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Seasonal Produce: Sweet Potatoes

How do you like your sweet potatoes? Mashed in a casserole with a puffy marshmallow topping? Baked and topped with cinnamon butter or into a silky pie? A member of the morning glory family and native to Central America, sweet potatoes are not related to yams or regular potatoes. While yams and sweet potatoes are terms used interchangeably in the United States, the yams sold here are actually sweet potatoes.


  • Select firm sweet potatoes without cracks, bruises or mold.
  • They should have a uniformly bright skin and be heavy for their size. Avoid any with decayed spots.
  • When baking them whole, choose uniform-sized potatoes to ensure even cooking.
  • Never refrigerate sweet potatoes or they will develop an off flavor.
  • Store them in a cool, dry place for up to 1 month. If stored at room temperature, use them within 1 week.
  • Handle sweet potatoes gently to avoid bruising them since their skins are very thin.


  • Scrub sweet potatoes well before cooking.
  • Whenever possible, cook them in their skins as they are easier to peel after cooking and retain more nutrients. They may be baked or boiled whole and then peeled and sliced or cubed.
  • Peel sweet potatoes before cooking if they are to be added to soups or stews.
  • If baking sweet potatoes whole, pierce the skin in several place with a fork before baking.
  • Versatile sweet potatoes can be prepared in a variety of ways: baked, boiled, steamed, roasted, mashed, deep-fried, simmered in soups and stews and baked in pies and breads.


  • Excellent source of vitamin A


  • Cooked sweet potatoes can be used interchangeably with winter squash in most recipes.
  • Slice or cube boiled sweet potatoes and glaze with honey or brown sugar.
  • Top baked sweet potatoes with dollops of BREAKSTONE’S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream.
  • Flavor mashed sweet potatoes with a touch of maple syrup and nutmeg and garnish with a sprinkle of toasted chopped PLANTERS Pecans.
  • Roast peeled, cubed sweet potatoes alongside onions and other root vegetables for a flavorful side dish with pork, ham and poultry.
  • Replace half of the regular potatoes in your favorite recipes with sweet potatoes for a touch of color and sweet flavor.
  • Cinnamon, honey, coconut, lime and nutmeg all pair well with the flavor of sweet potatoes.
  • Add mashed cooked sweet potatoes to muffins, cakes, quick breads, biscuits, yeast breads and pies.
Sweet Potatoes
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