Baked sweet potato: how to make roasted sweet potato
Baked sweet potato is a delicious recipe, very healthy and easy to make. We tell you how to roast sweet potato at home
fresh food27 December 2019
The sweet potato is a tuber of which there are hundreds of varieties spread throughout the world, although in Spain the most common are white and red, with the interior of this latter presenting an intense orange hue. It is one of the jewels that autumn brings us and its season runs from October to March, when it is at its ideal moment for consumption.
Sweet potatoes are another product that came to us from the Indies and that quickly rooted in our culinary culture, especially in southern Spain. In fact, at the beginning of the 17th century, sweet potato was known throughout the national territory as 'Malaga potato', since it was in that area of the country that its consumption was popularised for the first time. It seems that the sweet potato was originally from South America where there is evidence of its cultivation 8,000 years ago. Artistic depictions of the sweet potato have been found on numerous pre-Columbian ceramics and the remains of said tuber in some of its tombs.
According to FAO data, the main producing countries are China, Uganda, Indonesia, Rwanda, Vietnam, Nigeria, India, Japan, Burundi and the United States. In Spain, the main producing areas are Andalusia, the Valencian Community, the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands.
Sweet potato benefits
Starch is extracted from the sweet potato and its usage is common in human and livestock feed, as a raw material in the bakery and confectionery industry, and even in the production of alcoholic beverages.
Sweet potato has numerous benefits and nutrients for our health, among which is its high folic acid content - an essential vitamin for pregnant and breastfeeding women. It is also a source of vitamins A, C, E and minerals, such as potassium and manganese. Vitamins C and E and manganese contribute to the protection of cells against damage due to oxidation. Vitamin A is essential for the maintenance of the skin and vision under normal conditions and potassium contributes to maintaining a healthy blood pressure.
Starch is extracted from sweet potato and it is very common to use it in human and livestock feed and as a raw material in the bakery and pastry industry.
Buying and storage advice
It is a very fragile product so when buying it is important to choose those that have a firmer appearance. At home, they should be stored in a cool, dry, dark and airy place, where they can last up to ten days. If the temperature is too high, the sweet potato can germinate or ferment. To avoid this, it is advisable to cook and keep the tuber in the fridge for a week, but never store it raw in the refrigerator.
Tasty ways to cook sweet potato
Like potatoes, sweet potatoes cannot be consumed without cooking. Via different cooking techniques we can obtain dozens of sweet potato dishes, both savoury and sweet, or excellent side dishes for meats, fish and even rice and other cereals.
Baking the sweet potato in the oven is surely the easiest and best known way to enjoy it. Simply wash the sweet potatoes, wrap them in foil and let the heat of the oven do the rest. The result: a sweet, healthy dessert with a very pleasant texture, which can also be mixed into cakes and biscuits. If you do not want to heat up the oven, sweet potato can be cooked cut into slices or cubes in the frying pan. Cook it peeled and then, with the meat already cooked, mash it up to obtain a rich puree or mix the cubes with other vegetables, meats and cereals.
Another tasty way to consume sweet potatoes is as if they were chips. Fry or sauté sweet potato sticks and you will get a substitute for chips that is much more colourful and that has an interesting sweet note that contrasts with other savoury foods. To reduce oil intake, the sweet potato can be cooked on the griddle, once cut into medium-fine slices.