October 17th, 2016

Sweet Roots

by Yael Ben-Chaim

Sweet potatoes are abundant at farmers market right now. These hearty and filling root vegetables can be seen at most vendor stands, nestled in baskets or sold individually. Though sweet potatoes grow best in warmer soils, with proper care, they can be planted and harvested during the winter season as well.

Sweet potatoes are native to Central America and can be found today in many countries, where different tastes bring out each potato variant’s flavor. Sweet potatoes are easy to grow and have a long shelf life. So stock up on those potatoes, and watch the amazing benefits they have on your body.

Sweet potatoes are a great source of Vitamin C. As we enter fall, eat sweet potatoes to prevent and ward off colds and flu! Vitamin C helps the skin to produce collagen, which can maintain youthful and healthy skin. Sweet potatoes are also full of Vitamin D, a critical vitamin for healthy and strong bones. Vitamin D also plays a role in our energy levels, moods, and hearts.

Sweet potatoes are a very versatile vegetable. Puree them for a soup, doss them in olive oil and throw them on the grill, put them in a pie, or bake them like russet or white potatoes.

Try this recipe for roasted sweet potatoes from AllRecipes.


  • 4 cups of sweet potatoes; diced
  • 1 sweet onion; cut into wedges
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic
  • 1 pinch of salt and black pepper


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
  • Mix sweet potatoes, sweet onion and garlic in a bowl. Drizzle olive oil over the mixture. Toss around.
  • Place sweet potato mixture in preheated oven, turning frequently. Allow sweet potatoes to turn a golden brown for about 30-35 minutes. When finished, drizzle with balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
About the Author Yael Ben-Chaim

Yael is a food-lover, interested in local food systems and farmers markets. Follow Yael's blog posts on farmer market produce, recipes, and nutrition information. Yael is an AmeriCorps VISTA at the Maryland Farmers Market Association and is developing a seasonal food education program for MDFMA.