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All About Sweet Potatoes

By SongofJoy
November 25, 2011

Sweet potatoes are nutritional powerhouses, but they enjoy less popularity in America than in most parts of the world. Here, the white spud is king. Apart from the color, the two do bear a strong resemblance, but some differences emerge when you dig a bit deeper.

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Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
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flaflwrgrl
Nov 24, 2011 6:41 PM CST
Thanks Tee!

Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! I LOVE sweet potatoes! We eat them all year. Wet them, wrap in foil & bake. Slip the skins & enjoy with all the vitamins intact. Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Vicki
North Carolina
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vic
Nov 24, 2011 7:08 PM CST
GREAT article Tee -

I so don't like sweet potatoes BUT I do "drink" them everyday in my smoothie. I bake them and then chunk them and freeze on cookie sheet and throw in a ziplock. I make a tea from green and milk thistle tea to thin my smoothie and add a chunk of sweet potato to the tea to thaw it out and then throw it all in the blender. Thumbs up
Name: tabby
denver, colorado zone 5
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tabby
Nov 24, 2011 7:21 PM CST
I'm another one who eats them all the time. I don't put a lot of stuff on them, usually just some butter, salt and pepper. Today I peeled them with a potato peeler, cut them up, boiled them, mashed them and served them with a bit of butter melting on them. Other times I just cook them in their skins and we eat them like a baked potato. I also have an awesome sweet potato soup recipe.
[Last edited by tabby - Nov 24, 2011 7:23 PM (+)]
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Name: Brenda
Dolores, Colorado
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bsavage
Nov 24, 2011 8:59 PM CST
I love this article! I love it because I love sweet potatoes! Anyone want the best snack or side dish ever? Make sweet potato fries.

Healthy version: Julienne peeled sweet potatoes, put in Ziplock bag, throw in some olive oil, salt, and lemon pepper. Shake vigorously, then take them out of the ziplock bag and place on a cookie sheet or similar. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees until they are puffed up, crispy, and happy. Serve with honey to dip in.

Fattening version: Julienne peeled sweet potatoes, season with salt and lemon pepper, deep fry until they are puffed up, crispy, and happy. Serve with honey to dip in.

Enjoy!
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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SongofJoy
Nov 25, 2011 3:35 AM CST
Thanks, ya'll. I'm happy to see all the sweet potato lovers. Hurray!

Vic has found a way to get them in her diet even though she doesn't like them. I don't think I've ever had them in a smoothie. Must try that. Thumbs up

May we have the soup recipe, tabby?

And Ann and Brenda are affeciandos already. A tasty and healthy sweet tater "fry" recipe. Yum! I like them prepared your way too, Ann.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Paul Anguiano
Richland, WA (Zone 7a)
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psa
Nov 25, 2011 7:13 AM CST
We eat a lot of sweet potatoes here--fries, chips, roasted, mashed. Seems we're always finding something new to do with them.

We grew quite a few in loose compost mix this year, but didn't get them all out of the ground before it got cold. I would highly encourage anyone to try starting their own slips in the spring. It's easy and inexpensive.

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Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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SongofJoy
Nov 25, 2011 7:29 AM CST
I agree, Paul. That's a good idea to grow them in the loose compost mix. They do well in hills.

I'm starting my slips in the window right beside the rooting "Blackie" Ornamental Sweet Potato tubers I pulled up along with my vine this year. I was surprised to get four nice big tubers from the "Blackie" Ornamental. We had quite a tug of war
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Nov 25, 2011 1:06 PM CST
I love baked sweet potatoes. We eat them quite often. We grew them a few years ago with success here in the cooler summer conditions of the Pacific Northwest. We grew them in raised beds (24" tall) filled with compost. I believe that is why we were able to get such nice tubers. We actually harvested quite a few large tubers after the leaves started yellowing.
We did find that for the best flavor you need to cure them after harvesting.
Their flavor and storage quality is greatly improved by curing at warm temperatures first. It is during the curing process that starch is converted to sugar.

Tee I loved this informative article, it cleared up some of the confusion for me between the different types of potatoes.
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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SongofJoy
Nov 25, 2011 1:25 PM CST
Thank you, Lynn. And thank you for the input. I am glad to hear about sweet potatoes doing well in your part of the Pacific Northwest given their need for a long, warm growing season. I agree that the best flavor is achieved if the tubers sit and cure for awhile. They are one of those things that gets better with age (up to a point). Do you recall what variety you grew there?
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
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flaflwrgrl
Nov 25, 2011 1:49 PM CST
And how does one cure them exactly?
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Nov 25, 2011 2:37 PM CST
Tee, I believe it was Georgia Jet. It has been trialed in Cottage Grove, Or at Territorial Seed Company, which isn't far from us. We bought the slips from them.

Here is curing instructions:
Cure sweet potatoes by holding them for about 10 days at 80-85°F and high relative humidity (85-90 percent). In the absence of better facilities, they can be cured near a furnace to provide warmth. If the temperature near your furnace is between 65-75°F, the curing period should last 2-3 weeks. To maintain the required high humidity (85-90 percent relative humidity), stack storage crates or boxes and cover them with paper or heavy cloth. Packing in perforated plastic bags will also keep humidity high, yet the perforations will allow excess moisture to escape.

Once the sweet potatoes are cured, move them to a dark location where a temperature of about 55-60°F can be maintained during storage. Sweet potatoes are subject to chilling injury, so keep them out of the refrigerator. Outdoor pits are not recommended for storage because the dampness encourages decay. Good results can be obtained by wrapping cured sweet potatoes in newspaper and storing them in a cool closet.
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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flaflwrgrl
Nov 25, 2011 2:58 PM CST
Thankyou for the curing instructions Lynn!
Hilarious! In other words --- down here ---- just let them sit on a table on the porch --- humidity, heat --- we have it! Rolling on the floor laughing
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Nov 25, 2011 3:29 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing You sure do Ann. Thumbs up
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
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SongofJoy
Nov 25, 2011 3:40 PM CST
I am going to list some different varieties that do well in different parts of the country when I can get around to it. World-wide there are around 6500 varieties!! A lot of people in this country just don't eat sweet potatoes at all except maybe as a casserole at Thanksgiving or Christmas.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Margaret
Near Kamloops, BC, Canada (Zone 3a)
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mcash70
Nov 25, 2011 5:16 PM CST
We love sweet potatoes and eat them all the time, baked eaten plain, if I happen to get some that are too dry, I mash them and add a little cream and butter. I really don't like the casserole dishes with all of the sugar and marshmallows.
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
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flaflwrgrl
Nov 25, 2011 5:26 PM CST
Margaret ~~~ it's funny that i have almost no sweet tooth for chocolate & cakes & such but I DO love the marshmallows on mashed sweet taters.

My biggest problem is going to be storing them. A dark location 55-60 degrees?! In Florida????!!!!! Puh- leeeeese! Hilarious!
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Margaret
Near Kamloops, BC, Canada (Zone 3a)
Region: Canadian Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Tip Photographer Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member
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mcash70
Nov 25, 2011 5:35 PM CST
I have the perfect place for them Ann, just ship them to me Rolling on the floor laughing , I have a great little cellar that a previous owner dug next to the house foundation Whistling , right now I have four daylilies in there. When I used to grow tuberous begonias I used to store the tubers in there for the winter. Smiling
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Nov 25, 2011 5:49 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing Believe it or not Margaret, I was thinking that very thing! I'll cure them, you store them! Rolling on the floor laughing Now, if THAT ain't a great example of two countries co-operating then I don't know what is! Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing

We could be the sweet potato ambassadors for our respective countries. Hilarious! Hilarious! Hilarious! Hilarious! Big Grin
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
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extranjera
Nov 25, 2011 5:49 PM CST
I love sweet potatoes too and eat them often all year. Down here, there are 2 types commonly sold, one is white and the other is slightly orange but not as orange as those sold up north.

We don't have any problem curing them either, heat and humidity we have! To store them, I have a wine cooler that I put them in. I keep it set at about 57º and I don't have much wine in there but I do have a lot of fruit and some candy Lovey dubby It's great for ripening fruit slowly so it doesn't all ripen in one day and go bad the next. I consider it set to British room temperature, aka the red wine setting of between 55º and 60ºF. It's perfect for chocolate, it doesn't get too cold and it doesn't melt. It helps that it isn't in plain sight either, it lasts longer.
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Nov 25, 2011 6:08 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Not in plain sight. Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



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