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HappyHealthy Newsletter: Potato

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Publication Number: P3407
View as PDF: P3407.pdf

Helping Mississippians live happier, healthier lives!

Sweet potatoes are a favorite holiday dish in the South, and Mississippi plants over 20,000 acres of sweet potatoes each year. Sweet potatoes are a great vegetable to add to any meal or snack. They can be prepared in a variety of ways, such as grilled, boiled, sautéed, steamed, microwaved, and served raw. Sweet potatoes are rich in nutrients that help keep us healthy. Use the following tips to prepare and serve sweet potatoes at your next meal!


  • When selecting sweet potatoes, look for small to medium size with firm, smooth, even-colored skin.
  • Avoid sweet potatoes with cracks, bruises, soft spots, or sprouting.
  • In Mississippi, purchase fresh sweet potatoes from August through November when they are less expensive and more available.
  • During the off-season, choose frozen or canned sweet potatoes to enjoy all year.


  • Store fresh sweet potatoes in a cool, dry, dark, and well-ventilated space. Properly stored sweet potatoes can last for several weeks.
  • Don’t store uncooked sweet potatoes in the refrigerator. This will cause a hard center and change the flavor.
  • Cooked sweet potatoes can be frozen for ten to twelve months or refrigerated for four to five days.


  • Wash under cool water and scrub with a vegetable brush just before using.
  • When baking whole sweet potatoes, leave the skin on and prick all over with a fork to allow steam to escape. The skin can be eaten and is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
  • For a quick side dish, peel and cube, then roast or cook on the stovetop.
  • To learn more about cutting sweet potatoes and other vegetables, visit HappyHealthy.MS and click on Tips and Videos.


Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Green Bean Packets

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, each cut in half lengthwise to make 4 pieces
  • 1­–2 sweet potatoes (depending on size), washed, peeled, and cut into thick slices
  • 1 14.5-ounce can green beans, drained (or frozen)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Wash your hands well with soap and hot water.
  3. Cut washed and peeled sweet potatoes in half long ways. Place flat side down. Cut into slices.
  4. Lay four large pieces of aluminum foil on your work surface. Lay them out flat.
  5. On one piece of foil, divide the sweet potato pieces and the green beans between packets.
  6. Put one piece of chicken on top of the vegetables.
  7. Sprinkle the Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and salt over the top of the chicken and veggies.
  8. Fold the foil up over the chicken and veggies. Fold the edges together to make a sealed packet.
  9. Repeat steps 4–7 for the other three pieces of foil. You will have four foil packets.
  10. Place the foil packets on a large baking sheet and place in the oven.
  11. Bake for 30–45 minutes, until the chicken is completely cooked.
  12. Check temperature of chicken with a meat thermometer. Make sure it is completely cooked. It should be 165ºF.
  13. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.


Roasted Red and Sweet Potatoes

  • 6 red potatoes
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  2. Wash your hands well with soap and hot water.
  3. Wash the potatoes under running water. Scrub off any dirt.
  4. Cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces.
  5. Spread the potato pieces onto a large baking sheet.
  6. Pour the oil over the potatoes.
  7. Mix them with your hands until the potatoes are covered with oil.
  8. Spread the potatoes into a single layer on the baking sheet.
  9. Put the baking sheet in the oven.
  10. Bake until the potatoes are brown and tender, about 25–30 minutes. Turn them twice while they are cooking.
  11. Serve the potatoes while they are hot.
  12. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.


Visit the HappyHealthy website.

Publication 3407 (12-19)

By Kelli Whitten, Regional Registered Dietitian, Extension Delta Region.

Mississippi State University is an equal opportunity institution.

Extension Service of Mississippi State University, cooperating with U.S. Department of Agriculture. Published in furtherance of Acts of Congress, May 8 and June 30, 1914. GARY B. JACKSON, Director

Department: Nutrition Education
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Portrait of Ms. Kelli L. Whitten
Regional Registered Dietitian

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