December 10, 2020

The Powers of Sweet Potatoes: Unique and Flavorful

Sweet potatoes are renowned for their exquisite taste and nutritional value. In the United States the vegetable is grown in the south and exported around the world. Check out why sweet potatoes should be a staple of your diet, and how you can integrate them into your cooking.

Interested in importing or locating U.S. food and agricultural products?

contact us

The orange tuber that conquers your hearts 

Whether you like them roasted, grilled, or baked, sweet potatoes are delicious in all forms.  Sweet potatoes can be consumed in various ways, are a nutrient-packed powerhouse, and have a unique, tasty flavor different from any other root vegetable.  

Sweet potatoes originated in Latin America.  When Christopher Colombus sailed to the Americas, he introduced the delicious tuber vegetable to the rest of the world.  Farmers in the United States adopted the crop and today export it globally.  

Despite its name, the sweet potatoes are actually not potatoes. Sweet potatoes belong to the morning glory family, which also includes tomatoes, red peppers, and eggplant.  While potatoes are actually swollen stems, sweet potatoes are tuberous vegetables.

“Sweet potatoes are higher in beta carotene than many other vegetables and are a source of potassium, fiber, and vitamins A and C”, which are just a few of the reasons why sweet potatoes have had an increase in popularity.” – American Sweet Potato Marketing Institute

Sweet potatoes contain vitamins A and C and are a source of fiber. 

Grown best during long, hot summers with minimal frosty days, most sweet potatoes are grown in the southern United States. North Carolina boasts the most sweet potato production due to its near perfect growing conditions. In fact, it produces nearly 60% of all sweet potatoes grown in the United States.

To meet the increasing demand for sweet potatoes, the United States increased production.  In 2000, the United states produced 1.3 billion pounds (590 million kilograms) of sweet potatoes.  By 2015, production increased to 3.1 billion pounds (1.4 billion kilograms).

There is no limit to the number of ways one can prepare a sweet potato: they can be enjoyed as fries, roasted, baked, or even as additions to a main entree or salad. One of our favorite recipes is this yummy roasted sweet potato recipe.  Combining grapes, onions, and feta cheese, this recipe is sure to satisfy your tastebuds. This recipe is gluten free and vegetarian, and even helps boost immune health!

We also love this delicious recipe for a calcified sweet potato marmalade which can be used as a bread spread or to sweeten your yoghurt. Pair it with your favorite cheese to make a delicious, filling dessert that everyone is sure to love.

At the end of the day, the sweet potato is versatile, healthy, and delicious, and it’s a wonderful addition to any meal.  Reaping a rich history and amazing health benefits, the tuber vegetable deserves a spot on your kitchen table.