Skip to main content

Sweet Potato

Originally written by Kimberly Cripps , former SDSU Extension Family & Community Health Field Specialist, with contributions by Megan Erickson, former SDSU Extension Nutrition Field Specialist, and Hope Kleine, former SDSU Extension Health Education Field Specialist.

Pick it!

  • Sometimes called a yam; long, tapered with smooth thin edible skin.
  • Choose firm, smooth roots with bright, evenly colored skins. Avoid holes or cuts, a source of decay.
  • Three medium sweet potatoes equals about 2 cups cooked mashed or a one-pound can.
  • Store in a cool, dry place. Do not refrigerate as it causes a hard-core and undesirable taste.
  • Boil, bake, microwave, mash or fry. Add to stir fry, soups, and casseroles.

Try it!

  • Scrub under running water just before cooking, dry, rub gently with oil, do not place in aluminum foil.
  • Bake: pierce, bake at 400 degrees F, 15 minutes on baking sheet, reduce to 375 degrees F, until soft.
  • Microwave: rinse, pierce, cook on high for 5-9 minutes. Let stand for 3 minutes.

Like it! Sweet Potato Oven Fries


  • 4 medium sweet potatoes
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 2 tablespoons canola or olive oil
  • Optional Seasonings:
    • Mix equal parts ground nutmeg and cinnamon or
    • Mix 1/8 teaspoon each paprika, garlic flakes and salt with a pinch of cayenne pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.
  2. Lightly spray a baking sheet with the nonstick vegetable oil spray.
  3. Rinse potatoes thoroughly and dry with a paper towel.
  4. Cut the potatoes into long strips about ½ inch thick.
  5. Put oil in a plastic bag. Add potatoes and toss to evenly coat with oil. You may add seasoning to the bag.
  6. Spread strips in a single layer on the baking sheet and place in preheated oven.
  7. Bake at 475 degrees F for 40 minutes, turning once.

Yield: 6 servings (10 fries each)

Nutrition Facts per Serving: Calories 110; Fat 4.5g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 95mg; Carbohydrates 15mg; Sugar 5g; Fiber 3g; Protein 1g

Source: University of Arkansas Extension

Program Materials

Colorful fact sheets, recipe cards and educational videos provide educators and families with fun, engaging tools to enhance any dietary curriculum in a variety of settings.

Quick resources are available in the fact sheets below. Download the zipped folder to use the lesson plan, sampling instructions, recipes and display materials in your educational program.