Sweet potatoes can be prepared in many ways, including casserole with marshmallows and candied and French fried forms. But many people fail to consider another option: The sweet baked potato. A sweet baked potato makes a tasty, nutritious treat, and it’s one of the simplest potato dishes you can make. It tastes delicious and can be eaten as a side dish or a main entrée. Here’s how to bake a sweet potato.
How to bake a sweet potato: Basic instructions
In the microwave, just bake a sweet potato as you would a normal potato. Use a fork to poke a couple of holes in the skin. Set it on a plate or napkin and use the microwave’s normal “potato” setting, or set the timer for five to seven minutes and check on it to make sure it’s not overcooked.
You want the potato to feel slightly soft and tender to the touch. If it starts to get shrunken and dry and takes on the appearance of wrinkly old skin, you’ve probably overcooked it.
You can also bake it in a standard oven if you’re prepared to wait more than a half hour. As comedian Mitch Hedberg says, “It takes forever to cook a potato in a conventional oven. Sometimes I throw one in there even if I don’t want one… because by the time it’s done, who knows?”
How to bake a sweet potato: Toppings
Many people like to complete the dish by sprinkling cinnamon or brown sugar on top. I prefer to eat them plain. To me, the vegetable is flavorful enough that I don’t need to spread butter and salt and pepper on it. Eating it plain is the perfect way to maximize its nutritional benefits.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest suggests another way to eat baked sweet potatoes: After baking, mix them in unsweetened applesauce or pineapple.
How to bake a sweet potato: Nutritional benefits
Sweet potatoes might be the most nutritious vegetable around. As noted in an earlier article, the health benefits of sweet potatoes are many: They are loaded with fiber, iron, and Vitamins A, B6 and C. They are naturally low in fat too. So while French fries might sound enticing, think about all the extra fat and calories you’d be ingesting. The sweet baked potato has none of the bad stuff.
How to bake a sweet potato: Conclusion
Baking a sweet potato is simple and easy. In fact, the only real difficulty may be deciding what to add to your meal! Eat your sweet baked potato with a piece of low-fat chicken or fish. Or, make the potato the main dish and add a side of steamed veggies.
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