September 12, 2016

I have this friend who eats a sweet potato for lunch every day. She pokes holes in it, wraps it in a damp paper towel, microwaves it for 8 minutes, and then holds it like a hoagie and devours it. I mean, I love the simple satisfaction sweet potatoes have to offer as much as the next person but accepting that as your daily lunchtime routine seems a bit limiting. Especially when there's about a million ways to enjoy sweet potatoes.

Given their insane versatility, you should never, ever find yourself stuck in a handheld, spud-munching rut (sorry, Amy). In fact, sweet potatoes are king when it comes to versatility--which means you can eat them savory or sweet, baked or boiled, steamed or fried, and for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and more.

BONUS: Sweet potatoes are not only super flexible in terms of how you can prepare them, but they are one superb superfood. They're high in fiber, vitamins A and C, and are known to help regulate blood sugar, offer anti-inflammatory properties, and more.

Though sweet potatoes are not technically "potatoes" in the starchy white tuber sense, you can substitute them in virtually any preparation of white potatoes for an extra boost of vitamins and fiber (or just to switch up taste). Plus, their rich orange color, sweet taste, and creamy texture make them feel like a real treat--especially during the holiday season. In the right conditions (a cool, dry, dark place, but NOT the refrigerator), you can store sweet potatoes for about 3 to 4 weeks. Here are 24 reasons why our staff loves sweet potatoes so dagum much.

Why we love them for breakfast:

 

This creamy low-fat soup gets its velvety texture from pureed sweet potatoes and is perfectly paired with a light sandwich or salad. And since this Creamy Sweet Potato Soup can be prepared quickly (i.e. in just under 15 minutes) it’s perfect to whip up in the morning to take to work for a so not sad desk lunch.

Chicken and sweet potatoes are a dream team when it comes to preparing a balanced, whole savory-sweet dinner.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

Earthy sweet potatoes add depth and character to this vibrant vegetarian chili. New Mexico chile powder is fruity and mild, so don't be scared off by the generous amount called for here. Feel free to swap in any other kind of chile powder you have on hand--just use less of it.

Sweet Potato-Pecan Burgers with Caramelized Onions

Nuts add healthy  fats and satiating protein to this tasty vegetarian patty.

Sweet Potato Sandwiches with Feta and Salsa Verde

Clearly, the heartiness of sweet potatoes makes them perfect for veggie-based sandwiches. Salty feta and bright salsa verde are the perfect finishing touches to compliment their sweetness on this one.

Why we love them for dessert:

 

Sweet Potato Buttered Rum Flan

This flan—Spanish baked custard—is best when made with leftover sweet potatoes that have been simply prepared and minimally seasoned. Use ground nutmeg in place of grated whole nutmeg, if that's what you have on hand.

Sweet Potato Pound Cake

Sweet potatoes add a stunning orange hue and seasonal touch that makes this pound cake a perfect pick for all casual fall gatherings.

Maple Sweet Potato Cups

Swing by the freezer section for one of our favorite convenience items—frozen sweet potatoes. If you want to skip the meringue in Step 2, top with miniature marshmallows instead.

Sweet-Potato Meringue Pie

You may have guessed it by now, but sweet potato and fluffy marshmallowy meringue are really, really excellent together.

Sweet Potato Trifle

The two main ingredients in this dessert--purchased angel food cake and canned sweet potatoes--mean there's no baking (and honestly, next to no effort) required for this show-stopping sweet. Best part is, you can prep it up to a day in advance.

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