For the longest time, I was confused with sweet potatoes and yams. When I was a kid, I wouldn’t dare eat a yam. Really, the only time I ever saw them was at Thanksgiving. My mom would make a candied casserole with canned yams. She’d layer brown sugar, marshmallows, and pecans all over those yams. For some reason, it never appealed to me.
So, when the sweet potato craze began I wasn’t about to jump on that bandwagon. I thought sweet potatoes and yams were the same vegetable. It took me a long time to even try a sweet potato, like years! Then I began to see recipes with sweet potatoes and the pictures of them looked really good. Then, I discovered that yams and sweet potatoes are not one and the same. Out the door went my association of a sweet potato with a Thanksgiving casserole.
At that point, I knew I had to find out what this craze was all about. I’d seen the nutritional differences and that was reason enough for me to want to try them.
Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamin A. This comes in the form beta-carotene, which you see in their orange color. They are also a great source of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.
Another positive aspect of sweet potatoes is they have a low glycemic score. This means your blood sugar doesn’t rise as quickly as compared to when you eat a white potato.
I still remember the first time I served sweet potatoes….everyone thought they were carrots! One bite and my husband loved them. The kids loved them. We were hooked! Since then, I have been trying sweet potatoes in all different types of ways.
This Roasted Sweet Potato Salad is one of my favorites. The potatoes are roasted with bacon, so they develop a nice caramelization and a smokey flavor. I toss these warm sweet potatoes with the bacon, green onions, and walnuts for a delicious flavor and texture combination. I love their beautiful color! I think they are the perfect side dish for any meat.
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 4 pieces uncured, natural bacon (I like Hormel)
- ¼ cup green onions, sliced
- ¼ cup walnuts, chopped
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place diced sweet potatoes on a sheet pan lined with foil.
- Toss potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place bacon strips on one side of the same pan.
- Roast for 20-25 minutes or until bacon is crisp.
- Place sweet potatoes in a serving bowl.
- Chop bacon into small pieces; sprinkle onto potatoes.
- Top with green onions and walnuts. Toss to combine.
- Serve warm.