Wednesday, October 14, 2009

In Season: Sweet potatoes

Posted By on Wed, Oct 14, 2009 at 11:00 AM

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We're right on the cusp of sweet potato season, and this versatile vegetable deserves a spot on your plate outside of Thanksgiving dinner.

Everybody can pick out a good sweet potato. Just avoid cracks or bruised vegetables and opt for firm potatoes. Sweet potatoes don't need to be refrigerated and can last for several weeks as long as they remain dry. Cooked sweet potatoes can last for up to a week in a Tupperware container in the refrigerator.

Besides being naturally sweet, they have antioxidant properties and are a good source of Vitamin A. And the sweetness means these potatoes can be used in everything from pizza crust to biscuits to candy.  

Sweet potatoes are also good side dishes for a variety of proteins. Sweet potato fries or chips are both easy to make. If you'd rather create the fall equivalent of fruit salsa, consider a sweet potato and black bean salad with chili dressing.

You

wouldn't believe it, but one of the most interesting cocktails I

ever drank was made with sweet-potato infused vodka -- a twist on the

classic plain old potato vodka. It's a fairly complicated home

recipe, but the understated sweetness makes it less of

a gimmick drink and more of a potentially worthy experiment.  

This sweet potato cocktail pairs vanilla with sweet potato. This sweet potato pie cocktail recipe swaps in rum for a neutral grain spirit (such as Everclear) and has hints of cinnamon and nutmeg.   

When is the right time for sweet potatoes? It might be right now. Because as the late comedian Mitch Hedburg noted, sometimes you should just put a potato in the oven, even if you're not hungry. Because by the time's it done, who knows.

[Image via Flickr: happyvia]

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