Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Speedy Sweet Potato Snack

Speedy Sweet Potato Snack
Dorcas Annette Walker

This year I decided to try and grow sweet potatoes in my garden again. Usually I just buy a box at a produce stand as I enjoy having my own canned sweet potatoes year round. I couldn’t resist buying some though the other weekend to tide me over until my own sweet potatoes are ready for harvest. Not only do I like canned sweet potatoes, but I also enjoy eating fresh ones as well. These summer days when I am busy in the kitchen canning, I love to grab a sweet potato and nuke it in the microwave to make what I call my Speedy Sweet Potato Snack.

Sweet Potatoes are not related to regular potatoes. They are classified as a trailing perennial plant whose tubers are eaten instead of the roots. There are only two types of sweet potatoes; the northern drier yellow fleshy ones and the southern moist bright orange colored flesh often referred to as yams. Sweet Potatoes were cultivated in ancient times by the Aztecs, grown in Peru as early as 750 B.C., and introduced into Europe in the 16th century. In the 18th and 19th century sweet potatoes became popular due to Louis XV and Empress Josephine’s fondness for them. Native Americans were already growing sweet potatoes when Columbus arrived in 1492 and were the main source of nourishment for early homesteaders and soldiers during the Revolutionary War. During World War I the UDSA used sweet potato flour to stretch wheat flour. Since 1843, the first Monday in April, Benton, Kentucky holds an annual three-day Tater Day Festival devoted to sweet potatoes.

The sweet potato is the 6th principal world food crop; 90 percent grown in Asia. In the United States the sweet potato is chiefly cultivated in the south. Mississippi claims to be the sweet potato capital of the world. 1.8 billion pounds of sweet potatoes were produced in 2007; in 2004 98,300 acres of sweet potatoes were planted in the U.S. Although mainly harvested from August through October they are available in supermarkets year round due to being stored in controlled warehouses. It takes six to eight weeks after harvest for sweet potatoes to reach their peak in sweetness. Sweet potatoes are considered to be the most nutritious vegetable high in vitamin A, C, B6, iron, potassium and fiber.

My Speedy Sweet Potato Snack has the warm buttery taste of candied sweet potatoes that melts in your mouth. This Speedy Sweet Potato Snack can also be used with a main meal or eaten by itself. You can add marshmallows, raisins, or eat the sweet potato plain with butter and salt. Preparation time for my Speedy Sweet Potato Snack is 3-5 minutes and this recipe serves one.

Speedy Sweet Potato Snack

1 medium sweet potato
2 tb margarine
¼ c br sugar

Poke holes in the sweet potato with a fork, warp up in a paper towel, and microwave until soft. Cut in half and spread 1 tb of margarine on each side. Divide up the br sugar and garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon!

Weekly tip: Sweet potatoes should not be refrigerated unless cooked, always use a stainless steel knife when cutting a sweet potato as a carbon blade will cause the flesh to darken, and select only smooth plump dry potatoes!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a published author, columnist, speaker, freelance magazine writer, and photographer from Jamestown, Tennessee. Contact her at: For more recipes check out her Creative Tennessee Mountain Cookin blog at:

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