What are sweet potatoes?
The delicious sweet potato is a plant that belongs to the bindweed family. A root vegetable, oddly shaped and has a sweet tasting flesh. It is a starchy vegetable and has many health benefits. In many cultures the leaves and shoots of the plants are eaten as greens. The orange variety of sweet potato is often called the “yam” in North America. Lets find out how many sweet potatoes in a pound?
Where are sweet potatoes grown?
Sweet potatoes are mostly grew in the tropical region of America. Area such as North Carolina, California, Mississippi and Lousiana are the biggest producers.
There are around 1000 species of sweet potatoes. Most of them are edible although some are poisonous. Many species of sweet potato plants are grew as decorative plants.
Sweet potatoes originated from Central South America. It was in South America the sweet potato was grown around 5000 years ago. Many cultigens were spread with the help of local people. It was being used in the Caribbean and South America around 2500 BCE.
Sweet potatoes were grew in Polynesia even before the western exploration. These were spread by vine cuttings instead of seeds. The vine cuttings were brought to Polynesia by travellers who went from Polynesia to South America and back. This was how it spread to Easter Island, Hawaii and New Zealand.
What is the average weight of a sweet potato
Sweet potatoes vary in shape and sizes, even more so than traditional potatoes. They are classified in size from small to medium and large.
- Small sweet potatoes weigh around 3 to 4 ounces each.
- A medium size sweet potato weighs from 5 – 7 ounces.
- Large sweet potatoes weighs over 8 ounces.
How many sweet potatoes in a pound
- Four small sweet potatoes in a pound (1lb)
- Three medium sweet potatoes in a pound (1lb)
- Two large sweet potatoes in a pound (1lb)
The sweet potato plant cannot survive frost. The temperature of 75 F or 24 C is the best for its growth. It also needs good sunshine and good warm nights. The most suitable amount of rainfall is 750-1000 mm and at least 500mm in the growing season.
The plant cannot tolerate water logging. It usually takes two to nine months for the roots to get mature. The maturity period depends upon atmospheric conditions and cultivar.
The plant flourishes in many atmospheres and has few natural enemies. It rarely needs use of pesticides. You can grow it in all soil types. Well drained, medium textured with a pH range of 4.5-7 are best.
Poor soils will also grow this plant with help from a small amount of potato fertilizer. The plant is very sensitive to toxicity caused by aluminium. It dies as early as six weeks if the soil is too acidic at planting.
Many grow it with the help of vine cuttings instead of seeds, as it is easier to grow. Large farms on the east coast grow it and harvesting takes place before the first frost. Cold temperature causes damage to the roots of the plants.
Sweet potatoes are high in starch. 100 grams of sweet potato gives around 90 kcal of energy. It’s abundant in complex carbohydrates, fibers, and beta carotene.
It also contains a medium amount of micronutrients like manganese, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B5, proteins, Vitamin C, Niacin B3, and manganese. The nutritional value of sweet potatoes is a top food -by The Center for Science in the Public Interest
The roots, shoots, and leaves of the sweet potato plant are all edible. The most popular part is the roots. They also act as a staple food in many areas of the world.
- In Africa, sun dried crushed roots are a staple food. It is part of breakfast and eaten with peanut sauce. Cassava flour and potato is eaten with fish.
- Young leaves and vine tips can be used as vegetable greens.
- Many sweet potato recipes are used in Kenya. Mashed sweet potato and flour are used to replace wheat and sugar in cakes, breads and buns. Deep fried snacks are also available.
- In Egypt, street vendors sell hot sweet potato tubers on the streets as a snack food in winter time. They also eat them as a dessert when soaked with honey.
- In Ethiopia, they eat a black-skinned cream-fleshed sweet potato as a boiled flavored snack. Even in Asia, roasted sweet potatoes are a street food.
- Parts of Japan have “Yakimo” are roast sweet potatoes and are similar to the Korean dish of a similar name.
- In Taiwan sweet potatoes mixed with rice to make “Cognee”. They are also a street food or snack in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
What weight of sweet potatoes for one person?
One serving is typically one medium sized sweet potato. It contains around 100 calories, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fibres and 2 grams of proteins. It is around 8% of total carbohydrates, 16% of fibres, 13% of potassium and 120% of Vitamin A.
Sweet potatoes are very healthy and are excellent source of Vitamin A, B and C. They are deemed healthier than traditional potatoes as they have more fibre and are lower on the Glycemic Index. They provide a more stable blood sugar response and reduce oxidative damages.
Similar to regular potatoes they do contain oxalates but this is usually of no consequence as they need to be consumed in excessive quantities for anything adverse to happen such as kidney stones.They protect vision, support heart health and mostly do not cause allergies.
Sweet potatoes are widely available in most supermarkets around the world. An even better suggestion would be to plant some sweet potato seed this year and grow your own at home – Delicious!