Oh sweet potatoes. Probably my absolute true love in the form of food, and I’m dead serious when I say this.
As of this month, not a day has gone by when I haven’t eaten at least one sweet potato, and I don’t think anything is going to change! Is there something that a sweet potato cannot do? It is perfect in stir-fries, salads, soups, souffles, baked goods, sweet potato kabocha pudding, or as fries, wedges, chips, mashed, you name it, a sweet potato can do it! However, I’ve lately been eating whole, thoroughly baked sweet potatoes just split in half, dusted with cinnamon, turmeric and maca, all topped with a PB2 sauce, dark chocolate chunks, muesli and/or granola.
Sure, I could whip up any crazy sweet potato dish and reveal a super creative recipe for you all, but according to the mass public, the majority of those sweet potato recipes are just way too difficult and demanding of time, resources and effort. I’m going to be a college student who’ll be pounding her head on an open textbook, crying and panicking all while diving into a bowl of oil free cinnamon popcorn. And I am very sure that all of my viewers are in a similar situation that provides a limited budget and amount of time to cook.
Well have no fear my friends! We’re going back to the basics.
The way I’ve mastered baking sweet potatoes calls for one thing: watchfulness. I’m forewarning you right now that I’m not going to teach you how to bake a sweet potato within a matter of minutes, let alone seconds. So if that is what you’re looking for, do me a favor and click out of this post instead of accusing me of not granting your wish. I ain’t a blue genie with a sassy attitude and a knack for character imitations. Go find one if you want a sweet potato to cook in three seconds. And good luck.
Now, back to watchfulness–you do have to bake the sweet potatoes for a long time. While the sweet potatoes bake, you can study, clean the house, finish up work, go on a walk, read, blog, basically anything that’s more important. I call this the bake-it-in-the-oven-and-go-do-something-else-and-forget-about-it-until-the-timer-stops technique. Hey, I never said I was good with creating names. Again, find a blue genie to do that for you. Anyways, depending on the type of sweet potato you’re working with, you have to bake it a lot longer than others. The Asian sweet potato varieties–Japanese and Okinawan–have to be baked for more than an hour and a half on each side. But be patient! When you take them out, they turn out fresh, steaming hot and ready to be eaten. Split it open and you’ll find a cakey, fluffy, smooth and delicate flesh inside.
My verdicts: the Okinawan sweet potato tastes like a sweet, delicious purple brownie while the Japanese sweet potato resembles more of a creamy, soft vanilla angel food cake. I haven’t been enjoying the red and garnet varieties lately because they’re not as tasty as the other two varieties I’ve been consuming, but I can imagine that they’ll taste phenomenal if baked this way.
Wouldn’t you want a brownie cake for breakfast now? Get yourself a sweet potato and try this out!
Take that, blue genie.
- Any sweet potatoes; I usually have Okinawan purple sweet potatoes and Japanese sweet potatoes, which are a bit denser than the garnet yam and red yam variety
- Preheat the oven to 450F.
- Rinse your sweet potatoes and dry them completely, carefully rubbing dirt off the skin.
- With a fork, poke as many holes on each side, some deeper in the sweet potato in order for the sweet potato to bake thoroughly!
- Wrap each sweet potato with aluminum foil***, letting no holes peek out.
- Bake the sweet potatoes for the designated times depending on the variety you use:
- Red/garnet/Hannah sweet potatoes: 45-60 minutes on each side
- Okinawan/Japanese sweet potatoes: 90+ minutes on each side
***If you don’t have aluminum foil, place the sweet potatoes on a baking tray lined with nonstick paper, a silpat sheet or sprayed aluminum foil.
How do you enjoy sweet potatoes? Have you ever attempted to find a blue genie to grant you three wishes?