I started eating sweet potatoes when I started my elimination diet because they were listed as an OK starch to eat. I’ve been eating them ever since. Did you know that even though the store sign says “Yams” you are really buying sweet potatoes? This article from the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission gives some information about these nutritious vegetables.
There are four easy ways to cook sweet potatoes: in the oven, in a slow cooker or crock pot, in a microwave and in an Instant Pot.
First, I wash the sweet potatoes using a stiff brush and lots of water. There is no need to prick the potatoes with a fork before baking. In fact, pricking them will cause more of a mess because liquid from the potato will ooze out of the holes. (Potatoes from left to right on the baking sheet: Japanese Sweet Potato, Jewel Yam, Garnet Yam, Purple Sweet Potato, and Sweet Potato.)
I bake the sweet potatoes in a preheated oven (about 375 degrees) for one hour. I take the potatoes out of the oven, turn them over, and test for doneness by sticking them with a sharp knife in several places. If the knife goes in the potato easily, it is done and I take the potato off the baking sheet. If the knife doesn’t slide into the potato easily, I turn the oven off and leave them in there for another half hour or hour (or longer if I’m busy). I put all the potatoes that are thoroughly baked on a plate in the refrigerator to use in the next day or so.
If I’m using the slow cooker, I place the scrubbed potatoes in the pot and place the lid on top. I cook these potatoes on low for at least 6 hours or until a knife easily pierces the potatoes.
To cook whole sweet potatoes in a microwave oven, I put the scrubbed potato on a plate. I cook the potato on high for 2 minutes. I turn it over and cook for another 2 minutes. I turn it again. I cook and turn it at 1 minute intervals until it feels soft when squeezed. If it hisses a lot while cooking I prick it with a fork or a knife to let out some steam.
To be honest, I use the Instant Pot most often to cook sweet potatoes and yams. I use the Manual function with 1 cup of water in the pot. If I cook them whole, I place them on a trivet and cook them for about 30 to 35 minutes (No need to prick with a fork before cooking). If I cook them sliced, it takes about 22 minutes. (I set them on the trivet). It would likely take you less cooking time at your altitude since I live at 7000 feet and cooking with a pressure cooker takes longer at this altitude!!
For more detailed information about cooking sweet potatoes and yams in the Instant Pot see my post Sweet Potatoes and Yams in the Instant Pot. 🙂
The softer varieties (orange or purple flesh) are great mashed or made into pureed soups.
The firmer varieties (yellow or white flesh) can be cubed and added to soups, stews, salads or stir-fry dishes. If the potatoes are cooked, add them to the end of the cooking time of whatever dish you are making.
Of course, you can always eat them when they are nice and hot. Simply cut them in half and eat them with a spoon. Delicious!!
I hope you will try a new variety of sweet potato this year!