I challenge anyone who has trouble cooking, to give this one a try. The only way you can run into difficulty with this up is by forgetting to take it out of the oven. Though, even when sweet potatoes burn (which I've done), much of the potato will still be great to eat (by removing the skin, and any other extra caramelized parts).
I have used this way of making sweet potatoes since I was a broke student. Back then, this would be classified as one of the healthiest things I knew how to make (well). My favourite thing about this recipe is there is no added salt or oil, it is just a pure, delicious, healthy sweet potato!
I still make it often today, and love that I can always have cooked sweet potato on hand to add to my meals. Because it is so incredibly simple, it may seem silly to document how to do this. But, since someone had to show me (and I've used it so often), I'm sure it will benefit someone else. I hope you enjoy!
If you want to try this, here is what you need:
- Sweet potato (as many as you'd like to cook)
- Baking sheet / cookie sheet (anything flat and oven safe will work)
- Tin foil (optional - if you want easy clean up)
- Access to an oven
Step 1: Prepare Your Sweet Potato
Before you start on your potato, put your oven on to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190C) to warm up.
This prep is so fast that you're done before the oven is! There is no hassle with peeling or cutting as it will all be easy to do once baked.
There are 2 things you need to do to prepare your sweet potato:
- Wash the skin
- Lightly prick the skin with a fork (to allow steam to escape)
- Leaving the skin on the sweet potato while baking allows the potato to steam itself which is why you don't need to wrap it in tin foil. Pricking the skin helps to let steam escape.
- If you're in a rush and want to speed things along you can bake at a higher temperature if you wish, potatoes are generally pretty heat tolerant. Just be aware though, that once you get well the 400 degree Fahrenheit (about 200 C) range you might be killing some of the nutritional value / benefits of your foods.
Step 2: Bake Your Sweet Potato
- Next, put your prepared potato(es) on your baking sheet
- Put the baking sheet in the hot oven
- Start your timer for 45 minutes
- After 45 minutes is when I start to check on the potatoes, Using your fork from earlier, gently try prick the potato near the thickest part, if the fork goes in easily to the centre it is ready. If there is some resistance, you should put the timer on for longer (10-15 minutes) and check again.
- Once your potatoes are done, you can turn off your oven, remove your tray and carefully transfer your sweet potato to the plate (it will be hot!).
- Allow to cool slightly (this is a good time to and then peel the skin off if you prefer), and serve.
- Sweet potatoes come in a huge range of sizes - very large potatoes will take longer to cook, about 1 hour to an hour and 15 minutes, smaller potatoes may take slightly less time but would happily cook longer without a problem.
Step 3: Enjoy Your Sweet Potato!
Wondering what you can do with your sweet potato? I personally will happily eat sweet potato all by itself, but it goes very well with salt and pepper and a little bit of butter. I also prefer to remove the peel which it is extremely easy to once baked.
Some of my other favourite ways to enjoy sweet potato include:
- Serve it with eggs sunny side up. (Since sweet potato can be made in advance you can just slice it, and fry it up next to your next egg!)
- Add it to salads - Just cut it 1/3 of a sweet potato into cubes and toss it on your favourite green salad.
- Mashed! - Mashed sweet potato is like candy - you can add cinnamon and nutmeg for a real treat.
I hope you enjoy this versitile little potato - its packed with healthy vitamins, and is so tasty.
- Sweet potato keeps wonderfully in the fridge for 2-3 days (use the tin foil you baked on, to wrap it and keep it in the fridge)
- The peel on sweet potato will come off very easily once baked. Save yourself the time and don't peel until afterwards!