Sweet potatoes are not just for Thanksgiving! They are tasty + healthy all year-round, a staple we love so much they’re in not one, but two, Tommy’s products: Root Fusion and our Organic Seasoned Sweet Potatoes.
These potatoes are sweet in taste and “sweet” for your health!
Not only do sweet potatoes have a natural sweetness, but they provide some surprising health benefits. Check out this infographic to learn why sweet potatoes should be on your plate at your next meal. (Dinner, lunch, or even breakfast…we’re talking to you!)
Key Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes
If you read our recent post about root vegetables, you’ll know that sweet potatoes provide antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. They’re bright and colorful, and that color packs a delicious, nutritious punch:
- Orange sweet potatoes get their color because of high beta-carotene content. Beta-carotene helps to improve our blood levels of vitamin A.
- Purple sweet potatoes have outstanding antioxidant activity. In one research study, the antioxidant levels in purple sweet potatoes were 3.2 times higher than that of blueberries!
Sweet potatoes contain blood sugar-regulating nutrients. Many starchy root vegetables are not ideal for people controlling their blood sugar. However, a medium sweet potato offers 6.6 grams of dietary fiber which helps to steady the pace of digestion – they’re the super tasty exception to the starchy root vegetable rule.
Sweet Potatoes and Yams – Same or Different?
There is a great deal of confusion between sweet potatoes and yams. While they may look similar in size, shape, and color, they are different foods, even belonging to different plant families!
Over 1 million tons of sweet potatoes are commercially grown in the U.S. each year, while commercial production of yams in the U.S. is rare. So rare, in fact, that if you see a sign that says “yams” in your store, look carefully – it may be a mislabeled sweet potato!
Did you know?
Sweet potatoes are native to Central and South America and are one of the oldest vegetables known to man. Relics depicting sweet potatoes have been discovered in Peruvian caves dating back 10,000 years!
Best Ways to Cook Sweet Potatoes
No matter how you cook them – steaming, roasting, boiling, stir-frying – sweet potatoes go with just about everything. Recent research has shown that adding 3-5 grams of fat to your sweet potato meals significantly increases your body’s ability to absorb beta-carotene. This minimal amount is very easy to include using healthy fats such as olive oil or nuts.
You can eat it all when you buy organic!
If you purchase organically grown sweet potatoes, you can eat the entire tuber, flesh, and skin. However, if you buy conventionally grown ones, you should peel them before eating, because the skin of conventional sweet potatoes is typically treated with dye or wax.
Want to save the trouble of peeling? The best part about Tommy’s vegetables is that they are frozen on the farm, right after being harvested (at their nutritional peak!) and prepared: peeled, cut, and lightly seasoned. We do all the hard work so you don’t have to!
Sweet Serving Ideas
- Purée cooked sweet potatoes with bananas, maple syrup, and cinnamon. Top with chopped walnuts. The fat content of the walnuts will help the absorption of the beta-carotene.
- Bake sweet potatoes with a drizzle of olive oil – eat immediately or chill and add to salad or lunch the next day.
Next time you’re at the store, pick up a few bags of Tommy’s flash frozen vegetable medleys and get your sweet potato on! They’re healthy, tasty, and easy – you’ll never go back to peeling or chopping sweet potatoes again.
Want more recipe ideas starring sweet potatoes? Read this Super Tips post, 25 Super Sweet Potato Recipes.