Perks of the Percolator
Here are 4 health reasons to stick with your caffeine routine.
I WAS BORN IN Vardaman, Mississippi, the self-proclaimed "Sweet Potato Capital of the World." Since my current home state of North Carolina grows far more sweet potatoes—about as much as Mississippi and the other top-producing states of California and Louisiana combined—it seems that Vardaman should consider relinquishing this title. Locals maintain, however, that what they lack in quantity, they make up for in quality. In fact, one Vardaman farmer recently reported that visiting farmers from North Carolina State University went home with Mason jars filled with soil to decipher the secret to the silky sweet taste and the smoother, tighter skin of Vardaman sweet potatoes.
It's true that sweet potatoes are about the only thing happening in my hometown of about 1,300 people. In Vardaman, sweet potatoes are not just an iconic Southern food but a network of ties to community, economics, and identity. The annual Sweet Potato Festival, held on the first Saturday in November, kicks off a weeklong celebration of the harvest with cooking contests, tasting booths with everything from sweet potato sausage balls to sweet potato bonbons, and, in true Southern fashion, a Sweet Potato Queen.
In my family, we do not limit sweet potatoes to the usual Thanksgiving pie and casserole. Our Sunday roasts are cooked with them too. Our biscuits are often orange. We do not eat carrot cake so much as sweet potato cake.
Trust me, then, when I say that sweet potatoes can be prepared in countless ways. They're best when roasted low and slow, which allows ample time for the starches to be converted to sugars that bubble and caramelize. Follow my grandmother's lead and bake as many as your oven will hold; then freeze or refrigerate them, and save and savor these leftovers for later.
Active | 15 min. Total | 3 hours, 15 min. Makes | 2 (9-inch)
Note: If your sweet potatoes are at all stringy—which can happen sometimes, especially with larger sweet potatoes—you will need to pass them through a food mill or sieve.
Active | 20 min. Total | 1 hour, 20 min. Serves | 12 (serving size: 4 sausage balls)
Note: Sausage balls can be frozen on baking sheet and transferred to ziplock plastic freezer bags for storage. Bake from frozen. (You may need to add 1 or 2 minutes to baking time.)
Active | 15 min. Total | Serves | 6 (serving size: 1 potato boat)
Active | 20 min. Total | 1 hour, 20 min. Serves | 16 (serving size: 1 slice)
Active | 20 min. Total | 55 min. Makes | 16 scones (serving size: 1 scone)
Here's all the food for a fit and happy 2017—savory breakfast waffles, homemade probiotics, satisfying steak dinners, super-nutritious brownies, and more.
Here's all the food for a fit and happy 2017—savory breakfast waffles, homemade probiotics, satisfying steak dinners, super-nutritious brownies, and more. Our expert editors offer easy-to-keep resolutions and smart strategies to reach peak health while savoring every delicious bite.
2016 was a great year in food trends: Poké went mainstream, Nordic sandwiches became all the rage, and just about everything was served in some form of bowl. So what are the amazing, hearty, healthy, and delicious dishes that are going to dominate next year? We’ve got them all here. And we hope you’re very, very hungry.