Did you know that sweet potatoes are grown from slips and not seeds? Slips are the stems and foliage that sprout from already grown sweet potatoes and need 85-120 days to grow as well as ample sun and warm soil.
This tropical plant is a member of the Morning Glory family (yes, the flower), sweet potatoes are known for their naturally sweet flavor and deep-orange flesh and a coppery skin. Above ground, the sweet potato develops creeping twining vines with pink or purple blossoms like those of the morning glory. Its thick starchy roots develop into the tubers we call “sweet potatoes”.
The orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are the most familiar, but sweet potatoes can be white, yellow, and even purple. Some varieties include Jewel, Stokes, and Beauregard.
Sweet potatoes are believed to originate from Central or South America around 5,000 years ago. After his first voyage to the Americas in 1492, Christopher Columbus took sweet potatoes back home to Europe.
Sweet potato is not really a potato; and, a yam and sweet potato are not the same. As a crop it is totally different from a potato (Solanum tuber-sum) and from a yam (Discoreaceae)
Sweet potatoes are very nutritious and have a very high content of Vitamin A and beta-carotene, also rich in Fiber, Vitamin C, potassium and manganese, magnesium and Iron.
Learning about the rich wonders of our everyday foods and how magical food from the earth is, makes us feel blessed for the everyday gifts of Mother Earth!