Amy Sherman

Beyond Sweet Potato Casserole: Great Sides, Salads, and Baked Goods, Too!

Sweet potato casserole is a must on Thanksgiving, but what about during the rest of the year? Often loaded up with even more sweetness—brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup and marshmallows—it can easily become too sweet. So skip the glazed and candied sweet potatoes in favor of soups, salads and even baked goods using this naturally sweet dish (p.s., skip the pie too! And watch this video “How to Make Sweet Potato Casserole Healthy“).

Another super easy and healthy way to enjoy sweet potatoes? In a creamy no caffeine sweet potato latte!

sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes come in different varieties, colors and sizes. Colors range from dark burgundy purple, red, light rose to gold. So which to choose? In general, the darker the skin, the darker the flesh, with the exception of the Oriental varieties, which are dark on the outside and light on the inside. In the U.S., North Carolina is the leader in sweet potato production, with California in second place. Naturally sweet, they are also very good for you, high in Vitamin B6, Vitamin A, carotene and potassium, rich in antioxidant Vitamins C and E and a great source of manganese and fiber.

Here are some no-fail tips for using sweet potatoes:

  • Choose fresh sweet potatoes in one of four main types, dark Jewels or Garnets (which are moist and sweet), Jersey or Oriental (which are less moist and hold their shape better, so they are good for shredding in recipes like Sweet Potato & Cabbage Slaw) and cubing (for recipes like Warm Sweet Potato and Spinach Salad);
  • Sweet potatoes should be stored at 55-65 degrees, so keeping them in a box on the floor of your pantry or garage in the dark, will help them stay fresher longer;
  • To bake sweet potatoes wash them with cold water, rub with olive oil, wrap it tightly (this prevents dripping and helps cook them evenly). You don’t need to poke it; the package won’t pop! Bake at 350 degrees for 60-90 for a medium sweet potato. They don’t cook as well in the microwave.
  • The moisture in sweet potatoes makes them great in baked goods like Sweet Potato-Cranberry Cake Sweet Potato Spice Loaf and Sweet Potato Biscuits
  • As a kid friendly treat consider healthy baked Curried Sweet Potato “Fries” and Sweet-Potato Chips.

Here are some favorite recipes using sweet potatoes:
curried sweet potato chowder

Curried Sweet Potato Chowder

Here’s a hearty vegetarian soup that uses mostly pantry staples. Easy!

sweet potato waffles

Sweet Potato Waffles

This is a great way to sneak a healthy vegetable in for breakfast—just to fool the kids.

sweet potatoes with black bean salad

Sweet Potatoes with Warm Black Bean Salad

Sweet potatoes take a savory turn in this protein-packed meal.

chipotle pot roast with sweet potatoes

Chipotle Pot Roast with Sweet Potatoes

Warm and comforting, this dish balances the sweetness in the recipe with the spice.

Find even more sweet potato recipes here!

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