Perfectly Baked Sweet Potatoes


We are expecting a stretch of nice weather around here and I'm pretty excited about that.  I need to finish up a small amount of planting in the garden.  A chore I just haven't been interested in doing in the rain....  Although I've grown quite a variety of veggies in years past, I've recently been cutting in down almost in half.  Mostly because of lack of time, I'm trying to only grow things that are either expensive to purchase or that just taste so much better when freshly picked.  One of the veggies I purchase instead of grow is sweet potatoes.

I absolutely love sweet potatoes and always have them on hand.  Thankfully they are incredibly healthy, fairly inexpensive, easy to prepare, readily available at our farmer's market, and a great addition to so many different meals.  I often roast a few sweet potatoes on Saturday or Sunday to use throughout the week (stuffed, cubed and added to enchiladas, green salad, or a vegetable dish, mashed, etc.).

Oil Or No Oil?
I have cut my cooking with oil down to almost none.  Instead, I use broth or water if oil  is needed.  Why?  It's extra calories and fat that just aren't needed (we get enough fat from other sources) which also means it's an expense not needed.  Any oil, butter, etc. I have on hand lasts a lot longer now.

When baking/roasting veggies, the only difference I've noticed is that some don't caramelize like they do when coated with oil.  Although that's not a big deal at all for me, the nice thing about sweet potatoes is they still caramelize!  They don't even need broth or water.


Spice?
If you would like (and depending on how you will be serving the sweet potato) you can rub each cut side with 1/4 teaspoon of spice.  Good spices to use are jerk, Cajun, seasoning salt, Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute, pumpkin pie spice (for sweet streusel filled potatoes), or chili powder (chipotle, regular or ancho).

I rarely bake sweet potatoes whole anymore.  These halves are easy to stuff (and the perfect serving size since a whole potato can be just too much food), easy to cube, or easy to mash and they cook quickly.



Perfectly Baked Sweet Potatoes

For every sweet potato, 1/2 teaspoon oil (if using - see note above) and/or 1/2 teaspoon seasoning (if using - see note above)/pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees (Fahrenheit).  Slice each potato in half lengthwise.  If you would like it oiled or spiced, rub either or both over the cut side.

Place, cut side down, on a baking sheet fitted with parchment paper or a silpat mat.  Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the potatoes are softened.

Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


1 comment

daisy g said...

Oooooh, I may have to try this! I love any kind of roasted veg, but this is a quick way to do a mess of 'em at one time. My boy loves him some sweet potatoes. I am getting ready to plant ours, as they are one of the easiest crops to grow and we use quite a few throughout the year.

Thanks for the great tip!