Sweet potatoes are quite different from ordinary potatoes in terms of flavour as well as texture. They even look different as sweet potatoes are orange on the inside. They are basically root vegetables that are grown in the United States and are quite popular among the people of this country. Sweet potatoes are particularly liked in the southern regions where there are numerous classic dishes that are based on this amazing American vegetable.
Origins and Nutritional Information
Despite the massive popularity of sweet potatoes in the USA, it is not a vegetable that has its origins in North America. In fact, sweet potatoes were first cultivated in Central America around 500 years ago. They are packed with a bunch of nutrients including Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin D, magnesium and potassium. Sweet potatoes are also enriched with riboflavin and folic acid.
There are two simple ways of having sweet potatoes. You can either cook them or bake them. The sweet taste of these potatoes makes them extremely versatile ingredients. One of the most impressive characteristics of sweet potatoes is that they can be stored for a decent period of time. If you store raw sweet potatoes in a cool, dry and dark place, they are going to last for a few weeks at least. Once they have been cooked, their longevity is slightly reduced. After all, they are perishable items. However, if properly refrigerated, sweet potatoes can be good for up to a week.
Seasoning Sweet Potatoes
Owing to their versatility, sweet potatoes can be seasoned in multiple ways. The conventional seasoning method involves the use of cinnamon and sugar. You could also use salt and paprika. Some like to season their sweet potatoes with honey, which is a fantastic choice for a sweetener.
List of Ingredients for Baked Sweet Potatoes
If you are looking to make baked sweet potatoes, you will not require a complicated list of ingredients. Here are some of the basic things that you will need to get started right away with your baking:
● 6 sweet potatoes (preferably of medium size)
● A quarter of a cup of sour cream
● 30 ml of milk
● 2 tbsp of softened margarine or butter
● 30 ml of brown sugar
● A pinch of salt
● A nice bowl for mashing the sweet potatoes
The entire process of making a baked potato can be divided into 10 simple steps. You can make adjustments to the steps mentioned below as per your requirements. There is also no strict requirement for you to follow the instructions in their exact order. However, the instructions have been mentioned in this particular order to mitigate the risk of any commonly made errors. Baking a sweet potato may sound incredibly simple, but there always some difficult elements to cooking the simplest of dishes that you should be wary of. If you get the steps wrong or the timing incorrect, you may end up with a baked disaster rather than baked sweet potatoes.
a) Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. In almost all cakes of baking, you need to get the oven pre-heated while you get the order elements in order. This saves a lot of valuable time.
b) Use a fork to penetrate the sweet potatoes. This will allow the steam to escape once the potatoes start baking.
c) Take an oven dish and place the sweet potatoes carefully on the dish. Once the sweet potatoes have been positioned correctly, you can place the dish inside the oven. Start baking the sweet potatoes and keep baking them till they are tended. This should take you around 50-60 minutes.
d) Take the oven dish out. Let the sweet potatoes rest for a while before you proceed to cutting them lengthwise in half.
e) With the help of a spoon, scoop out the tender baked flesh of the sweet potatoes. Place the scooped out flesh in a bowl and start mashing them with the spoon.
f) Now it is time for you to add in the milk and the sour cream to the mashed potato. Mix the ingredients well.
g) The next step is to get the margarine, salt and brown sugar combined with the mashed potatoes. Keep mixing the ingredients till they form a light and fluffy mixture.
h) Take the empty shells and get them lined up in a baking dish.
i) Fill up the shells with the mixture
j) Now start the second round of baking. Bake the sweet potatoes at 400 degrees till they give off a golden brown colour.
When you are buying sweet potatoes, make sure that they have a very firm texture. Bringing home the wrong kind of sweet potatoes will completely ruin your baked potato dish. Also, try to buy cured potatoes as they taste sweeter.