by Tina Ruggiero, M.S., R.D.|
SWEET POTATO NUTRITION
Sweet potatoes are one of the best sources of beta-carotene, a substance your body converts to vitamin A. Besides potentially helping stave off certain cancers, this antioxidant helps strengthen immunity and maintain skin health and eyesight.
And here’s a great beauty bonus: Sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin B-6, the nutrient that’s responsible for strong fingernails. Plus, one medium sweet potato has only about 100 calories!
HOW TO CHOOSE SWEET POTATOES
Pick firm ones.
HOW TO STORE SWEET POTATOES
Storage estimates vary. According to Tampa-based personal chef and culinary instructor Bob Parrinello, storing sweet potatoes loose in a cool, dark, well-ventilated cupboard away from the stove will keep them fresh for up to three weeks. Refrigeration can affect their texture and taste.
EASY SWEET POTATO RECIPE IDEAS
You can bake, boil, fry, broil or microwave sweet potatoes. Be sure to wash and scrub them first. Here are some preparation ideas.
- Baked: Serve with a hint of margarine and a drizzle of low-calorie syrup.
- Whipped: Mash with a touch of cream, vanilla and lemon zest.
- Grilled: Cut into quarters; soak in your favorite marinade; grill alongside chicken or fish.
- French fried: Slice lengthwise into strips; brush lightly with extra-virgin olive oil; sprinkle with sea or kosher salt; bake at 325 degrees for 15 about minutes.
TINA RUGGIERO, M.S., R.D., is president of Nutrition Dialog, where she works as a nutrition consultant, speaker and author, in New York and Florida.
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Last updated and/or approved: October 2010. Original article appeared in September/October 2008 former print magazine. Bios current as of that issue. This general health-care information is not meant as individual advice. Please see our disclaimer.