We’re here today to talk about the sensational sweet potato.
Traditionally, we think of the sweet potato as a Thanksgiving treat.
In November every year, people whip out their favorite sweet potato recipes.
But why only once a year?
Brimming with health benefits and inherent natural deliciousness, sweet potatoes deserve to be on the table all year round.
Which is precisely why we are writing this article.
Plus, February 22 commemorates the National Cook a Sweet Potato Day in the US.
What better time to celebrate this delectable gift of Mother Nature?
The Sweet Potato Day–A History
Sweet potatoes are not a new-fangled fad–they have been eaten and loved for centuries.
In fact, these spuds go back 5,000 years to when they were first ‘domesticated’ in Central America.
And they may have been around even longer than that–there is some proof that sweet potatoes existed as far back as 8000 B.C.!
And today they’re popular everywhere. From Uganda to Rwanda, India to Vietnam.
The sweet potato even reigns as the state vegetable of North Carolina!
But What Makes the Sweet Potato so Great?
For starters, sweet potatoes are super easy and versatile to cook. You can quite literally prepare them any way you want: roasted, baked, steamed, sautéed, mashed. They can be eaten on their own or as part of a complete dish: curry, wok or casserole.
Second of all, sweet potatoes make a welcome change from a ‘regular’ potato–adding a fresh original taste to the meal.
Finally, they are packed with vitamin A and, like the regular potato are good sources of fiber.
With their super dose of healthful, nourishing nutrients, sweet potatoes are a delightful addition to any plant-based diet.
The Difference Between a Yam and a Sweet Potato?
Many people confuse yams and sweet potatoes. And while both are flowering
plants (angiosperms) that’s basically where any similarities stop.
Yams are considered monocots–plants with one embryonic seed leaf and are stem tubers. Sweet potatoes are dicots (they have two embryonic seed leaves) and are considered storage roots (or root tubers).
Yams also have white flesh and are starchier and drier than the orange-fleshed sweet potato. Plus, their nutrient content is not at all the same; the sweet potato is well-known for its high vitamin A content while yams have very little.
How to Celebrate Cook a Sweet Potato Day?
Here are some interesting ways you can celebrate Cook a Sweet Potato Day:
- Grow Your Own: Learn how to plant sweet potatoes yourself! Not sure how? Check out this handy guide.
- Make a Face Mask: Did you know that sweet potatoes are known to protect the skin from UV rays? Because of their high vitamin A content, the sweet potato boosts collagen and helps diminish wrinkles. Check out this mask recipe here.
- Try Out Today’s Recipe! Of course, the best way to celebrate Cook a Sweet Potato Day is to cook a sweet potato! Why not try out our exclusive recipe for Curried Sweet Potato Salad.
And remember, there is no reason to ‘just’ eat the delicious sweet potato a couple of times a year.
Blend this nutritionally supercharged vegetable into your meals at least once a week throughout the year!