“The Vitamin A Sweet Potato”
The nutritional value of the sweet potato is unbeatable! It is rich in complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins B-5 and B-6 and manganese. It also carries an enormous amount of vitamin A, depending on the brightness of the orange center. In some cases, one sweet potato provides up to 90 percent of the daily value of vitamin A! All these extra vitamins are great to stock up on when entering the cold, sickly months of winter. Stay healthy this season with an abundance of sweet potatoes in your diet.
Origin of the Sweet Potato
Odds are you tried a sweet potato-dish at some point in your life (unless you are a picky eater or have dietary restrictions). It is a common addition to diets during the fall and winter. The sweet potato is a large, starchy, sweet-tasting root vegetable that has been around for thousands of years. It is native to Central America or South America, where the tropical climates and sufficient water supply support its growth. It grows in more temperate conditions, such as the northern United States and parts of China. Most of Vermont sweet potatoes grow regionally.
Bringing it to Your Table
The sweet potato can be prepared and enjoyed in many ways. It can be cut and fried into sweet potato fries, baked whole, boiled, steamed, and even mashed to compliment a popular fall dessert. The list goes on and on of delicious ways to bring sweet potatoes to your table and into your diet.
It also pairs well with certain condiments and spices like butter and brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg, too. You can also add it to any meal with meat or other vegetables, or any dish where you are looking to add a little sweetness. Yum!
Sweet Potato Carbonara with Spinach and Mushrooms
- 2lbsweet potatoes, peeled
- 3large eggs, beaten
- 1cupgrated parmesan cheese
- 1/4tspground pepper
- 1Tbspextra-virgin olive oil
- 3strips center-cut bacon, chopped
- 18-oz package sliced mushrooms
- 2cloves garlic, minced
- 15-oz package baby spinach
- Put a large pot of water on to boil.
- Using a spiral vegetable slicer or julienne vegetable peeler, cut sweet potatoes lengthwise into long, thin strands. You should have about 12 cups of “noodles.”
- Cook the sweet potatoes in the boiling water, gently stirring once or twice, until just starting to soften but not completely tender, 11/2 to 3 minutes. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water, then drain.
- Return the noodles to the pot, off the heat.
- Combine eggs, Parmesan, salt, pepper and the reserved water in a bowl; pour over the noodles and gently toss with tongs until evenly coated.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add bacon and mushrooms. Cook, stirring often, until the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are starting to brown, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add spinach and cook, stirring, until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the vegetables to the noodles and toss to combine. Top with a generous grinding of pepper.
For more on sweet potatoes, including recipes, book recommendations, and fun activities for kids, check out the Vermont Harvest of the Month website.
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