Fresh sweet potatoes are high in vitamin A (beta-carotene) and vitamin C. They are a good source of vitamin B6, potassium, and fiber. Canned and frozen potatoes are considerably less nutritious.

Sweet potatoes are categorized into two basic types...

  • The orange-fleshed varieties, with tan to brownish red or purple skin, a plump shape, and sweet flavor, are the most common.
  • The yellow-fleshed potatoes tend to be firmer, dryer, and less sweet and have a slightly mealy texture and yellowish tan to fawn-colored skins.

Sweet potatoes that are firm with skin that is uniform, bright color should be chosen. Sweet potatoes should be stored in a cool, dark, dry, well-ventilated place but not in the refrigerator, because temperatures less that 50 F produce a hard texture and unpleasant taste. They should be scrubbed well in cold water just before use and cooked in their skins to preserve nutrients and prevent the flesh from darkening. After cooking, the skin can be removed easily. Both types of sweet potato can be baked, boiled, or microwaved. Although cooked potatoes are naturally sweet, apple cider, lemon juice, orange peel, orange juice, pineapple, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, and ginger enhance their sweetness. They are a tasty ingredient in casseroles and stews, especially with apple or other fruit slices added. They also can be substituted for pureed pumpkin in baked breads, cakes, cookies, custards, pies, and muffins.

Source: Encyclopedia of Foods/A Guide to Healthy Nutrition, Sweet Potato Handout