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Harvest of the Month

November - Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes
History
Sweet potatoes are perfect for November, especially when served up as a delicious Thanksgiving day side dish! Native to Central America, the sweet potato is not related to potatoes but instead is in the same family as morning glory. But just because it isn't in the same family as the potato, doesn't make us love this versatile, delicious, and colorful tuber any less! Remains of sweet potatoes were discovered in a cave in Peru, showing that they have been consumed since prehistoric times. This crop was an important dietary staple for early American homesteaders and for soldiers during the Civil War. Sweet potatoes are very popular in the southern United States and have been grown in that region since the 16th century. Although often mistaken for the yam, sweet potatoes are more flavorful and less starchy than yams.


Fun Facts
  • Sweet potatoes contain an enzyme which converts many of its starches to sugar as it matures
  • There are over 300 varieties of sweet potato, with flesh ranging from white to deep orange
  • In Eastern medicine, this vegetable is highly regarded for its tonifying and nourishing abilities
  • Sweet potatoes and yam are two different crops- yams can grow much larger than sweet potatoes and are native to Africa and Asia

Benefits
  • Sweet potatoes are high in vitamins  A and C.
  • They also provide fiber  and potassium.

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