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Sweet potatoes seem to be one of those polarizing foods: people either love them or hate them.

Well, if you hate sweet potatoes, chances are you’ve never eaten a scrumptiously cooked meal. Perhaps you have tried them as a healthier substitute for common potatoes, without taking into account the very different chemical structures and flavor profiles.

If cooked correctly, as lovers already know, sweet potatoes can taste truly divine. With a typically creamy interior and a subtle, subtle sweetness, sweet potato is the perfect base for both savory dishes and flirty desserts – not many other veggies can give you!

If you eat sweet potatoes every day read on – you might learn a thing or two about how to cook them right.

Here are some of the major mistakes home chefs make when cooking sweet potatoes.

Forget about scrubbing your sweet potatoes

Just like regular potatoes, sweet potatoes are tubers, indeed the sweet potato is actually the fibrous, starchy root of a plant, so it grows underground and is covered in earth. While farmers do their best to clean every sweet potato before it gets to the shops, it is likely that some sweet potatoes still have some residual dirt on their skin. While it’s easy to get lazy and assume your sweet potatoes have already been thoroughly cleaned, you should really scrub them thoroughly with a vegetable brush and warm water before you start cooking or cutting them. Even if you don’t plan on eating the peel of your sweet potatoes, it’s a good idea to clean them thoroughly before peeling them, as dirt and skin debris may come into contact with your sweet potato pulp during the peeling and cutting process.

Store sweet potatoes in the refrigerator

Sweet potatoes are an extremely hardy vegetable, so it takes a long time for them to spoil. Under the right conditions, the roots can last a long time and sweet potatoes are no exception, but it is important to respect that the right conditions are absolutely necessary. Sweet potatoes need to be kept in a dry, slightly cool (but not too cool!) Environment – let’s say the room temperature is perfect. Basements and cellars are great, but your kitchen pantry is probably a good place too.
The fridge? Absolutely not.
According to leading experts, putting sweet potatoes in the refrigerator can produce a hard core and can negatively affect the taste. Additionally, you may find that chilled sweet potatoes get a little dry and wilted.

Use different varieties of sweet potatoes

From traditional orange sweet potatoes to spotted white and purple ones, there are many different sweet potato varieties to choose from. And just as you might find that golden potatoes are better for mashing there are other main types of sweet potatoes grown and sold in Italy: one with golden skin and white flesh, another with copper colored skin and orange flesh, but in addition to these two predominant sweet potatoes, you will also find other types, such as purple sweet potatoes.
They all have the same basic flavor, but can have very different structural characteristics, which means that each will hold up different cooking methods differently.
The white variants tend to have more texture as a result, are much better crunchy than the orange variants and are great for making sweet fries. On the other hand, if you’re making a sweet potato casserole, orange variations should be your choice, as they have a richer, creamier texture.

Use sweet potatoes only for savory dishes

Sweet potatoes are great at any time of day with no limitations on savory preparations, because you’d be missing out on so many great desserts – after all, it’s in the name that they’re sweet, so why not use that sugary, mushy quality to your advantage?
We’re not just talking about sweet or roasted potato casserole but there are also a huge number of more refined sweet potato desserts that are worth tasting. From the classic sweet potato pie to more whimsical recipes like sweet potato pancakes, and so many different ways to be the sweet potato in your dessert repertoire plus, since sweet potatoes are naturally sweet, they allow you to reduce the sugar content in your dessert. your homemade desserts.

Add too much oil to roasted sweet potatoes

When making roasted sweet potatoes, you need to be careful about the amount of oil you use.
With roasted sweet potatoes that have been cut into pieces, extra virgin olive oil gives a rich, crunchy crust to the potatoes, but adding too much can make them soggy, or you may not use any at all, especially if you’re roasting a whole sweet potato.
If you’re new to roasting sweet potatoes, use about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil per large sweet potato – you can always add a little more for a more intense flavor.

Peel the sweet potatoes

When it comes to eating sweet potatoes, it’s no secret that the sweet, velvety interior is the main attraction. But that doesn’t mean you should get rid of the peel completely. Some sweet potato preparations require you to peel them, but there are many others where keeping the skin attached to the pulp will improve its flavor and texture, while also providing a host of beneficial nutrients.
Overall, unpeeled fruits and vegetables tend to have more vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber than their peeled counterparts – this is certainly true of sweet potatoes. Leaving the peels off will significantly increase the fiber content of your sweet potato, as well as provide you with many valuable minerals such as potassium and magnesium, all of which are also present in the pulp, but in marginal proportions.

Boiling sweet potatoes decreases the nutrient values

Many sweet potato enthusiasts like to disclose the health benefits of eating sweet potatoes: leave the skin, they are an excellent source of all kinds of vitamins and minerals, as we said above, they are useful for fighting cancer, improving eyesight and increased brain function, but all of that can go to waste if you’re not careful how you cook them.
For many experts, boiling vegetables is one of the worst ways to cook them if you’re looking to maximize nutritional content. The same goes for sweet potatoes: when you boil them, the water releases the nutrients found in the vegetables, which significantly reduces their nutritional value. If you want to get the most from a nutritional point of view, we recommend roasting the sweet potatoes with their skins and wrapped in aluminum foil in order to minimize the loss of nutrients during the cooking process. The positive side of boiling sweet potatoes is that it also lowers their glycemic index.

Buying bruised or spoiled sweet potatoes

As with any other food product you buy we recommend that you take a close look at your sweet potatoes before putting them in your cart. While “bumpy” and oddly shaped sweet potatoes are great for buying, avoid buying sweet potatoes that look dented or have cuts that show some of the pulp.
Dents and cuts can expose the pulp to bacteria which will speed up the spoilage process – it is likely that if a sweet potato exhibits one of these defects at the time of purchase, they have already begun to deteriorate and will be even more unsightly by the time you decide to actually cook them.

Use old sweet potatoes

Although sweet potatoes can last a long time, if they are not stored in the right conditions, they can easily go bad: if you have had a sweet potato in the kitchen for a week or two, we recommend that you check it carefully and make sure there are no signs of it. begins to become kaput. It may have been beautiful when you bought it, but they don’t stay that way forever.

Do not store sliced and leftover raw sweet potatoes in water

Sweet potatoes can be large. You may not want to cook a whole sweet potato in one go – if you’ve already chopped and sliced a whole sweet potato and realize that you don’t actually need to cook it all at once, you may find yourself wondering what. to do with the rest.
Leaving chopped sweet potato chunks in the pantry is the right way for quick spoilage – without the tough skin to protect the pulp, it will quickly succumb to bacteria and mold if not stored properly. Simply placing it in a container and refrigerating it will dry out much quicker than an intact sweet potato and you may find your slices or cubes shrinking quickly.
The solution? Place the leftover cut sweet potato pieces in a container and cover them with water – by adding water to the container, the sweet potato will stay nice and moist without wilting before you can cook it.