Sweet potatoes are delicious and healthy—it is that simple. As the name implies, sweet potatoes have a higher amount of sugar than other potatoes or yams. But don’t let the natural sugars keep you away from this superfood. Sweet potatoes are packed with essential vitamins and minerals.
This recipe is one of my favorite winter staples. With just a handful of ingredients—sweet potatoes, olive oil, salt, and pepper—it is easy to throw this side dish together without much forethought. I keep sweet potatoes in my refrigerator (they last for weeks) so I always have the option of adding this side dish to my meal. And these small pillows of sweet goodness are a real kid pleaser, too! You can’t go wrong with a delicious, healthy, and kid-friendly food that is healthy for kids and adults alike.
One-Bite Sweet Potatoes
2 medium sweet potatoes (2 pounds)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400˚F.
- Wash and scrub sweet potatoes with a vegetable brush, or peel them. Dry well with a clean dish towel. Cut the sweet potatoes crosswise into 1-inch rounds, then cut each round into 1-inch cubes.
- Place sweet potato cubes on a baking tray, and drizzle with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly and spread out in a single layer.
- Roast until the sweet potatoes are golden brown, crispy on the edges, and tender on the inside, about 40 minutes total, flipping with a spatula halfway through the cooking time.
- One-Bite Sweet Potatoes with Parmesan. After cooking, place the sweet potato pieces in a large bowl, and top with grated Parmesan cheese. The combination of sweet and salty is fantastic
- One-Bite Sweet Potatoes with Thyme. Chop fresh thyme and sprinkle on potatoes about halfway through the cooking time. This added flavor ups the sophistication of this easy side dish.
- One-Bite Sweet Potatoes and Parsnips. Cut parsnips into 1-inch rounds (as close to the same size as the sweet potato pieces). Combine parsnip rounds with 1-inch cubes of sweet potatoes, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, spread out in a single layer on a baking tray, and cook for 40 minutes, flipping with a spatula halfway through the cooking time.
Choose sweet potatoes that are firm from end to end and bright in color, whether copper, red, purple, or white. The oval shape of sweet potatoes is the same, regardless of color.
Avoid tubers that have cracks, nicks, discoloration, or soft spots.
Enjoying sweet potatoes a couple times a week will boost your intake of antioxidants and beta-carotene, as well as vital nutrients such as manganese, which improves brain function and blood-sugar regulation, and pyridoxine (vitamin B6), which stabilizes energy. Sweet potatoes also give you more than double your daily requirement of vitamin A, which improves your vision and amps up your immune system.
Toss the sweet potatoes at least once during roasting to get even color and crispness.
Look closely in your store’s potato bin to determine the difference between sweet potatoes and yams, as your grocer sometimes labels them the same. Sweet potatoes are plump, often fat, in the middle, with tapered ends and yellow, purple, red, or copper skin. Yams are long and skinny, with off-white, tan, or brown skin that is slightly scaly.