November 18, 2019

Sweet Potato Awareness Month

November is Sweet Potato Awareness Month! This starchy vegetable is a staple on Thanksgiving day, but the preparation possibilities are endless so it can be enjoyed year round.

Health Benefits

Sweet potatoes have many benefits when it comes to their nutrition, including being a good source of iron, calcium, selenium, B vitamins, and vitamin C. They are especially high in both fiber and an antioxidant called beta-carotene. Beta-carotene converts to vitamin A when it is consumed, which can help prevent worsening eyesight and support a healthy immune system. Fiber slows the breakdown of starches, helping to prevent blood sugar spikes.

1 medium sweet potato is considered a serving size, which provides about 100 calories, 0g fat, 2g protein, and 23g total carbohydrate.


Sweet potatoes can be prepared in several different ways. They can be mashed, baked, fried or steamed. Sweet potato French Fries are also easy to achieve at home, and are a more nutritionally-rich version of traditional French Fries. Sweet potatoes, due to their naturally sugary flavor, do not require extra salt or sugar to enhance their flavor. Olive oil, scallions, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice may be used if you’d like to spruce things up.

Storing and Shopping

Like white potatoes, sweet potatoes are easy to store and have a shelf life of up to 5 weeks. If stored in the fridge, they can last 2-3 months. Sweet potatoes come in a variety of sizes and colors. Types of sweet potatoes include Purple, Jewel, Japanese, Garnet, and Hannah.

The terms “Yam” and “Sweet Potato” are often used interchangeably in the culinary world and in grocery stores. In reality, the graphic below shows the simple difference in the appearance of these two separate plants. Nutritionally, yams are slightly higher in calories, carbohydrates, and fiber, and do not contain the beta-carotene that the sweet potato does.

Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

In honor of the holidays coming up, here is an easy Sweet Potato Pie recipe from!

Ingredients Directions
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened

1/2 cup sugar*

2 eggs, lightly beaten

3/4 cup evaporated milk*

2 cups mashed sweet potatoes

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

9 inches unbaked pie shell

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.

Add eggs; mix well.

Add milk, sweet potatoes, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt; mix well.

Pour into pie shell.

Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.

Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 35-40 minutes longer or until pie tests done.

Cool; Store in refrigerator.

*Alternative milk and sweeteners may be used to decrease the calories and carbohydrates of the pie, but may require different ratios and may not yield the same taste or texture.