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HappyHealthy Newsletter: Sweet Potatoes

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Publication Number: P3407
View as PDF: P3407.pdf

Sweet Potatoes are a favorite holiday dish in the South, and Mississippi plants over 20,000 acres of sweet potatoes each year. Sweet potatoes are a great vegetable to add to any meal or snack. They can be grilled, boiled, sautéed, steamed, microwaved, and served raw. Sweet potatoes are rich in nutrients that help keep us healthy. Use the following tips to prepare and serve sweet potatoes at your next meal!


  • When selecting sweet potatoes, look for small to medium size with firm, smooth, even-colored skin.
  • Avoid sweet potatoes with cracks, bruises, soft spots, or sprouting.
  • In Mississippi, purchase fresh sweet potatoes from August through November when they are less expensive and more available.
  • During the off-season, choose frozen or canned sweet potatoes to enjoy all year.


  • Store fresh sweet potatoes in a cool, dry, dark, and well-ventilated space. Properly stored sweet potatoes can last for several weeks.
  • Do not store uncooked sweet potatoes in the refrigerator because this will change the flavor and cause the centers to harden.
  • Cooked sweet potatoes can be frozen for 10–12 months or refrigerated for 4–5 days.


  • Wash under cool water and scrub with a vegetable brush just before using.
  • When baking whole sweet potatoes, leave the skin on and prick them all over with a fork to allow steam to escape. The skin can be eaten and is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
  • For a quick side dish, peel and cube sweet potatoes, and then roast or cook them on the stovetop.

Fun with food

Children can:

  • Help select the best sweet potatoes at the store.
  • Scrub the potatoes just before you are ready to use them.
  • Add seasonings and oil before roasting.
  • To learn more about cutting sweet potatoes and other vegetables, visit HappyHealthy.MS and click on Tips and Videos.

Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Green Bean Packets

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, each cut in half lengthwise to make 4 pieces
  • 1­–2 sweet potatoes (depending on size), washed, peeled, and cut into thick slices
  • 1 14.5-ounce can green beans, drained (or frozen)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Wash your hands well with soap and hot water.
  3. Cut washed and peeled sweet potatoes in half long ways. Place flat side down. Cut into slices.
  4. Lay four large pieces of aluminum foil on your work surface.
  5. Divide the sweet potato pieces and green beans among the four pieces of foil.
  6. Put one piece of chicken on top of each packet.
  7. Sprinkle the Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and salt over the top of the chicken and veggies.
  8. Fold the foil up over the chicken and veggies, and fold the edges together to make four sealed packets.
  9. Bake for 30–45 minutes, until the chicken is completely cooked.
  10. Check the temperature of the chicken with a meat thermometer. It should be 165ºF.
  11. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.

Roasted Red and Sweet Potatoes

  • 6 red potatoes
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  2. Wash your hands well with soap and hot water.
  3. Wash the potatoes under running water. Scrub off any dirt.
  4. Cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces.
  5. Spread the potato pieces onto a large baking sheet.
  6. Pour the oil over the potatoes.
  7. Mix them with your hands until the potatoes are covered with oil.
  8. Spread the potatoes into a single layer on the baking sheet.
  9. Bake until the potatoes are brown and tender, about 25–30 minutes. Turn them twice while they are cooking.
  10. Serve the potatoes while they are hot.
  11. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.

Happy Healthy

Happy Healthyms

@Happy Healthyms


Publication 3407 (POD-11-21)

By Kelli Whitten, Mississippi State University Extension Service.

This material was funded by USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - SNAP. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Department: Nutrition Education
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Portrait of Ms. Kelli L. Whitten
Regional Registered Dietitian

Your Extension Experts

Portrait of Dr. Sylvia H. Byrd
Prf & Head, Off Nutrition Educ
Portrait of Ms. Dorothy Kenda
Regional Registered Dietitian
Portrait of Ms. Kelli L. Whitten
Regional Registered Dietitian
Portrait of Ms. Samantha Ann Willcutt
Regional Registered Dietitian
Portrait of Mr. Drew Cole
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