I am so excited to be sharing some of my favorite cooking tips using our farm fresh fruits & vegetables & farm tips on our new blog! We often have many customers ask how do you cook _____? Well today I am going to give you one of the best ways to cook sweet potatoes in my opinion. First, I would like to give you a little backstory on how sweet potatoes come to life. Our lives have changed so much compared to how our grandparents were brought up. Most of our grandparents were raised on a farm or helping farmers. There was no McDonald's around the corner for most, so growing their own food whether meat and/or produce was a typical day for families. I am very passionate about farm education-people no longer know where there food comes from or how hard it is to farm. Although my husband & I love what we do, it is a lot of hard work.
Sweet potatoes in the Sandhills area of NC are typically planted in May & harvest begins in September. For those that don't know, sweet potatoes are grown underground & have to be dug up in order to pick. We dig them with our plow & then pick them up out of the field & place them in bins for grading. There are tons of varieties of sweet potatoes, we grow red, purple & white. The red ones are the most popular of all & the best seller. The purple & white varieties are really not sweet, they are actually a drier sweet potato, affectionally called "chokers" by my Grandma since they were so dry, one would get choked trying to eat them. Folks typically use the purple & white ones for savory dishes.
When a sweet potato is harvested, it actually is NOT sweet. It takes some time for a sweet potato to "cure" once dug. After several weeks of drying out or curing, then it is okay to enjoy your tater!
Now to the good stuff! My favorite way to enjoy our sweet potatoes is so simple, this is a savory side-not dessert! First, scrub your taters with a soft brush just to remove any sand & of course to clean! I leave the skin on because it is good for you & I am a busy mama too! Slice the taters any way you want, just make sure they are sliced medium size but not too thick. Next, I place them in a large bowl & toss with canola oil or whatever oil you have will work, add salt & pepper to your liking. Bake on 400 for 30-45 minutes single layer on a roasting pan or baking sheet, making sure you toss the taters 1/2 way into baking time. The sweet potatoes get brown & crusty & believe me, you will love them! If you enjoy that recipe, try adding sliced onions to your potatoes, just add them to the raw sweet potatoes when you are tossing with the oil, salt & pepper.
Do not be afraid of the tater, there is more than one way to enjoy sweet potatoes. Although delicious baked or in a pie, I think you will find my recipe suggestion as one of your favorite fall side dishes!
Wishing you the "Berry" best,