Sweet potatoes are trending and are all the rage — as they should be! One medium California sweet potato has only 105 calories and 0g of fat, yet this versatile veggie contains more than 80 nutrients including protein, manganese, carotene, potassium, calcium, vitamin C and more than an entire day’s worth of vitamin A. Plus, California sweet potatoes are rich with antioxidants and loaded with dietary fiber — nearly twice as much as a white potato.
Not just for Thanksgiving, thankfully, California sweet potatoes are available year-round. Chefs and home cooks are coming up with fun and creative ways (beyond Grandma’s holiday casserole) to incorporate this tasty tuber into everyday meals—winter, spring, summer and fall.
Here are some delicious ways to cook with California sweet potatoes:
- For a quick snack, add a cooked California sweet potato (or two) to your favorite hummus recipe, garnish with a good glug of olive oil and a generous squirt of lemon. Serve with crudités and pita triangles.
- Make a beta-carotene-rich soup by adding uniformly chopped California sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and carrots to a homemade or store-bought chicken stock. Throw in a can of white beans, a handful or two of kale and garnish with chopped flat-leaf parsley. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan.
- What’s better than home fries for breakfast? California sweet potato home fries! Switch out white potatoes for California sweet potatoes, throw in some chopped onions, bell pepper and a sprinkle of cayenne or paprika and you’ve got sweet potatoes O’Brien to go with your bacon and eggs.
- Mashed California sweet potatoes make a delicious accompaniment to a store-bought or homemade roasted chicken. Steam the sweet potatoes until tender, mash, and stir in warmed butter and milk. For garlic mashed, simply throw a few cloves of garlic into the steamer and mash them with the sweet potatoes.
Brunch is always a great way to entertain family and friends. Whether it’s Easter, Mother’s Day or a regular old Sunday, why not wow your guests with a delicious spread? Coffee, mimosas, Danish, croissants, fruit salad and of course something with eggs.
This breakfast strata will more than satisfy.
California Breakfast Strata with Sweet Potatoes, Chiles and Goat Cheese
Serves 10 to 12
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 pound orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, cut into ¾-inch dice (about 3¼ cups)
12 ounces loose breakfast sausage or breakfast sausage patties
One 7-ounce can chopped green chiles
Nonstick cooking spray
10 ounces crusty Italian or French bread, with crusts cut or torn into ¾-inch pieces (about 10 cups)
4 ounces chèvre (spreadable goat cheese), crumbled (about 1 cup)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
8 large eggs
2 cups milk
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the sweet potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up and stirring occasionally, until the sweet potatoes are lightly browned and tender and the sausage is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Stir in the chiles and set the skillet aside.
Coat a 2½- to 3-quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Arrange ⅓ of the bread in the dish. Top with ⅓ of the sweet potato mixture, ⅓ of the cheese and ⅓ of the sage. Repeat two times. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the casserole and set aside for 20 minutes, pressing on the bread occasionally to help it absorb the liquid.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350° F.
Cover the casserole with foil and bake for 50 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the top is browned and the center is set, about 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
For more information about California sweet potatoes and for delicious recipes, visit www.casweetpotatoes.com.