Something Sweet for February, The Sweet Potato

Sweet Potatoes for my sweet!
Did you know that the sweet potato is only distantly related to the more popular white potato?  The sweet potato is native to Central America and is one of the oldest vegetables known to man. 
Christopher Columbus brought sweet potatoes back to Europe in 1492.  The Spanish and Portuguese introduced sweet potatoes to Africa, India and South East Asia. In New Guinea each person eats about 500 kg of sweet potato per year.
Here in Ontario farms growing sweet potatoes are found along the north shore of Lake Erie in Norfolk County.

So, what is so great about sweet potatoes besides the great taste?
One cup of Baked Sweet Potato gives us the following % of our Daily Value.
Vitamin A  438.1%
Vitamin C  37.2%
Fiber         15%

The intensity of the sweet potato’s yellow or orange flesh is relates directly to its beta- carotene (Pre vitamin A) content

Sweet potatoes should be stored in a cool dark and well ventilated place.  They will keep fresh for up to 10 days this way.

Healthy Mashed Sweet Potatoes

2 medium sized sweet potatoes thin sliced for quick cooking

2 tbsp. orange juice

½ tsp. garam masala

1 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Bring light salted water to a boil in a steamer with a tight fitting lid.
Steam peeled and sliced sweet potatoes in steamer basket, covered for about 10  minutes or until tender.
When Tender, Mash with a potato masher while adding the rest of the ingredients.

Serves 4