The Versatile Sweetpotato!


We received free samples of California sweetpotatoes mentioned in this post.  By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Sweetpotato Council and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest.  I was not compensated for my time.

Sweetpotatoes are not just for Thanksgiving!  They can be used all year long.  They come in many varieties and colors.  The nutritional value is incredible. What’s unique about California sweetpotatoes is that they are grown in soft sand and are hand sorted during harvest to minimize scarring and scratching. The result is a visually, higher quality (i.e., more attractive) sweetpotato. California sweetpotatoes are a “nutrition bang for the calorie buck” with 4 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, a good source of vitamin C and more than a day’s worth of vitamin A, all for 105 calories per serving (1 medium size, cooked). Plus, they are available year-round.
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Consumers often mistakenly think that sweet potatoes are yams. The California Sweetpotato Council also wants to set the record straight to clear up this confusion and shift the vernacular. Sweetpotatoes are sweet and moist, while yams are dry and starchy and not readily available in the U.S. Part of the confusion comes from the fact that there are varieties of sweetpotatoes called yams. Sweetpotatoes with orange interiors have a higher beta-carotene content than true yams. Sweetpotatoes are grown in the United States, while yams are imported from the Caribbean. (The scientific name of sweetpotato is Ipomoea batatas and it’s a member of the morning glory family. A yam on the other hand belongs to the Yam plant family.)

My family loves California sweetpotatoes, especially covered in butter, brown sugar and marshmallows.  I like them baked, plain.  One of my favorite ways to eat them is in bread.  It can be used in any recipe that you would use pumpkin.  I have one favorite recipe—it’s easy to prepare, tastes great warm or cold, and can be zipped up, or dressed down, depending upon what you have in your pantry.  Give it a try, and see if it’s not your favorite too!  The burrito recipe is yummy too–and very easy!

Sweet potato 4

Sweetpotato Bread

This is a recipe that I adapted from EatingWell:  November/December 1991,

2 loaves, 12 slices each | Active Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 3 hours (including cooling time)  Ingredients:

  •         2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  •         2 cups whole-wheat flour, preferably white whole-wheat
  •         1 tablespoon baking powder
  •         2 teaspoons baking soda
  •         2 teaspoons salt
  •         1 teaspoon cloves
  •         1 tablespoon cinnamon
  •         1 tablespoon dehydrated orange peel
  •         2 large eggs
  •         2 large egg whites
  •         2 cups packed light brown sugar
  •         3 cups unseasoned cooked California sweetpotatoes
  •         1/2 cup blood orange olive oil


 1.    Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans with cooking spray.

 2.    Stir all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in a large bowl. Whisk eggs, egg whites, brown sugar, sweetpotatoes and oil in another large bowl. Add the sweetpotato mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the tops.

 3.    Bake the loaves until the tops are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Turn the loaves out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Nutrition Per serving : 210 Calories; 5 g Fat; 1 g Sat; 3 g Mono; 16 mg Cholesterol; 38 g Carbohydrates; 4 g Protein; 2 g Fiber; 377 mg Sodium; 125 mg Potassium.  2 1/2 Carbohydrate Serving  Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 other carbohydrate, 1/2 vegetable, 1 fat

 Tips & Notes

  1. If you do not have blood orange olive oil, you can substitute equal portions of canola oil and increase the dehydrated orange peel to 2 -3 tablespoons. 
  2. If you want to decrease the fat in this recipe, substitute applesauce in equal amounts for the oil, and add 2 tablespoons orange peel.
  3. This recipe freezes well.   

sweet potato black bean burritos

Sweetpotato Black Bean Burritos

  • 2 sweetpotatoes, peeled and cubed (3-4 cups)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder or 1/2 teaspoon chipolte powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 cup shredded Montery Jack/Colby cheese
  • 6 burrito-sized tortillas

Toss together sweetpotatoes, jalapeno, red pepper, and onion with the olive oil, and seasonings. Roast in a 425 degree F oven on a jelly roll pan for 18 minutes. Cool slightly. Toss with black beans, cilantro and lime juice. Soften the tortilla shells until pliable. Place a heaping 1/2 cup of vegetable mixture in the center of the tortilla shell. Top with a couple of tablespoons of shredded cheese. Fold in the sides of the tortilla shell and roll up. Place seam side down on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F for 12 minutes, or until heated through.

Serves 6.  Approximate Nutritional values: 270 calories, 8 g fat, 13 mg cholesterol, 572 mg sodium, 41 g carbohydrates, 11 g protein

sweet potatoes roasting

For more great recipes utilizing California sweetpotatoes, check out these other Recipe Redux blogs!

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