By Tami Weiser
Few foods have it all, except maybe sweet potatoes. These root veggies are a good source of protein and fiber, loaded with vitamins and minerals, easy to find, and cheap to purchase. And did we mention they’re absolutely delicious? Loved by all, from babies to bodybuilders, sweet potatoes are a smart option year round, terrific for time constrained meal planners and healthy eating fans alike.
Here’s what you need to know to help you incorporate one of nature’s tastiest and healthiest foods into your diet.
How to Buy & Store Sweet Potatoes
Look for firm and taut skin and no squishiness, and make sure to avoid potatoes with raw or broken fragments with white dots or streaks. Those sweet potatoes are past their prime.
Store sweet potatoes in a dry cool place, not the fridge. And rotate the potatoes (an open or mesh bowl is the best option) every few days to make sure they’re all getting some fresh air.
How to Cook Sweet Potatoes
1. Cook Sweet Potatoes Whole
Whole roasted sweet potatoes are simplicity at its best. The skin gets crispy and crackly and the interior takes on a creamy texture. And you don’t need anything more than your oven, a sheet pan, and about an hour.
If you have an air fryer, it works like a dream and produces a soft inside and crispy outside that’s hard to beat. Or, if you don’t have an hour, borrow this short-cut method, which halves the time by halving your potatoes.
2. Cube, Dice, or Slice Sweet Potatoes
This recipe is wonderfully basic. Rosemary is a classic addition but you can use different herbs or no herbs at all if you wish.
3. Make Sweet Potato Fries
Remember when out of nowhere sweet potato fries ended up on every restaurant menu? That’s because they’re sweet, crispy, and so easy to make. While most restaurants deep fry the sweet potatoes, you can get that same effect with a hot oven or air fryer and a few smart techniques.
Baked sweet potato fries need just a bit of priming before baking in a searingly hot oven to achieve the uniquely salty crispy outside and fluffy inside that defines fries. This recipe works exceptionally well, and if you don’t want to use cornstarch, you can substitute plain rice starch or fine rice flour, tapioca starch, or even kuzu starch.
If an air fryer could only make these crispy-as-all-get-out sweet potato fries, it would still be worth it. Yes, they’re that good. This recipe has plenty of tips for air fryer newbies as well.