- Sweetpotato is one word and despite having “potato” in its name sweetpotatoes do not belong to the same family as potatoes.
- Sweetpotato is a storage root (an enlarged root) whereas Potatoes are tubers (swollen underground stem or shoot).
- Sweetpotatoes are sometimes called Kumara, which is the Maori name for sweetpotato.
Types of Sweetpotatoes
There are four types of sweetpotato grown and sold in Australia: Gold, Red, Purple and White.
Gold: known as BEAUREGARD
Beauregard has a rose/gold smooth skin, with a moderately deep orange flesh. Over 90% of sweetpotatoes sold in Australia are Beauregard.
Red: known as NORTHERN STAR
Northern star has a red purple skin, with bright, white flesh. This is the second most popular sweetpotato in Australia with around 8% of sales.
Purple: Known as WSPF
WSPF: (White Skin, Purple Flesh) has a white skin with white and purple flesh. Around 2% of Australian sweetpotato production is devoted to WSPF.
White: Known as KESTLE
Kestle has a white skin, with cream to white flesh. Only small amounts of this sweetpotato are grown in Australia.
Health Benefits of eating Sweetpotatoes
Sweetpotatoes are fat free and cholesterol free. They are a good source of fiber and an excellent source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Potassium, Folate and Calcium.
Among root vegetables sweetpotatoes offer the lowest glycemic index (GI) rating. That’s because the sweetpotato digests slowly causing a gradual rise in blood sugar so you feel satisfied longer. (It is a very good blood sugar regulator)
Even the leaves of sweetpotato are good for you. Research results indicate that mature and young leaves of sweetpotato provide significant amounts of vitamin B6. The vitamin B6 content in sweetpotato leaves compares well with fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, avocados, carrots, bananas, and cauliflower.
When buying sweetpotatoes choose well shaped firm sweetpotatoes with brightly colored skins. Avoid those with holes or cuts that penetrate the skin.
Store sweetpotatoes loose (not in a plastic bag) in a cool dark well-ventilated place; avoid keeping sweetpotatoes in the refrigerator.
The skin can be left on (scrub well) or peeled. Slice, dice or bake whole, just like potatoes. Sauté, barbecue, fry or microwave. Serve as a vegetable with roasts, mash on own or add to potatoes.
Type “Sweetpotato Recipes” into your internet browser, you will be amazed what you can do with sweetpotatoes and it is good for you.