How to Cook a Sweet Potato for Fluffy Goodness with Every Bite

Sweet potatoes are the fall staple food that we never get fed up with for good reason: Their mildly sweet insides are soft and melty, and they're equally delicious when loaded with toppings or just served with a stick of butter. Not only that, these orange bulbs are healthy too. The sweet potato is not only a rich source of fiber, but also contains protein and vitamins. Not sure how to cook a sweet potato? No problem. Our step-by-step guide to the (extremely simple) process guarantees a satisfying sweet potato every time.
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How to cook sweet potatoes in the oven
Much like its simple cousin, sweet potatoes can be cooked in a number of different ways, but the most straightforward method of all is baking. The classic way to bake a sweet potato is in the traditional oven, and the process is dead easy. This is what the sweet potato experts at the North Carolina SweetPotato Commission say.
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400 ° F
When it comes to baking sweet potatoes, an extra hot oven is your friend. If your oven does not indicate when the desired temperature has been reached, allow enough time to preheat (around 20 minutes for older ovens).
Step 2: wash the potato
While the oven is warming, clean the sweet potatoes by rinsing them under cold water and gently wiping off any visible dirt.
Step 3: prepare the potato
Pat the potatoes dry, take a fork and start poking them. Yes, to avoid a sweet potato exploding scenario, it is recommended that you pierce the skin five to six times with a fork before sending it to the oven. (Note: For particularly crispy skin, we recommend lightly rubbing the potatoes with olive oil. However, this step is optional.)
Step 4: bake the sweet potato
Once your oven is preheated, it's time to cook these puppies. Transfer each pierced potato to an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet and bake on the middle rack of the oven. The potatoes will be ready in about 45 minutes, but you will know for sure that they are ready when a fork easily slides into the meat.
Step 5: dig in
Once the potatoes are soft and tender, take them out of the oven and let them cool before buttering and digging inside.
How to cook sweet potatoes in the microwave
The oven method is a breeze but it does require some patience. If you're hungry and want a sweet potato statistic, turn to your trusted microwave. We received the ball from Candace Davidson, author of the Easy College Cookbook and expert in microwave cooking, on the best way to destroy a sweet potato.
Step 1: wash and pierce the potato
When it comes to preparing a potato for the microwave, the steps are similar to those described above for the traditional method. Clean, pat dry and pierce the potato with the tines of a fork.
Step 2: wrap the potato
Microwaves are convenient, but they have a few drawbacks, namely the uncomfortable habit of drying out food. For this reason, Davidson recommends wrapping the sweet potato in a damp paper towel before starting cooking.
Step 3: cook the potato
Once the sweet potato is bundled up in a damp blanket, place it on a plate and let the microwave work its magic. Your vegetables will cook in about 4 to 5 minutes of nuking, but the fork test is a surefire way to tell if they're tender and ready to eat.
Step 4: use a fork to pierce the potato. When it's tender, it's ready to eat
How to cook sweet potatoes
Would you like to use your spuds for a creamy, dreamy mashed potato dish? Here's how to prepare your sweet potatoes for mashing.
Step 1: rinse and scrub sweet potatoes under cold water, then peel the skin
Leave the skin on for extra nutrients or use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin for a smoother mash.
Step 2: Cut the potato into pieces and place them in a large saucepan with water
Add enough water to cover the potatoes.
Step 3: Cook sweet potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender when pierced with a fork
Step 4: drain the potatoes and return them to the pot to make your pulp
7 delicious sweet potato recipes
Now that you know how easy it is to cook a sweet potato, all you have to do is decide how you want to enjoy it. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Overflowing sweet potatoes with chipotle lime yogurt
Sweet potatoes roasted in the oven
Sweet Potato Hummus
Sweet potatoes stuffed with buffalo
Roasted sweet potato with sriracha and lime
Sweet potato, kale, tomato and halloumi tray
Sweet potato crostini
RELATED: 28 Healthy Sweet Potato Recipes That Never Get Old
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