Non Sequitur Fridays

An Ode to Sweet Potatoes

This post is part of our Non Sequitur Fridays series, which will feature a different Wistian's take on a non-Wistia-related topic each week. It's like our "employee of the month" but less "of the month"-y. Laura Powell (operations) and James Zhang (engineering) co-authored this week's Non Sequitur!

When James and I discovered our mutual love for sweet potatoes a few weeks ago, we were compelled to work together to prove just how amazing sweet potatoes are. So, we did what any Wistian would do: we gathered empirical evidence to support our thesis and then went on a culinary spree. These are our findings on why sweet potatoes are the best thing you will eat for the rest of your life.

1. Sweet potatoes are super versatile.

Mashed, baked, pureed, fried, raw, candied, tempura-ed, roasted, grilled, stuffed - have your pick. Sweet potatoes are the antithesis of boring. They are the Cher of complex carbs.

2. Sweet potatoes are a superfood.

These bad boys are full of beta-carotene, Vitamins A & D, potassium, and every other nutrient the internet is confident that you are deficient in. Sweet potatoes have more fiber, complex carbohydrates, and antioxidants than normal potatoes. They also rank lower on the glycemic scale, which measures a food's effect on your blood sugar.

3. Sweet potatoes are fish-friendly.

Proponents of aquaponics will be delighted to know that sweet potatoes can be grown in home aquariums with ease. And if that fails, they can always double as a decorative rock.

4. Sweet potatoes aren’t yams.

Despite most grocery stores labelling sweet potatoes as such, they are not yams. Yams are the sweet, distant cousin of the sweet potato that usually tend to appear around Thanksgiving, covered in marshmallows to deliver the final blow to your elastic waistband. Thus, you really can’t feel that guilty about eating sweet potatoes.

5. Sweet potatoes are an uber crop.

The sweet potato is a mellow, low-maintenance cultivar. They require little to no pesticides or upkeep unlike a lot of their tuber peers (ahem, regular potatoes) and have a lower incidence of toxicity. Additionally, their leaves and roots are edible and nutrient-dense - making them economic and amazingly efficient.

In case isn't already clear to you, we believe sweet potatoes are superior to regular potatoes in every way. Sure, common potatoes can be tasty and prepared in almost as many ways, but we challenge you to try the following recipes and see if you don’t agree. And when was the last time you read a blog post about the awesomeness of common potatoes anyways?

Sweet Potatoes Three Ways

Baked Sweet Potato

  • Preheat oven to 420 degrees and bake medium sized sweet potatoes for 60 minutes.
  • Let cool, then carefully peel off the skin.
  • The layer underneath the skin should look slightly caramelized.
  • You can add butter or honey but you can also just eat them as is.

Pro tip: use the Japanese kind, a.k.a Okinawan sweet potato, which have purple skin and beige flesh. They tend to be a bit sweeter and meatier, making them perfect for baking. They'll be delicious straight out of the oven without any additional flavor.

Sweet Potato Chips

  • Cut 2 sweet potatoes into 1/8in slices (ask a friend if you don’t play well with sharp objects).
  • In a large bowl, toss slices with cayenne pepper, cinnamon to taste.
  • Place chips on non-stick baking sheet or aluminum foil.
  • Bake at 350 degrees until crispy.
  • Let cool, then eat.

Pro tip: Add Guacamole. Duh.

Sweet Potato Spread

  • Peel 2 medium sweet potatoes and place in a pot of water.
  • Bring the water to a boil and let simmer until soft and squishy.
  • Remove and place in a food processor with 1/8 cup tahini (or greek yogurt) and a dash of cumin.
  • Blend until the motor starts smoking.
  • Serve with crackers or bread or bagels... or just eat by the spoonful.

Pro tip: Drizzle some honey on the finished product.

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