Boiling sweet potatoes is the easiest way to have your healthy sweet potatoes without adding oil or increasing their glycemic index. Learn how to boil sweet potatoes perfectly.
Dear friend of mine, are you a fan of sweet potatoes? if you are, do you ever boil them or do you always roast/bake your sweet potatoes?
Ever since I was a little girl, sweet potatoes have been my favorite root vegetables. It’s funny that back then, I used to enjoy raw sweet potatoes freshly pulled from the ground while still warm and full of soil.
By the way, what are sweet potatoes? Where do they come from, and how many types of sweet potatoes are there? ManyEats traces the history of the sweet potatoes, it’s a fascinating story I recommend you read it.
And don’t mistake orange sweet potatoes for yams. Yams are another family of root vegetables.
I asked some of you to help me write this post by telling me how you boil sweet potatoes. I am happy, and I thank you for your participation. With your help and from my research, this post is going to be helpful to many.
Choosing sweet potatoes
- When you plan to cook sweet potatoes, take time to choose the fresh ones without cuts or molds on their skins.
- The best would be to buy organic or those grown locally without many chemicals.
- However, if you have to buy imported sweet potatoes that aren’t organic, soak them in water with bicarbonate of soda for about 10-15 mins, then scrub well the skin.
- Bicarbonate of soda is known to remove chemicals from vegetable skins.
Is it good to boil sweet potatoes?
- Boiled sweet potatoes are much healthier than roasted or baked sweet potatoes because boiling doesn’t raise the glycemic index which makes your blood sugar go up.
- However, boiling leaches water-soluble vitamins and some minerals in the boiling water. On the other hand, boiling sweet potatoes increases the bioavailability of carotene (vitamin A).
Boiling sweet potatoes with skin
- While you might find peeled boiled sweet potatoes recipes, it’s advisable to leave the skin on when boiling sweet potatoes.
- This is because most nutrients are found next to the skin and on the skin.
- Sweet potato skin is full of fiber that will help your digestion.
- So when you peel the skin off before boiling, you’re not only losing fiber, but you are also exposing some phytonutrients that can be damaged by heat.
- If, however, your recipe demands peeled sweet potatoes, boil them then, peel them thereafter, this way you’ll be peeling the thinnest outmost skin.
Boiling whole sweet potatoes
- If you have a big pot, then don’t cut your sweet potatoes, this way you’ll minimize the loss of minerals and vitamins.
- However, it would be better to choose medium sweet potatoes for boiling recipes so that you don’t have to cut them.
How to boil sweet potatoes
- From what I gathered, most people fill a pot with water and submerge the sweet potatoes to boil till cooked then they drain them.
- While it’s easy to do so, you end up draining nutrients like water-soluble vitamins that leach out in the boiling water into your sink.
- What I have been doing is to place sweet potatoes in a pot, add water just enough to reach almost the same level as the sweet potato. I then cover the pot with baking paper/parchment then I place the lid on top.
- This will allow the steam to fall back on the boiling potatoes. This boiling method is faster than when I’d just place the lid on the pot.
- If you are in the tropics and can find banana leaves, then use those instead of the baking paper.
- Some people will use aluminum foil. But those come with health issues because aluminum is a heavy metal that will leak into your food, finding it’s way into your liver.
- When I am boiling sweet potatoes, I recycle the remaining water by making vegetable broth with it. This way I, end using the nutrients lost in the boiling process.
- The other way I use is to boil sweet potato while making my vegetable broth.
- However, boiled sweet potatoes in a broth absorb the broth flavors. So consider that.
How long to boil sweet potatoes
- It will really depend on the size, and also the heat source.
- Medium sweet potatoes, when well covered and on a medium-high heat will roughly cook after 25-30 mins.
- Don’t boil your sweet potatoes till they are tender (you can check the cooking by inserting a thin sharp knife or a toothpick in the sweet potatoes) leave them in the cooking water for about 10 mins after you’ve cut off the heat. The sweet potatoes will continue cooking in the boiled cooking water.
How to store boiled sweet potatoes
You can boil extra sweet potatoes to use during the week.
- After they have cooled, wrap them in a kitchen towel then place them in a freezer bag and keep them in your fridge for up to a week.
- You can choose to freeze your sweet potatoes, in this case, peel them, and cut them into pieces before freezing them.
There is it, now you know how to boil sweet potatoes the best way and I hope from here on you’ll consider leaving that skin on. Thank you for being here. I appreciate you.
Till next, take care and enjoy the presence of those who love you.
From a distance, love you, Githu.
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