I've noticed recently that I need to add more vegetables to my recipes collection (as well as to eat more veggies myself, honestly), and sweet potatoes are a pretty good place to start. If you've only ever had sweet potatoes that have been baked (and then lost) in a sugary haze of brown sugar and marshmallows, you may not recognize these cheerful orange guys, which are actually quite tasty all by themselves!
Sweet potatoes also have a lot of extremely good things in them, chief among them a high amount of vitamin A. Unlike the preformed vitamin A contained in animal liver, however, plant-based vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotin) may briefly turn your skin a yellow-orange color if you eat too much, but won't hurt you otherwise.
In The Okinawa Program (Willcox, Willcox, and Suzuki, 2001), which was reviewed as part of my "Best Books of 2014" reading list, the authors note that the sweet potato, or imo, has long been a mainstay of the traditional Okinawan diet. In fact, imo was so important to their survival for hundreds of years that a time-honored greeting on the islands is "Nmu kamatooin," meaning, "Are you getting enough imo?" The authors recommend eating sweet potatoes liberally, as they "contain flavonoids, carotenoids, saponins, vitamin E, and other healthy nutrients, and they taste great."
Please click here for my recipe for Baked Sweet Potatoes!