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How to prepare your sweet potatoes

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Every healthy eater has carbohydrate staples, but some have favorites that never lose popularity. Depending on a competitor's preference, the chosen carbohydrate is based on lower glycemic values, or its texture. For some, the nutrient rich sweet potato is the only way to go. It is high in antioxidants, iron, calcium and anti-inflammatory properties, and offers a sweet taste to other bland carbohydrates. The skin also adds to the texture and contains much of the nutrients and fiber.

Sweet potatoes are simple to prepare, but some methods are better than others. Sautéing is tricky, due to the oil content needed, while frying is a flat out no-no for some healthy eaters.

Steam your sweet potato on the stove top

Place water in your steamer and put whole or largely diced sweet potatoes in the basket. Depending on the size, this can take up to 45 minutes or longer. If you do not have a steamer, use a metal colander and large pot. Place the colander in the pot with the handles hanging over the edge. This will hold the colander above the water so the potatoes can steam. Put the spuds in the colander, and use a lid to prevent the heat from escaping.

Oven steam your spud

What if you don't have a pot or a steamer? You can still get the same effect directly from the oven. In a shallow baking dish, add a half-inch of water, and place your clean, potatoes in the baking dish. Cover it with aluminum foil or lid.

Boil your sweet potatoes

Place your clean potatoes in a pot of boiling water. There should be enough water to cover the sweet potatoes. Boil until it's slightly soft, and remove from the water. Let it cool before removing the peel.

Throw them in the oven

Bake your sweet potatoes at 400 degrees until they are slightly soft. Sweet potatoes will ooze sweet, sticky syrup so line your pan with foil, or wrap your sweet potatoes individually. Do not place them on the rack without a pan underneath. The syrup will leak, and cause the oven to smoke with the possibility of catching on fire.

Grill your sweet potatoes

Grilling your sweet potato is another way to cook your spud. Grill your sweet potatoes at the same time as your protein to save time in the long run. After you've turned your grill on place aluminum wrapped potatoes on the outer edges, or top tray, of the grill. Put them on before your meat because they will take longer to cook.

The sweet potato can char if you place them over direct heat. Turn them over once or twice for even cooking. Lightly coat your potato with olive oil and salt if you prefer not to use aluminum.

Quick fix with the microwave

Microwaves commonly have settings for potatoes which makes the cooking time less complicated. Different size potatoes will need less or more time, but here is a guideline to follow:

  • 1 potato, 4 to 6 minutes
  • 2 potatoes, 6 to 8 minutes
  • 3 potatoes, 8 to 12 minutes
  • 4 potatoes, 12 to 16 minutes
  • 5 potatoes, 16 to 20 minutes

Tip: Scrub your potatoes thoroughly with a veggie brush before cooking. If you cut off the woody parts from your potato, then do not worry with poking holes in it. If you haven't cut away the spots be sure to poke vent holes.

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