Sweet potatoes, as the name suggests, have a sweet taste, with a velvety texture.
Sweet potatoes are a versatile vegetable that can be prepared in many different ways. They can be baked, boiled, roasted or fried, steamed or mashed, and even dehydrated into crisps. This article will describe each of these methods, so you know how to cook sweet potato for any meal!
How To Prepare Sweet Potato
To prepare sweet potatoes for cooking, wash the outside and chop off any rough edges, so they are even.
I tend to leave the skin on sweet potatoes; I give them a good scrub.
Baking Sweet Potatoes
Baked sweet potatoes are a delicious and easy way to make a healthy side dish or lunch.
To get started, you will need one baking potato per person. Wash them clean and pat dry them with kitchen paper or a clean teatowel. Using a fork, prick some holes on the skin.
Cook in a preheated oven (220ºC) for 45 to 55 minutes or until they are soft and tender all the way through.
Serve with butter, or get some inspiration from my jacket potato fillings.
Roasting Sweet Potatoes
Roasting is one of the most popular methods for cooking sweet potatoes because it takes less time than baking. It also creates a delicious side dish with caramelised edges and moist inside.
Sweet potatoes are best roasted at a high temperature (220ºC) and cut into evenly sized cubes, about 2cm x 2cm.
I leave the skin on, rub a little oil on them and then add different flavours, depending on what mood I’m in!
Suggestions include curry powder, garlic, chilli powder, Piri Piri flavouring or some mixed dried herbs.
Cook them on a baking tray in a preheated oven for about 30 minutes. They can also be cooked in an air fryer.
Boiling Sweet Potatoes
Boiling sweet potatoes is a simple process that can be done in less than 20 minutes.
- Peel the potatoes
- Cut them into 1-inch cubes
- Place in a saucepan with cold water and bring to a boil
- Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until tender but not mushy
Mashing Sweet Potatoes
Mashing sweet potatoes will result in an extra creamy texture and a rich taste that’s perfect for any meal of the day!
Mashing is easy, just peel and chop your sweet potato up into chunks, boil until soft, about 20 minutes, then mash with butter or margarine (optional) and add in some salt and pepper.
BBQ Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes taste good no matter how you cook them, but they are especially great when barbequed.
Cooking sweet potatoes on a barbecue is really easy. You can either cook them in foil packets or directly on the bbq grill.
Slice the sweet potatoes up into disc shapes, about 1/4 inch thick.
Brush them in a bit of bbq sauce or marinade, wrap them up tightly in some foil before placing them on the hot bbq grill, or skip the foil and place directly on the bbq.
Steaming Sweet Potatoes
Steaming sweet potatoes is a great way to cook them without adding any extra oil.
First, peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into cubes of your desired size (half-inch in length is usually best).
Place the sweet potatoes in a steamer basket over boiling water for about 15 minutes or until soft when poked with a fork – try not to overcook them! Drain off any excess moisture that has accumulated inside steamers before serving so they won’t be too wet.
Dehydrating Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a winter staple, and it’s easy to see why. Once harvested, they can be stored for months without spoiling.
But did you know you could also dehydrate them?
You just need to slice the potato up into thin slices, then place them on a baking sheet in an oven heated to 200 degrees. Bake for about four hours until the sweet potatoes are dehydrated and brittle. You can also use a purpose-built dehydrator.
Dehydrated sweet potatoes will keep for a long time without spoiling, usually 2 to 3 months.
When you’re ready to eat them, either eat them as a snack as they are, or re-hydrate the slices in boiling water for a few minutes and then enjoy!
Fried Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a tasty alternative to french fries and other fried foods. They can be cut into strips or wedges, tossed with oil and spices, then deep-fried until crispy.
The process is simple, but some tips will help you get the most out of your sweet potatoes.
Fried sweet potatoes are a popular menu item in the southern states of the United States. They’re often served as side dishes with fried chicken, but they can be eaten alone or paired with other sides like grits and cornbread.
To make fried sweet potatoes, cut the potatoes into slices. Heat a frying pan with oil and fry them in batches, occasionally turning to make sure that all sides get cooked evenly until they are golden brown on each side. This should take about 12 minutes.
You will know they are ready when they are crispy and brown on the outside.
A healthier option to making sweet potato fries is in an air fryer.
Can You Eat Sweet Potato Skin?
Yes you can eat the skin of sweet potatoes. The skin can be peeled before cooking, or, depending on what you are making, can be left on and eaten. Leaving the skin on not only cuts down on preparation time, the skin also contains a variety of nutrients. Plus, when you are making foods such as sweet potato fries and wedges, the skin crisps up and tastes amazing.
How do you cook sweet potatoes – let me know your favourite method and recipes in the comments!