What’s a sweetpotato? (+ three sweetpotato chili)

DSC_0114picture courtesy of CA Sweetpotato Council

What’s the difference between a sweet potato and a sweetpotato?  Or better yet…did you know there WAS a difference?  Well you’re not alone – the various definitions have always been a bit fuzzy to me too.  Here’s some clarification from the California Sweetpotato Council: “What’s unique about California sweetpotatoes is that they are grown in soft sand and are hand sorted during harvest to minimize scarring and scratching. California sweetpotatoes are a ‘nutrition bang for the calorie buck’ with 4 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, a good source of vitamin C and more than a day’s worth of vitamin A, all for 105 calories per serving (1 medium size, cooked). Plus, they are available year-round.”

Sounds great to me!  Although all potatoes are higher in starch than many other vegetables, sweet potatoes and sweetpotatoes are also higher in fiber and beta-carotene (the vitamin A precursor) many times over, making them a more nutrient-dense – and more flavorful – choice.

Despite the fact that it’s October hasn’t registered with Mother Nature here in the mid-Atlantic region (it’s still hitting 90 in DC!), it’s time to start shifting our food selections to match the fall season.  And nothing is Fall-ier (more Fall-ish?  Fall like?) than chili.  Or sweet potatoes.  Or…sweetpotatoes.  This week all my recipes will be feature California Sweetpotatoes, courtesy of the CA Sweetpotato Council*, and I’m kicking things off with a twist on a classic American cold-weather staple: Three Sweetpotato Chili.

IMAG3011These are the three varieties I was sent – Covington, Diane, and O’Henry.

IMAG3016This is delicious – hearty and savory, with plenty of pure sweetpotato flavor, and bulked up with barley.  Most impressively, it only takes 10 minutes to make!  Well….10 minutes + 5 hours.  Enjoy this one-pot, one-spoon meal on a cozy day this fall!

Three Sweetpotato Chili

  • Three 6″ sweetpotatoes of different varieties (I used Covington, O’Henry, and Diane)
  • 1 onion
  • 15-oz canned black beans
  • 15-oz canned kidney or red beans
  • 24-oz diced canned or fresh tomatoes
  • 1 c barley (sub rice if gluten-free)
  • 2 Tbsp flour (sub cornstarch if gluten-free)
  • 4 c chicken broth (sub vegetable for vegetarian or vegan)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper (if you like spicy)
  • 12-oz sweet corn

Dice onion, garlic, and sweetpotatoes (leave skins on!).  Add with all other ingredients to a 6-qt slow cooker, mix to distribute evenly, and cook on high for 5 hours.  Serve with garnish of basil and dollop of plain greek yogurt.

IMAG3012 IMAG3014 before…IMAG3015 and after!IMAG3018

Check out other sweetpotato recipes here!

*I received free samples of California sweetpotatoes mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Sweetpotato Council and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

11 thoughts on “What’s a sweetpotato? (+ three sweetpotato chili)

  1. Sounds delish and I will make it. Concerning sweet potatoes, I like to baked mine whole in oven just like a regular baked potato. When done, I just split it open and add heaping tablespoons of my favorite homemade salsa. Salsa ingredients: about 8 plum tomatoes, 4 garlic cloves, I red onion, I red pepper (or any color you have on hand),2 jalapeno peppers seeded (medium size),I can rinsed and drained black beans, 2-3 cups of fresh or frozen corn, 1 bunch of cilantro chopped, and juice of 1-2 limes.. I use a food processor to chop( not too fine, you want some chunks) all ingredients except beans, corn, lime juice, and cilantro. Just mix and serve. Tastes even better after chilling and letting it sit a few hours. None of the measurements are exact, just make according to your own individual tastes (want it really hot…use big or more jalapenos).
    Fill hot sweet potato with lots of salsa and a side green salad, sometimes I add a small serving of haddock , flounder, or tilapia (grilled)….great meal!
    Keep the recipes coming, I love to learn new things about foods and ways to use them,

    • Jamie, thank you and I love your suggestion! Although I usually cheat on the “baking” and put mine in the microwave for 6-7 minutes. Sounds like salsa would give a similar flavor profile to a sweet potato chili…which = delicious!

  2. Pingback: What’s the Real Seal? (+sweetpotato & yogurt gnocchi with buttery sage) | WhyFoodWorks

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