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Food for Thought: Sweet Potatoes

The sweet potato is a staple in our Southern kitchens! The state vegetable of North Carolina, sweet potatoes come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors (some are even purple!). They can be prepared dozens of different ways – fried, baked, topped with marshmallows, pureed into soup, and more.

Keep reading to learn why we love sweet potatoes!

Sweet Potatoes vs Yams

Some people use the terms “yams” and “sweet potatoes” interchangeably, but they are actually different vegetables! Often people will call the long, red-skinned tubers “yams” when they are in fact one of many varieties of sweet potato.

A true yam is generally imported from Caribbean. It is rough and scaly and not the typical orange color we expect from sweet potatoes.

Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

We love sweet potatoes because they taste delicious, but they are also packed with health benefits!

Sweet potatoes are great sources of:

  • Vitamin A. You can consume over 100% of the recommended daily amount by eating just one sweet potato with the skin on. Vitamin A is vital to your vision, bone development, immune system, and more.
  • Fiber. A medium sweet potato baked in its skin has 4 grams of fiber, which can make you feel fuller (and thus less likely to overeat) and aid digestion. It may also reduce the risk of heart disease!
  • Potassium. Bananas may get all the hype for being rich in potassium, but sweet potatoes are an excellent source, as well. It can help reduce the risk of high blood pressure and strokes.
  • Carbohydrates. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of energy, released at a steady pace to avoid those dreaded sugar crashes.
  • Calories. A medium-sized sweet potato contains around 100 calories

Cooking with Sweet Potatoes

One of the best things about sweet potatoes is their incredible versatility. We use them in our famous Sweet Potato Pancakes, as well as many other dishes like our Mountain Harvest Bowl and Appalachian Spinach Salad.

To get our sweet potatoes into our pancake batter, we roast them, mash them, let them cool, and then stir them in. It’s an easy way to sneak extra veggies into your breakfast meal, as well as giving our pancakes a delicious and unique flavor.

Make your own Tupelo Honey-inspired dishes with sweet potatoes at home using the below recipes!

Want the reward without the effort? Make a reservation to visit your favorite Tupelo Honey location to try our sweet potato pancakes!