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Sweet Potato

Sweet Potato

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Sweet Potato

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  1. Sweet Potato • The sweet, orange-colored root vegetable is one of the oldest vegetables known to mankind. The crop was introduced into China in the late 16th century and spread through Asia, Africa, and Latin America during the 17th and 18th centuries. • All so-called yams are sweet potatoes. Most people think that long, red-skinned sweet potatoes are yams, but they really are just one of many varieties of sweet potatoes. • So where did all of the confusion come from? • A true yam compared to an orange-fleshed sweet potato. • A true yam is a starchy edible tuber that is generally imported from the Caribbean. It differs greatly from the sweet potato in taste, texture, appearance and family. • Depending on the variety, sweet potato can vary from white to orange and even purple. The orange-fleshed variety was introduced to the United States several decades ago. In order to distinguish it from the white variety everyone was accustomed to, producers and shippers chose the English form of the African word “nyami” and labeled them “yams.” Sweet Potato Nutrition • VITAMIN A – Good for healthy skin and eyes • VITAMIN C- helps fight infections & heal sores. • MANGANESE help keep blood sugar normal • FIBER will keep you full longer • ANTIOXIDANTS helps with your heart and lowers your chance of getting cancer

  2. Sweet Potato Leaves • Sweet potato leaves are full of disease-fighting antioxidants. In total, they contain 15 different compounds that could help prevent heart disease, diabetes, infection and some types of cancer. • Although uncommon in the United States, sweet potato leaves have been used in Asian, African, Central and South American and Pacific Island recipes for years. • In Asian cultures the leaves are stir fried with garlic and soy sauce and served over rice, or mixed into soups. In the Philippines, leaves are eaten fresh in salads. They can also be a good substitute for spinach in dishes. • Sweet potato leaves are best when cooked quickly, like in stir frying or steaming, so to not lose essential nutrients. Boiling the greens also works, but you may lose extra vitamins in the water. When making soup this is not a problem. Leaves are prone to wilt, so consume soon after purchase, Nutrition Facts: Vitamins A - Good for healthy eyes Vitamin C - helps heal the skin Riboflavin- helps with body growth Iron – helps carry oxygen to cells Fiber – keeps your full longer Antioxidants- fight diseases Low in calories

  3. Planting Instructions Site Selection Choose a site with full sun and well-drained soil. Planting Instructions Raise the planting bed 6 to 8 inches to make a ridge 1 foot or so wide. Set in rows that are 36 to 48 inches apart. Firm the soil and make a sunken hole around the plant. Water beds generously for a few days. Care Control weeds by hoeing or mulch the area 4 to 5 weeks after planting. Provide deep watering in hot dry periods to increase yields. Harvesting Sweet potato plants will keep growing as long as the weather stays warm.

  4. Sweet Potato Trivia • Sweet Potatoes have been around since prehistoric times. Some scientists believe that dinosaurs might have eaten these vegetables. • George Washington Carver was a scientist who developed 118 products from Sweet Potatoes! He used Sweet Potatoes to make glue for postage stamps and a starch for sizing cotton fabrics. • North Carolina leads all other states in Sweet Potato production, producing about 40% of the national supply.

  5. References • • • • • • •