A staple in modern cuisine, the sweet potato has earned a reputation as a healthy and delicious vegetable. You can sautée them with coconut oil for the main course or roast it with vegetables for a sweet side dish.

Its nutritional profile is extremely appealing; this tuber is a great source of fiber and contains high amounts of vitamins and minerals (including most of our B vitamins and vitamin C). They also provide an antioxidant known as "beta-carotene", which converts to vitamin A once consumed.

Whether you're deciding on a dish to bring to your next family potluck or need a quick dinner fix for a busy night with the kids, the sweet potato has got you covered.

Roasting Sweet Potatoes

sweet potatoes getting roasted

You would be surprised at just how much roasting a sweet potato can change its flavor. Cut them into long wedges, smaller cubes or thick circles and season with spices of your choosing for a sweet or savory treat to enjoy any day of the week. You can either leave the skin on or peel it off when roasting sweet potatoes. The prep is easy and the outcome is fantastic:

  • If you choose to leave the skin, make sure to wash and scrub the potatoes thoroughly with a produce brush before cutting. The peel contains a lot of great nutrients, such as fiber.
  • When cutting your sweet potatoes, it's important to keep in mind that size and shape will play a significant factor in cook time and flavor. A large, thick circle will be softer (and take longer to cook) than a bite-size cube or matchstick fry.
  • Add your cut-up sweet potatoes to a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper and spread them around. coating them with olive oil. Sprinkle with seasonings and toss.
  • Bake the potatoes at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes flipping halfway through to ensure both sides get crispy. One way to add crispiness is to turn the broiler on low for 60 seconds at the end of the cooking time. When they're finished, let them sit for a couple of minutes and enjoy!

Boiling Sweet Potatoes

boiled sweet potatoes on a plate

Boiling is an easy way to get soft sweet potatoes, prime for mashing, prepping the potatoes for a filling, or just dining on their own.

  • In preparing a sweet potato for boiling is to scrub the vegetable with a produce brush and rinse with cool water. Peel off the outer skin completely with a vegetable peeler or paring knife. To minimize the cooking process, it's best to cut the potato into bite-size cubes.
  • In a Dutch oven, add enough water to fill the pot about halfway and add a dash of salt. After the water is brought to a boil, add the sweet potatoes and cover.
  • Cook for about 10-12 minutes, or until tender on the outside but firm on the inside. For a softer potato, cook for around 25-30 minutes, or until easily mashable.
  • The last step is to drain them, running cold water immediately after straining for a quick cool. Boiling gives you many ways to enjoy sweet potatoes - try mashing them up with butter and cream for a sweet potato mash, mix them into a casserole, or enjoy it as a simple side dish with butter and salt!

Sautéeing Sweet Potatoes

sauteed sweet potatoes with tofu and other veggies
  • Peel and dice the sweet potato, making sure the cubes are around half an inch to minimize cooking time and increase crispiness.
  • Heat a skillet over medium heat and add coconut oil When the oil is hot, add the potatoes and any seasonings you like.
  • Cook them for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally to not burn any of them.
  • Remove the potatoes from the stovetop when tender and be sure to serve warm.

Sautéed sweet potatoes can keep in the fridge for about a week and are a favorite of meal preppers as they can just be reheated in the skillet and enjoyed another day.

Sauteed sweet potatoes can be enjoyed as a main dish paired with kale, shallots, or spinach, or you can add them to a protein of your choice for a wholesome meal.

Baking Sweet Potatoes

baked sweet potato fries
  • Prick your sweet potatoes 2-3 times with a fork. Doing so improves the texture and helps separate the skin.
  • Set the sweet potatoes directly on the oven rack to maximize surface area heat. If you're worried about moisture leaking from the potato, set a baking sheet on the rack under it to catch any syrup that may drip.
  • Heat your oven to 425 degrees and bake the potatoes for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the sweet potatoes.
  • Once the time is up, turn off the oven and let the potatoes sit in the oven for at least 30 minutes to an hour. The residual heat continues to cook the sweet potatoes without burning them, resulting in a moist, tender tuber.

A baked sweet potato is delicious on its own, however, you can get as creative as you like here. Mash your baked sweet potato with chickpeas for a simple vegetarian burger, or top it with rainbow chard and coconut for a tasty meal.

Microwaving Sweet Potatoes

The quickest method for cooking a sweet potato while maintaining its strong flavor is to microwave it. The process is simple:

  • Give your sweet potato a good clean, place it on a microwave-safe plate, and put in the microwave for 5-10 minutes, rotating halfway through.
  • The sweet potato will be ready to eat if it's easily pierced by a cooking thermometer or fork. Otherwise, continue cooking in one-minute increments if the potato is still too firm.
  • When finished, season with salt and pepper, and enjoy!

The versatility of cooking sweet potatoes and their strong flavor make them a wonderful vegetable to experiment with. Try different spices and adding sweet potatoes to a variety of dishes. They go well with almost anything so you don't have to worry about messing them up. With the vegetable's wonderful nutritional value and the varied ways, you can eat them, make sweet potatoes a consistent purchase when you head to the grocery store.

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