Classic Sweet Potato Dishes by cooktips

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									                     Classic Sweet Potato Dishes

The sweet potato is an ideal food for health-conscious eaters. It is an economical and
nutritious choice. They are high in fiber and potassium and loaded with vitamins.
They also have a pleasant, sweet taste and blend well with spices to produce
delicious dishes well beyond just plain old baked.

It is worth noting that they are not the same as yams, as many people think. Yams
originated in Africa and actually have white flesh with no sweet taste at all. Sweet
potatoes have dark orange skin and flesh. Unfortunately, the canned varieties are
sometimes labeled as yams, and this has perpetuated the confusion among
consumers.

The popular root vegetables are versatile in that they can be baked, boiled, fried, or
mashed. They may also be used as a substitute for pumpkin or squash in many
recipes, and there is generally no noticeable difference in taste.

A favorite classic dish is sweet potato pie, especially popular in the South. It is
usually baked in a pie shell without a top crust. Milk, sugar, eggs, and spices like
nutmeg are typically mixed in, poured into the crust and baked. A dollop of whipped
cream is especially delicious on top. This is a popular dessert around the holidays.

Candied sweet potatoes are also often found on the tables of American homes at
Thanksgiving and Christmas. This tastes more like a sinful dessert than a simple side
dish. There are several variations of it, but most recipes include butter, brown sugar,
and spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. Most recipes call for a topping of
marshmallows and pecans. This is not a particularly diet-friendly dish, but serves
well as an occasional indulgence.

Sweet Potato Fries are a fun choice for a change. These can either be baked for a
healthier option, or they can be fried in oil. Frying generally produces a crispier fry.
The potato is peeled and sliced into strips or wedges, then tossed in seasonings such
as salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Another popular holiday favorite is sweet potato casserole. After cooking and
mashing, the potatoes are spread in a casserole dish, and a crunchy topping is
spooned on top. This topping can include pecans, brown sugar, butter, and spices.

Many of these dishes will freeze quite well. Do yourself a time-saving favor and whip
up your favorite dishes to store in the freezer for another day.

By Tom Lingle

                                ---- Nguyen Manh Tien ----

								
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