I don’t think I have met a vegan who does not like potatoes, or indulge in them. Honestly, I am so glad that I can eat all the potatoes I want (obviously in moderation) because it is so filling, a great source of starch and so so yummy.
It is an essential ingredient in my meal prep, and probably something I spend the most money on. That is why I am so excited for it to ripen in our family garden.
I love to either bake these whole, or as chippies, add them to my beans, my sauces, soups or eat it as a side to anything else. Last week in meal prep, I baked whole sweet potatoes and Japanese sweet potatoes and boy were they AMAZING. If you haven’t had the chance to try this type of potato, you are missing out. They are essentially the only type of sweet potatoes available in Ghana and were literally my first love. You have no idea how much I love sweet potatoes; it’s an obsession, after oatmeal. So when they are in season and abundant in many fall recipes, I am a very very happy child. Also, common misconception, real “yams” are not sweet and have a white flesh. They are a staple in many West African dishes and are a very starchy root. Many Ghanaians actually get confused when they go to the supermarket and see “yams” and realize its actually sweet potato; so remember that.
Important: yam or sweet potato? Many people here call sweet potatoes yams and there really isn’t a fine distinction made between the two. But being a Ghanaian girl, this is a very very easy distinction for me to make.
The true yam is a very starchy NOT SWEET tuber which generally has a white flesh and is a very common starch in many West African dishes. The “yam” or what is actually sweet potato is what we find in super markets, the one with the orange skin, soft and sweet in addition to all the other varieties such as Japanese sweet potato, purple and Hannah sweet potatoes. The kitchn actually has a good article on the distinction of sweet potato if you want to check it out click here
You can also check out a full list of sweet potatoes by clicking here
In terms of nutrition, I am just going to break it down based on the potatoes I usually have in my pantry. Haha sorry for the half sweet potato; I used some of it for a mash the week before.
- 1 medium white potato has over 800mg of potassium, which is twice as much as a banana, and very high in Vitamin C. This doesn’t mean that eating a large serving of McDonalds fries counts (it has so much oil)
- 1 medium sized sweet potato, with an orange flesh, has fewer calories but is packed with so much Vitamin A–over 300% of your daily requirement. Thats absolutely insane! They are very very low in fat, are packed with fibre and are just so versatile they can work in so many recipes. Their rich orange colour is high in carotenoids like beta carotene which is great for eyesight and immunity. It is also packed with iron, some Vitamin C and magnesium
- 1 medium sized Japanese sweet potato is very low in calories and is high in potassium, not as much as a medium white potato but it’s still very high. It’s also high in Vitamin A too.
Most importantly, sweet potatoes are very versatile. I think I go through about 10 sweet potatoes a week, which i just bake during meal prep.
- Baking: if you have the time, I think this is the best way to cook potatoes, you can cube them, slice them into medallions or into chips. I will advice you to boil them for a few minutes and then bake them on parchment paper at 450 for 20 minutes. This allows your fries to be extra crispy without any oil and the parchment paper doesn’t make them stick.If you want to bake them whole, you don’t need to steam them but score them and stab them with a knife and bake at 500 for about 50 minutes on parchment paper, again you don’t need any oil
- You can steam potatoes whole but that takes a while so i will advice cubing them and steaming them over boiling water till a fork can go through evenly.
- The most convenient way for me is to cook my potato in the microwave. So to prep, it is the same as baking a full sweet potato but instead or baking it I wrap it in a paper towel, which I wet with water and them put in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl for about 10 minutes with some water in the bowl
If you are looking for a starch replacement from the popular white rice, I will definitely recommend potatoes. Especially sweet potatoes. I am hoping to try other types of potatoes, so look out for a post on that.