Sweet potatoes are in season this time of year, especially here in NC. You can find them at the grocery store in abundance and for great deals-I saw some for $0.89 per pound this week. The nice thing about sweet potatoes is that they are one of the few produce items that will truly keep for a few weeks so you don’t have to eat them right away or worry about them spoiling in your refrigerator. The best place to store them is in a cool, dark place and they can keep for 5-6 weeks when stored appropriately.
The thing that I don’t love about sweet potatoes is how long it takes to bake them in the oven. I know my time is limited on weeknights so it would not be realistic for me to have an hour to cook a sweet potato in the oven. This is the reason why I love using my crock pot to cook sweet potatoes. It is so easy and you can’t go wrong! Your first step is to select sweet potatoes that are small and firm, and have smooth skin with no cracks or blemishes. Then you will wash and dry your sweet potatoes to remove any excess dirt, wrap them individually in foil, and place in the bottom of your crock pot. You will want to add enough water so that it is about ½ inch deep in the bottom of the crock pot. The amount of water will vary depending on the style and size of your crock pot. Put the lid on the crock pot and cook on low all day. When you return to your crock pot hours later, feel your potatoes to make sure that they are soft. Be careful because they will be hot so make sure to use tongs to determine the softness as not to burn yourself! Peel off the foil and enjoy this sweet potato as any side item with your dinner.
Sweet potatoes are full of nutrition and a wonderful vegetable to include in your weekly meals. They are a good source of fiber and potassium as well as high in Vitamins A and C. Here is the nutrition label for a sweet potato:
Next time you are at the store, pick up some sweet potatoes and save yourself some time by cooking them in the crock pot. You can add a small amount of butter or brown sugar if needed but try to enjoy their natural sweetness first before adding the toppings!
“Ipomoea batatas 006” by Llez – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ipomoea_batatas_006.JPG#/media/File:Ipomoea_batatas_006.JPG