The Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas) is one of the oldest vegetables known to mankind. Sweet potatoes originated in Central and South America, but archaeologists have found proof through prehistoric remnants that the sweet potato was grown in Polynesia before western exploration, according to radiocarbon dating. Current thinking is that it was brought to central Polynesia around 700 AD, possibly by Polynesians who had traveled to South America and back, and spread across Polynesia to Hawaii and New Zealand from there.
The sweet potato is not a potato, and it is not a yam! They’re far higher in nutrients than many people realize too, though shouldn’t be eaten as the only vegetable. Consider the sweet potato high in fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Manganese, among many others. It can help boost brain function, stabilize blood sugar, enhance immune system, and it promotes vision health.
The simplest way you can prepare a sweet potato is by first heating the oven to 400° F. Pierce each sweet potato several times with the tines of a fork. Place the sweet potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Bake until tender, about 45 minutes. Make a slit in the top of each sweet potato.
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