According to the USDA, sweet potato consumption in the U.S. has increased by nearly 10 percent since 2000, and the trend shows no sign of slowing down.
Both home cooks and restaurant chefs have been opting more and more often to the orange-colored and more nutritious variety of spud.
Sweet potato fries have become immensely popular, as well as other twists on favorites such as sweet potato skins, sweet potato chips, and mashed sweet potatoes. We’re also seeing some unusual things like sweet potato s’mores, which appeared in thenovicechefblog.com.
The sweet potato is just so much more nutritious than the white variety. It’s loaded with vitamins A and C, but has a low glycemic load of only 17 (compared to an index of 29 for “regular” potatoes). Sweet potatoes are good for your skin, and have lots of beta-carotene to help you fight off disease. They’re high in potassium, too.
Fresh sweet potatoes are plentiful in the supermarket produce department, but you can also find sweet potato products in the frozen food section now, too. Alexia Foods offers choices such as its bite-sized Sweet Potato Puffs and crispy Sweet Potato Julienne Fries. McCain Foods’ Harvest Splendor line of sweet potato selections has been a top seller for years on the foodservice market.
Mintel International, the Chicago-based trend-tracking research firm named sweet potatoes one of the six top U.S. flavor trends back in 2010. “Candied, fried, baked or boiled…sweet potatoes are one of the most diversely prepared vegetables, Mintel said. “Aside from being a delicious snack or side dish, they also will become known as the new functional food,” and indeed they have gained that reputation.
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, consumers will undoubtedly be looking for new recipe ideas for those all-important Turkey Day side dishes. Here are some that we especially like.
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