The sweet potato is a product native to Central and South America that arrived in Europe in the sixteenth century through Christopher Columbus. Among the properties of sweet potato stands out its great antioxidant power and the important contribution of energy, which make it a highly highly produced recommended in any diet.
It is a herbaceous plant, and by the properties of sweet potato It is preferably grown in tropical and subtropical climates, where temperatures are between fourteen and twenty-six degrees. The intensity of the sun is what favors its development.
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Origin and history
It is estimated that sweet potato has been cultivated for centuries in Central and South America, with Peru, Brazil and Ecuador being the pioneer countries in the development of this food. With the arrival of the Spaniards to these lands, the product expanded during the sixteenth century, first through Europe and then throughout the rest of the world.
The properties of sweet potato were the ones that made it popular and a food highly recommended by specialists to accompany any type of food. They can be cooked in various ways, as they can be boiled, roasted and baked. Also its elaboration is very simple, so we are facing a very versatile product that is also delicious.
At present, China it is the main producer, accounting for around 80% of the world total. It is followed, far away, by Uganda, Nigeria and Indonesia.
Properties of sweet potato
The nutrient density of sweet potato is very high. Carbohydrates are composed equally of complex starches and simple sugars. Precisely, its load of sugar is what sowed doubts about whether we were really facing a healthy food. The truth is that, after cooking, its estimated glycemic load is low, so glucose passes slowly through the blood, without causing significant insulin spikes.
The orange color of its pulp states that sweet potato is rich in provitamin A in the form of beta-carotene. With just one hundred grams of sweet potato a day, the daily needs of this essential vitamin for visual health, bone development and to maintain healthy skin are covered.
It also highlights its contribution in vitamins C, B6, B5, B1 and B2. As if this were not enough, it also highlights the contribution of sweet potato in minerals such as copper, iron, potassium and magnesium. It is, really, a highly healthy food that you should buy.
It strengthens the body, helps prevent cardiovascular diseases, ulcers relieves intestinal diseases, cholesterol and is also useful in treatments such as asthma and osteoarthritis.
In turn, sweet potato is a food that can also be effective for eyesight. With a function similar to that of the carrot, it helps in digestion and heart, because it can reduce cholesterol and circulation problems. In addition, it is of great help when regulating blood pressure and symptoms of hypertension.
Buying this vegetable is very efficient for those people who need to lose weight because it is not a caloric food and is very nutritious. Sweet potato is one of the most recommended elements by professionals for those who want to eat healthy.
In addition, the properties of sweet potato prevent digestive problems, such as incontinence and diarrhea.
For every 100 grams of sweet potato cooked:
- Energy: 86 kcal
- Proteins: 1.6 g
- Fats: 0.1 g (unsaturated)
- Carbohydrates: 20 g
- Fibre: 3 g
- Sugars: 4.2 g
Main vitamins: vitamin A (14187 IU) and vitamin C (2.4 mg).
Sweet potato can be cooked in several ways. Here are some recipes and recommendations for consumption.
Recipes with sweet potato
As we have seen, the properties of sweet potato and the benefits provided by this food are really multiple. Adding them, then, to our daily recipe, is practically a must.
The first consideration is that sweet potato should never be eaten raw. It is usually roasted or cooked whole, with or without the skin. It is important to remove the skin before eating because it may be infected by outside elements.
The potato can be eaten hot or cold. You can try it in soups and cremas, in salads, stews, tortillas and stir-fries. It can appear in fillings of empanadas, eggplants, terrines and more. As we can see, in addition to being a product that contains multiple health benefits, it also gives us a wide way to cook it.
Sweet potato can be eaten at any of the four daily meals. One of the most outstanding dishes are the glazed skewers with orange and honey, ideal as a complement to a roast meat.
Another outstanding dish is the potato stuffed with cheese and quinoa, delicious and with a very simple recipe. It is also used as a complement to sauces for traditional pastas, such as gnocchi. The potato appears in sandwiches to accompany breakfast or snack as in puff pastry cookies, rolls and cakes.
The sweet potato, due to its sweet taste, can also appear in several extremely delicious desserts. One of the richest is the brownie, combining the potato with white chocolate. Other very good options are a creamy pudding and a cake that is easy to prepare in the microwave.
In short, as we see the possibilities are multiple and sweet potato appears as a firm option to accompany any dish of the day, especially for those who want to have a balanced diet. There are no excuses, then, for not including it in our daily diet.
Consumption in Spain
Particularly, in Spain, sweet potato is part of traditional and seasonal dishes, thus appearing in several outstanding festivities of different communes. In the Canary Islands, for example, it is part of its gastronomy in outstanding menus such as the puchero and the Canarian sancocho. It is also common for it to appear at Christmas as a filling for trout empanadas.
In the Valencian Community, at Christmas, there are typical potato cakes that stand out for their exquisiteness. Also during the Celebration of Christmas, but in Andalusia the Pan de Cádiz is popular, which has the potato as its main ingredient.
In Aragon and Catalonia sweet potato is usually consumed during the autumn, during the chestnut festival. It is one of the most chosen accompaniments to eat with chestnuts roasted on fire or baked.
As we can see, sweet potato is such a versatile food that makes it widely used, recommended and coveted to make all kinds of dishes.