Sweet potatoes are a favorite root vegetable for many cooks. But one common complaint from new sweet potato cooks is that the finished product can become too stringy and unpalatable.
If you’ve ever been frustrated by stringy sweet potatoes, don’t give up hope! You can keep them from being stringy by choosing the correct potato types and cooking methods.
In this article, I will discuss tips and methods that you can use to make sure your potatoes come out delicious and not stringy.
Sweet Potatoes and Stringy
These potatoes are a nutritious and delicious addition to any meal. They are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
However, when cooked improperly, they can become stringy.
The stringiness results from the sugars in them breaking down. When cooked incorrectly, these sugars can form long strands that give the potato a stringy texture.
This can happen if the potato is overcooked or cooked in water that has been overboiled. Fortunately, you can take steps to prevent stringiness.
Tips for Keeping Sweet Potatoes from Being Stringy
Choose the Right Sweet Potato
The first step to preventing being stringy is to choose a suitable variety. Look for firm, small- to medium-sized potatoes with smooth, unblemished skin.
Avoid large potatoes and those that are soft or have discolored spots, as these can be stringy.
- Soft ones are higher in sugar and moisture, and they’re the kind that is more likely to be stringy.
- Dry ones have less sugar and moisture, and they’re the kind that is less likely to be stringy.
Cook the Sweet Potatoes Properly
Reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Alternatively, steam the potatoes in a steamer basket over boiling water for 10-15 minutes or until tender.
Factors That Cause the Stringiness
Several factors can cause the potatoes to become stringy. These include overboiling the water, cooking the potatoes too long, and choosing a potato with high starch content.
- Overboiling: Overboiling the water can cause the starches in the potato to break down, resulting in a stringy texture. That is because boiling water breaks down the starches more quickly, which can cause them to become stringy.
- Cooking too long: They can become stringy if you cook them for too long. That is because the starches break down and form strings when exposed to heat for a prolonged period.
- High starch content: These potatoes high in starch are more likely to become stringy when cooked. Starch breaks down more quickly when heat exposure results in a stringy texture.
- Age of sweet potatoes: As the potatoes age, their starches break down more quickly when exposed to heat. Older potatoes are more likely to become stringy than younger potatoes.
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
This dish is a tasty and nutritious side dish.
Start by peeling the potatoes and cutting them into cubes. Reduce the heat and simmer until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Add butter, cream, or other ingredients for flavor if you’d like.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Roasting is another excellent way to enjoy without worrying about stringiness. To make roasted potatoes, preheat your oven to 375°F.
Peel the potatoes and cut them into cubes. Spread the potatoes onto a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and other seasonings, if desired. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until tender.
Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potato fries are a delicious and healthy snack. To make them without stringiness, start by preheating your oven to 400°F.
Peel the potatoes and cut them into thick strips. Spread the fries onto a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and other seasonings, if desired.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until tender. Enjoy your delicious, string-free sweet potato fries!
Sweet Potato Pie
Sweet potato pie is a classic dessert that can be enjoyed all year round. Start by preheating your oven to 350°F. Simmer until tender, about 15-20 minutes.
Use this mashed sweet potato in your favorite pie recipe.
What is the best way to cook sweet potatoes to avoid stringiness?
Baking, roasting, or grilling can help maintain their creaminess and avoid stringiness. If you must boil them, try boiling them whole and unpeeled, then peel and mash them after they’re cooked.
Are there any particular varieties of sweet potatoes that are less stringy than others?
Yes. Some varieties are naturally less stringy than others. Beauregard, Jewel, and Garnet are known to be less stringy and more creamy in texture. It’s a good idea to look for these varieties when purchasing.