National Cook a Sweet Potato Day

National Cook a Sweet Potato Day is observed next on Tuesday, February 22nd, 2022 (86 days from today).

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National

National Cook a Sweet Potato Day is celebrated across the United States on February 22 every year. Despite the fact that soft, orange-colored sweet potatoes are commonly referred to as "sweet potatoes" in some parts of North America, sweet potatoes are just one of many varieties of sweet potato. Yams are different from sweet potatoes except in appearance. Yams are native to Africa and Asia and are typically more tart and drier. The sixth most important crop in the world is Sweet Potato. Sweet potatoes are very versatile and are often used in meals to reduce the amount of calories in food. They are delicious and an excellent source of various vitamins in food. Sweet potatoes are used for both culinary and non-cuisine purposes.

Origin of National Cook a Sweet Potato Day

There is no official origin of National Cook a Sweet Potato Day, however it is likely that different cultures have honored this food for centuries. In fact, sweet potatoes have been cultivated and enjoyed for thousands of years, as the origin and domestication of sweet potatoes is estimated to have occurred at least 5000 years ago.

When digging through the remains of an ancient Peruvian culture, researchers found the remains of sweet potatoes that may have been dated to around 8000 BC.

When introduced to Europe in the 16th century, sweet potatoes were automatically considered a delicacy and very expensive, which is especially strange given that it took the British 200 years (!) to start treating Irish potatoes as food.

To this day, sweet potatoes are a staple food in countries like Uganda and Rwanda, and they're also very popular in most of Asia, from Japan to Vietnam to India.

Central America or South America is believed to be the origin and domestication center of the sweet potato. It is said that sweet potatoes appeared at least 5,000 years ago. Ruins of Peruvian sweet potatoes dating back to 8,000 years BC have been found in South America.

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A, which helps support good vision, the immune system, and bone growth. Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin B-6, magnesium, and vitamin C.  It's also great for the skin.

While many Americans confuse sweet potatoes with yams, the two are different. Yam is a starchy root while sweet potato is actually a sweet root vegetable. Sweet potatoes also come in a variety of sizes and colors, ranging from pale to bright orange, white, and purple. High in fiber, low in fat and calories, and this root vegetable is a healthy alternative to snacks when prepared with no added butter, sugar or salt.

Unlike other potatoes, sweet potatoes enjoy a long growing season and hot sun. This may explain why it is the state vegetable of North Carolina.

When storing sweet potatoes, you should keep them in a cool, dry place. However, do not put them in the refrigerator unless they are already cooked. Refrigeration will make them bitter, ruining their sweet flavor. Chefs also find ways to experiment with sweet potatoes!

Observing National Cook a Sweet Potato Day

National Cook a Sweet Potato Day is an opportunity for us to realize the important contributions this vegetable has made to humanity.

Especially, we can cook a sweet potato by yourself, which is part of the fun of National Cook a Sweet Potato Day. Whether boiled, steamed, fried or prepared in other delicious dishes, sweet potatoes are healthy and delicious.

Sweet potatoes can be used in salads, pies, and soups. They can be used as a side dish or served as a main course when made into a stew. They can be combined with flour, yeast and other ingredients to make rolls, or they can be combined with eggs, sugar, and spices like cinnamon to make a delicious cake. There are even recipes for sweet potato quesadillas, sweet potato pudding, and sweet potato dips.

Here's a quick and easy recipe for some healthy chips and dips that will help you maintain New Year's resolutions and watch your waistline:

Ingredients: (serves 2 people)

  • 3 sweet potatoes, cut into "fries" about 1.5 inches
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup thick sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 clove of fresh garlic, minced

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Cut sweet potatoes into fries and place on a baking tray lined with foil. Mix well with olive oil. Place the basil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and sprinkle the mixture over the fries. Bake until golden, about 45 minutes. In another bowl, mix the mayonnaise and sour cream, garlic, and lemon juice, and stir. When the fried sweet potatoes come out of the oven, serve with garlic sauce for dipping.

All in all, National Cook a Sweet Potato Day could very well be one of the most “sweet” celebrations around!

Observed

National Cook a Sweet Potato Day has been observed annually on February 22nd.

Dates

Saturday, February 22nd, 2020

Monday, February 22nd, 2021

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2022

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2023

Thursday, February 22nd, 2024

Also on Tuesday, February 22nd, 2022