sweet "Poot"tatoes have been known to release a sticky gooey substance while baking. It's a pain to get out of the bottom of your oven so here's a step saver. Andy lays a sheet of aluminum foil on the pan so we don't have to scrape that up off the pan.   
  1. Bake until tender. (One hour minimum for a medium potato) I take a thin pot holder and give a light squeeze to determine how done they are. I try not to poke them with a knife unless they are extra-large.
  2. Remove from the oven and let them rest for about 10 minutes.
  3. Take a sharp knife and make a shallow cut lengthwise. Remove the peel and pop off the end that the root was attached to.  
  4. Cut/mash up and season with butter. Optional: cinnamon and sugar 
Do you need another 9 reasons why these are good for you? Here's some great info about sweet potato benefits from Care2 make a difference:
  1. They are high in vitamin B6.
  2. They are a good source of vitamin C. 
  3. They contain Vitamin D
  4. Sweet potatoes contain iron.
  5. Sweet potatoes are a good source of mag­nesium, which is the relaxation and anti-stress mineral
  6. They are a source of potassium, one of the important electrolytes that help regulate heartbeat and nerve signals.
  7. Sweet potatoes are naturally sweet-tasting but their natural sugars are slowly released into the bloodstream.
  8. Their rich orange colour indicates that they are high in carotenoids like beta carotene and other carotenoids, which is the precursor to vitamin A in your body.  
  9. There are versatile. Try them roasted, puréed, steamed, baked, or grilled.
Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/9-reasons-to-love-sweet-potatoes.html#ixzz2EbBRXeU3 

Just in case you missed the post about the Fried Black Skillet Sweet Potatoes, here's the background on our first attempt at growing sweet potatoes this past summer in our garden. We only planted a couple of plants and then thought the frost got them, but they came back and grew like crazy. In September I just knew they had to be ready to dig and I got Andy to see what was under the ground. He dug up about 7 or 8 small sweet potatoes. My impatience got the best of me. He went out again right before Thanksgiving and dug up the potatoes pictured below. We are definitely going to do this again.


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