Sweet Sweet Potato Season!

Sweet Sweet Potato Season!

Sweet potatoes are a Native American super food that are nutrient-packed plants with orange or yellow flesh. They’re named for their sweet flavor caused by an enzyme that converts the potato’s starched into sugar.

Can you believe that a ½ cup serving of sweet potatoes has 90 calories and is an excellent source of beta-carotene vitamins A and C.

HOW TO CHOOSE: Select sweet potatoes that are firm and smooth and avoid ones with bruises or cracks. Also avoid choosing from a refrigerated display as the cool air can change the flavor.

HOW TO STORE: Store your sweet potatoes in a cool, dry place just like regular potatoes. Use room temperature sweet potatoes within a week.

HOW TO USE: Whenever possible cook sweet potatoes whole to retain the nutrients before peeling. Serve in place of baked potatoes or get creative with a recipe such as sweet potato pancakes.

Now, I know that everyone loves pumpkin pie around this time of year but, how about opting out that pumpkin for sweet potatoes?

Though traditionally considered a Southern or ethnic dish, particularly in African-American and Latino households, sweet potato pie is gaining traction as a Thanksgiving side.

One of the reasons sweet potato pie is offered as a pumpkin pie substitute is that the pies are similar in color and use mostly the same ingredients. The main difference is texture and taste.

What a sweet potato looks like when sliced open

 

SWEET POTATO FACTS

  • Sweet potatoes are not yams. They’re not even related.
  • Sweet potatoes originally hail from Africa.
  • Pumpkins and sweet potatoes are great sources of vitamins A and C and other nutrients.

 

NUTRITIONAL BREAKDOWN

Here’s a breakdown for a 1/8 slice of a 9-inch pie:

  • Calories: Pumpkin pie — 316; Sweet potato pie — 340
  • Protein: Pumpkin —7 grams; Sweet potato — 5 grams
  • Fat: Pumpkin —14 grams; Sweet potato —16 grams
  • Cholesterol: Pumpkin — 25 mg; Sweet potato — 20 mg

 

KEEP IN MIND

While the fat and cholesterol levels are about the same, depending on the recipe you use and whether it is homemade or commercial, the calories and other nutrients can vary widely.

Pie Crust

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup water

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water until mixture forms a ball. Divide dough in half, and shape into balls. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight
  • Roll out dough on a floured counter. Don’t overwork it.

Filling

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes (roasted) or 1 small roasted long-neck pumpkin (press excess liquid). You will need about 1.5 cups of potato or pumpkin puree.
  • 1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:

  • Position rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 400 degrees.
  • Place puree in large bowl.
  • Whisk in brown sugar and next 4 ingredients.
  • Transfer filling to crust.
  • Bake pie until filling is puffed around edges and set in center, about 45 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool. Can be made a day ahead. Cover, refrigerate

    Home-cooked sweet potato pie

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