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February 22nd is National Cook a Sweet Potato Day

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If you're looking for something to do today then why not add some sweetness to your potatoes because it's National Cook a Sweet Potato Day!  Yams need love too!  Let's get right into celebrating National Cook a Sweet Potato Day!


Sweet potatoes get their own holiday because they're a tasty and sweet alternative to regular potatoes. Yep, that's it... they're just that good that people want to celebrate them! Now, in North America, they are called yams from time to time but... they're actually not yams.  Yams are from places like Africa, Asia or Latin America and they might look similar but if you slice one open you'll see that they're not. In fact, a true yam almost looks like a log in my opinion. But hey, I still call sweet potatoes yams from time to time... no biggie! Trust me, people will know what you're talking about if you still call them yams.

Sweet potatoes are known by their soft, orange insides that are a lot sweeter than a normal potato. They can also get a lot longer than a potato and have pointed ends. But in reality you can cook a sweet potato in every way that you cook a potato if you like. And lucky for you, that's part of today's celebration! It's not like you'd enjoy eating a raw sweet potato anyway.  Sweet potatoes, which are rich in vitamins, complex carbohydrates and fiber, are most commonly made into candied yams around Thanksgiving or Christmas. And yeah, that kind of cancels out a lot of the nutritional value but hey... it's delicious! But when you go to cook your sweet potatoes today, maybe you could try eating them in a way you never have before.


So how can you celebrate today?  Well, you can simply go out to eat and hope that they have something on their menu that includes sweet potatoes. It's a pretty common addition to some dishes but not every restaurant is going to serve them.  Or you could go the basic route, pick up a can of sweet potatoes and start simmering your candied yams. And hey, I wouldn't blame you one bit if you chose this option; I love candied yams! Or of course there is sweet potato pie.
But why not get a little creative? Pick up some fresh sweet potatoes and ponder for a moment as to how you can cook them. What potato dishes do you love that might actually be good if you swapped in sweet potatoes?  Sweet potato fries? They're actually pretty good. Sweet potato chips? They're pretty good too. Mashed sweet potatoes? Pretty dang awesome! Sweet potatoes with a pot roast? Made that last night; yum! Hmm but what about sweet potato hash browns... anyone? Or what about sweet potato bread? Has anyone made either of these? Maybe even sweet potatoes in some New England clam chowder?  You're really not limited at all on how you can celebrate today; make it a sweet one and don't forget to cook them first!

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