What better way to roll into the holiday season than by celebrating Sweet Potato Awareness Month in November. November also happens to be National Peanut Butter Lovers Month and home to Spicy Guacamole Day. But, let’s talk about sweet potatoes.
Sweet potatoes are commonly called yams. However, did you know they are not the same thing? They aren’t even related. True yams are usually grown in Africa or warmer climates like the Caribbean. Interestingly enough, sweet potatoes aren’t in the same family as regular white potatoes either.
Sweet potatoes are packed full of important nutrients. They are fat-free, low in sodium, high in vitamin A and vitamin C, a good source of calcium and potassium, a good source of antioxidants and an excellent source of fiber if you leave the skin on.
There are so many ways to cook this vegetable. They can be baked, boiled, grilled, fried, roasted, sauteed and even eaten raw. This time of year we usually think of sweet potatoes in a good ol’ fashioned sweet potato casserole, topped with gooey marshmallows and brown sugar. But there are so many more ways to enjoy them, many recipes being much healthier.
Sweet potatoes are very versatile and can be made into sweet or savory dishes. Try slicing them and baking them into sweet potato fries, replacing hash browns at breakfast, or adding them to your favorite soup recipe. Looking for a sweet dish instead? Try this delicious recipe for sweet potato muffins.
Cinnamon Sweet Potato Muffins
1 cup mashed sweet potato (bake or boil to soften)
1 cup dark brown sugar- divided
¼ cup canola oil
½ cup low-fat milk
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup old-fashioned oats (not instant)
1 tsp. cinnamon- divided
½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Prepare a 12 muffin pan with muffin paper cups, and lightly coat with cooking spray.
3. Whisk together sweet potato, ½ cup brown sugar, oil, milk, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl. Add oats and flour. Whisk until smooth and well combined.
4. Add and mix in ¾ teaspoon of cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and salt. Spoon batter into muffin cups. Set aside.
5. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon, and remaining ½ cup of brown sugar and pecans. Top each muffin with a generous sprinkle of the brown sugar pecan mixture.
6. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean.
*Recipe adapted from 2sistersrecipes.com
Jordan Luxa is a Food, Nutrition and Health educator for Nebraska Extension in Washington County. She can be contacted at 402-426-9455, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Washington County Extension website at www.washington.unl.edu.