Sweet Potatoes – Ipomoea batatas

The first recorded use of the name ‘Sweet potato’ is found in the Oxford English Dictionary of 1775. They are native to the tropics of South America, and were domesticated there at least 5000 years ago!

A leaf decoction was used in folk medicine for tumors of the mouth and throat. The roots can be eaten when processed by boiling, frying, or baking. In some tropical areas they are a staple food crop. Cherokee and Seminole used the tubers for food.

With a higher nutritional value than the white potato, the sweet potato has been found to be good for diabetes (in leaf tea form) and good for depression as well. It is high in Vitamins A, B, and C; also in iron, calcium, and phosphorus. It is in addition high in dietary fiber and complex carbohydrates!

In Hawaiian mythology Kamapua’a is the god of the Sweet Potato, he has a  pig-like snout, with which he roots up the tubers!

A twist on a Thanksgiving favorite from Paula Deen…

Sweet Potato Balls

 by Paula Deen


4 large sweet potatoes

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 teaspoon orange zest

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

2 cups shredded coconut, sweetened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 large marshmallow per potato ball


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake the potatoes until tender, then peel and mash them. Stir in the brown sugar, orange juice, zest, and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, toss the coconut with the sugar and cinnamon. Press mashed potatoes around each marshmallow, creating a 2 to 3-inch diameter ball. Roll the balls in the coconut mixture. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Watch carefully for the last few minutes of cooking; the expanding marshmallows can cause the potato balls to burst open

Yield 4 – 6 servings

Cook Time: 20 min






Sweet Potato leaves

Sweet Potato leaves


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