Did you notice that some sweet potatoes sprouted after being stored in a humid environment?
As with regular potatoes, sweet potatoes can sprout long sprouts – but are they inedible due to this change?
It is safe to eat sprouted sweet potatoes as long as you cook them properly. The sprouts can either be removed or consumed along with the potatoes since they add a delicious crunch and nutrition to the dish.
Below, discover what makes sprouted sweet potatoes so special!
In nature, sprouting is nature’s way of passing on the genome of the plant and ensuring the survival of its species.
People have been intervening and changing the way food crops grow for centuries, and sprouting can be controlled and manipulated in a variety of ways.
Changing humidity, temperature, and sun/wind exposure can have a significant impact on sprouting seeds and growing them to produce a high yield.
The abundance of nature explains why a sprouted seed can grow and produce multiple fruits and vegetables – which can further continue the cycle and produce even more crops!
There is a big difference between sprouting seeds and sprouting full-grown vegetables, so sprouting isn’t an exact science.
Did you know sweet potatoes don’t grow from seeds, but rather from mature sprouted sweet potatoes?
What is the process?
Sweet potatoes can be cut in half and dipped halfway in water, which will produce slips. The roots will grow from the bottom, and the shoots will grow from the top. Each halved or whole sweet potato will bear several sweet potatoes.
Daisy Creek Farms with Jag Singh has a great tutorial on YouTube for sprouting sweet potatoes.
Culinary Uses Of Sprouting
Is sprouting going to change the taste of sweet potatoes? No, it won’t!
The sweet potatoes will remain sweet. They won’t change in texture or flavor, nor will the sprouts. They have a similar sweet flavor and provide the same nutrients, though in smaller amounts.
The slips will develop roots at the bottom and edible leaves on top. When cooked, the leaves of this plant have a sweet, spinach-like flavor.
You can either grow sprouted vegetables at home or purchase them from your local supermarket if you are new to the culinary uses of sprouts.
The world consumes legumes, sprouted beans, radishes, and peas daily.
The majority of people prefer the texture of sprouted vegetables rather than the flavor of sprouted vegetables.
Sprouting radish, for example, will still have a mild peppery flavor, even after sprouting. However, it will have a completely new texture.
A sprout’s crunchy and crisp texture makes it indispensable in many cuisines, where it can enhance the overall texture of a dish in many ways.
Also, sweet potatoes offer a fantastic texture alongside the same delicious flavor, making them even more desirable and opening up new recipe possibilities.
But before you begin eating sprouted vegetables, you should understand a few things.
Are Sprouted Vegetables Safe?
For sweet potatoes, sprouts are completely safe to eat, but you can remove them if you don’t like the texture or don’t like sprouts.
There are people who avoid sprouts – not because they dislike them, but because they are afraid of them.
Some sprouted vegetables can pose a health risk. While most sprouts are safe to eat, some varieties produce inedible sprouts.
Sweet potatoes and regular potatoes are distant relatives. Both vegetables are referred to as “tuberous root vegetables” and come from separate families.
Remember that sprouted regular potatoes aren’t an invitation to eat them.
In other words, sprouted potatoes produce strong toxins that can cause digestive issues and even lead to serious health issues in the form of solanine, chaconine, and glycoalkaloids.
It isn’t so much that you shouldn’t eat them as it is that you should avoid them at all costs! Contact an expert or do your own thorough research on sprouted vegetables before making any dinner plans.
Sprouted Sweet Potatoes Precautions
Sweet potatoes are generally safe to eat, but there are a few precautions you should take.
While sprouted sweet potatoes are tender enough to be eaten raw, you should always cook them before eating them, as they may contain bacteria or other pathogens.
You can also snip off the sprouts and cook them separately after washing and cleaning the sweet potato.
Sweet potatoes that have begun to grow longer roots and leaves should not be consumed because they will provide better utility if used to grow more sweet potatoes!
When Not To Eat Sprouted Sweet Potatoes
Potatoes with a mushy exterior or visible fungal growth should not be eaten.
Before eating potatoes, note any discoloration, odor, or changes in texture.
In this case, the potatoes have gone bad and cannot be saved. Dispose of the potatoes in the garbage or compost them.
Despite these visual changes, the best way to tell if sweet potatoes are bad is to taste them. If you taste bitterness or sharpness in the flavor, this could indicate the potatoes have gone bad.
How To Sprout Sweet Potatoes
You can sprout sweet potatoes together with your loved ones as a fun experiment.
Here is what you need:
A mature sweet potato should fit in a clean large mason jar filled with tap water.
For the best results, we recommend using Japanese sweet potatoes. You can cut the vegetable in half or use it whole to sprout.
You need to dip the bottom of the potato in water. The bottom is the blunt end of the potato, while the top is usually the pointy end. The goal is not to submerge the whole potato. You can use toothpicks to create a barrier.
Change the water every 2-3 days and leave the potatoes undisturbed on the kitchen counter.
Move the sweet potatoes into a larger pot once their slips and roots start to grow longer, and continue to care for them until they begin to grow more sweet potatoes!
Until the whole potatoes sprout, cut them in half and submerge them halfway again – repeat the above steps until the sprouts appear.
As a result of sprouting sweet potatoes, you get a more crunchy texture as well as the same great taste! Here are some questions related to sprouting sweet potatoes:
Can sweet potato slips be eaten separately?
Sweet potato slips have little culinary value. While they are still delicious and provide a great crunchy texture, they are more valuable as a growing crop. Just plant them in a pot and keep growing!
Can sweet potatoes sprout automatically?
Under the right conditions, even stored sweet potatoes can sprout.
After some time, sweet potatoes that are stored in a dark and damp place in a humid environment are likely to sprout without additional water.
The sprouted sweet potatoes can either be eaten or nurtured by moving them into a pot.
Can sweet potatoes sprout in the fridge?
Sweet potatoes stored at 40-45°F will not sprout due to the cold temperatures and lack of indirect sunlight.
Sweet potatoes should be stored in a root cellar away from heat sources.
Sweet potatoes will last longer and remain fully edible even if they sprout, as well as preserving all of their natural flavor and texture.