Have you ever tried cutting a sweet potato only to end up with a workout for your biceps? Well, don’t sweat it, because we’ve got the lowdown on why sweet potatoes can be such a pain to slice and dice.
What’s the deal with sweet potatoes?
First of all, let’s clear something up – sweet potatoes aren’t actually potatoes. They’re a member of the morning glory family, which might explain why they can be so darn difficult to cut.
One reason sweet potatoes can be tough to slice is because of their dense flesh. Unlike regular potatoes, sweet potatoes have a thicker skin and flesh, which means more resistance when a knife comes into play. So if you want to slice them, you need to be prepared to put in some serious elbow grease.
How to make sweet potatoes easier to cut
Don’t worry, we’re not going to leave you hanging with sore arms forever. There are several tips and tricks you can use to make sweet potatoes easier to cut and prepare:
1. Microwave them first
One easy way to soften up sweet potatoes is to give them a quick blast in the microwave. Pop them in for around 5 minutes (depending on the size) and then let them cool for a few minutes before trying to cut them. This should make the flesh a little more pliable and easier to slice.
2. Use a sharp knife
When it comes to cutting anything, a sharp knife is always recommended. But with sweet potatoes, it’s even more important. A dull knife will just mash the flesh rather than slicing through it, making the whole process much harder than it needs to be. Keep your knives sharp and you’ll be cutting sweet potatoes like a pro in no time.
3. Cut them into smaller pieces
If all else fails, you can always try cutting your sweet potatoes into smaller pieces. Sure, it might not give you those picture-perfect wedges you were hoping for, but it’ll definitely make the cutting process a lot easier. Plus, smaller pieces cook faster, so there’s a silver lining.
Why do sweet potatoes turn black?
Have you ever peeled a sweet potato only to find that the flesh has turned an unappetizing shade of black? Don’t panic – this happens to the best of us. There are a few reasons why sweet potatoes can turn black:
Just like apples or avocados, sweet potatoes can oxidize when they’re exposed to air. This means that the flesh will turn black or brown when cut and left out for too long. To prevent this, try to cut your sweet potatoes as close to cooking time as possible, or store them in water until you’re ready to use them.
2. Iron content
Did you know that sweet potatoes are high in iron? While this is great news for anyone looking to up their iron intake, it can also cause the flesh to turn black. This is because iron reacts with enzymes in the sweet potato, which can cause discoloration. To prevent this, try soaking your sweet potatoes in lemon juice or vinegar before cooking.
How to prevent sweet potato discoloration
Now that we know why sweet potatoes can turn black, let’s look at how to prevent it:
1. Keep them in water
If you’re prepping sweet potatoes ahead of time, you can keep them in water to prevent oxidation. Simply slice them up and store them in a bowl of cold water until you’re ready to use them. You can also add a splash of lemon juice to the water to help prevent discoloration.
2. Cook them quickly
The longer sweet potatoes are exposed to air, the more prone they are to turning black. To prevent this, make sure you cook them as soon as possible after cutting. Roasting or baking sweet potatoes is a great option, as it can help to seal in the flesh and prevent discoloration.
3. Use lemon juice or vinegar
As mentioned earlier, lemon juice or vinegar can help prevent sweet potatoes from turning black. Simply soak your sliced sweet potatoes in a mixture of water and lemon juice or vinegar for around 30 minutes before cooking. This should help to keep the flesh looking bright and vibrant.
1. Can you eat sweet potatoes if they’ve turned black?
While it might not look appetizing, sweet potatoes that have turned black are still safe to eat. However, the flavor and texture might be affected, so it’s best to use them up as soon as possible.
2. Can you freeze sweet potatoes?
Yes, you can freeze sweet potatoes. Simply peel and chop them into your desired size, then place them in a freezer-safe bag or container. They will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months.
3. Are sweet potatoes healthier than regular potatoes?
In general, sweet potatoes are considered to be healthier than regular potatoes. They are lower in calories and carbs, and contain more fiber, vitamin A, and potassium. However, it’s always important to consider your individual dietary needs and preferences.
4. Can you eat sweet potato skin?
Absolutely! In fact, the skin of a sweet potato is packed with nutrients like fiber and potassium. Just make sure to give them a good scrub before cooking to remove any dirt or debris.
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Why Are Sweet Potatoes So Hard To Cut? – Prepared Cooks
Why Do Sweet Potatoes Turn Black? (And How To Prevent It
Why are sweet potatoes so hard to cut?. Why do sweet potatoes turn black? (and how to prevent it