November 3, 2016 – The sweet potato, a root vegetable, is one of the most nutritious foods in the vegetable group. Often confused with yams and labeled as such in grocery stores, sweet potatoes are more moist and sweet than yams.

There are two types of sweet potatoes commonly found in the U.S.: Firm sweet potatoes, which have golden skin and paler flesh; and soft sweet potatoes, which have copper skin and orange flesh. Packed full of vitamins and minerals, sweet potatoes are a nutritional powerhouse. One cup of baked sweet potatoes contain:

  • More than 200% of your daily value of Vitamin A
  • More than 50% of your daily Vitamin C
  • About 25% of your daily fiber Selection & Storage:
  • Choose sweet potatoes without cracks, soft spots, or bruises.
  • Store in a cool, dark place (not in the refrigerator.)

Preparation & Cooking Tips:

Wash well, using a vegetable scrubber.

Leave the skin on for more nutrition or for easier peeling after baking.

Pierce skin with a fork before baking or microwaving.

Children and adults participating in the Let’s Eat Healthy! Program are learning about eating colorful vegetables like sweet potatoes. For more nutrition or program information, please call (530) 889-7350 or visit our website at


Sweet Potato Fries (Serves 6)


4 medium sweet potatoes
1½ teaspoons paprika
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon oil
Non-stick cooking spray


1. Preheat oven to 450°F.

2. Scrub and rinse sweet potatoes. Pat dry with a paper towel.

3. Leaving skin on, cut sweet potatoes into strips, about ½-inch wide.

4. In a large bowl, mix paprika, salt, ground black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Add oil. Blend with a fork until there are no lumps.

5. Add sweet potato strips to the bowl. Toss until they are coated on all sides.

6. Coat baking sheet* with non-stick cooking spray. Place sweet potatoes in a single layer on the sheet.

7. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn fries over and bake another 10-15 minutes, or until tender.

* For easier cleanup, first line the baking sheet with aluminum foil, then coat with non-stick spray.

Recipe from