Sweet potatoes are easy to make and love

Baking sweet potatoes brings out their caramelized flavors — and you can keep it simple or get creative when choosing from an array of toppings.

Contributed by Food for health editors


Sweet potatoes are easy to make and love

Sweet potatoes are versatile and complement a variety of dishes, including quesadillas, fries. They can even be incorporated into hearty chili recipes such as black bean chili with sweet potatoes and Swiss chard or vegetarian sweet potato chili.

Or a simple baked sweet potato is both delicious and incredibly easy.

Servings: 1

Ingredients

  • 1 sweet potato

Asian-inspired topping (optional):

  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon orange or tangerine juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon thinly sliced scallion 

Other simple topping ideas (optional):

  • 1 teaspoon butter, olive oil or coconut oil
  • For a sweet topping: A pinch of cinnamon and/or nutmeg
  • For a savory topping: Black pepper and a pinch of sea salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. For easy baked sweet potatoes, wash and dry well and pierce your sweet potato with a fork several times. If you prefer a moist potato, wrap the sweet potato completely in heavy duty foil. If you prefer a drier, crisper skin, leave unwrapped, but make sure you have foil underneath the sweet potato. Otherwise, you will have to scrub burnt sweet potato drippings off of your oven surfaces.
  3. Bake for 45 to 75 minutes until caramelized and sweet. The length of time needed is determined in part by the size of the sweet potato and in part by your own personal preference. The longer the potatoes bake, the more the sweet, caramel flavors will develop. You’ll know they are done when they are soft and oozing syrup. If you’ve baked your sweet potato unwrapped, you can test for doneness with a knife or fork. You shouldn’t get any resistance all the way through to the middle. If your potatoes are wrapped, try squeezing gently with an oven mitt-protected hand to check for softness.
  4. Handle with care when removing from the oven and unwrapping the foil. If you don't wait for it to cool sufficiently, the sweet potato packet can leak molten syrup.
  5. Once unwrapped, slice down the middle. Filling a baked sweet potato is up to your own taste and imagination.
  6. One delicious option is to whisk together a scant teaspoon of sesame oil with a tablespoon of orange or tangerine juice and some freshly grated ginger. Mix in with the sweet potato flesh and top with thinly sliced scallions.
  7. Pair with a green salad or sautéed greens and a lean protein and you have a complete and filling meal.

Nutrition information (for one sweet potato with other simple toppings):

  • Calories: 146
  • Total fat: 4 g
  • Saturated fat: 2.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 10 mg
  • Sodium: 73 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 26 g
  • Dietary fiber: 4 g
  • Total sugars: 5.5 g
  • Protein: 2 g

Potassium: 439 mg

 

For one sweet potato with Asian-inspired toppings:

  • Calories: 272
  • Total fat: 14 g
  • Saturated fat: 2 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 72 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 33 g
  • Dietary fiber: 4 g
  • Sugars: 11 g (5.5 g added sugars)
  • Protein: 2.6 g
  • Potassium: 560 mg