1.8 billion pounds. 

That’s how many sweet potatoes were grown last year by the major U.S. sweet potato-producing states, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. North Carolina led the way with 874 million pounds, followed by California (437 million pounds) and Mississippi (335 million pounds). 

We’ve increased our consumption of the healthful orange tuber over the years. In 1999, the average American consumed 3.7 pounds of sweet potatoes. Last year, we averaged 5.1 pounds per person, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service. 

We really should eat more. Sweet potatoes are a nutritional powerhouse. A half-cup serving contains only 90 calories, with no fat or cholesterol and only 35 mg sodium. This serving size delivers 3 g fiber, 2 g protein, 380% of your daily vitamin A requirement and 35% of your daily vitamin C requirement.

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I’ll focus on sweet potatoes over the next few days. Check out Bargain of the Week for shopping and preparation tips. In addition to the recipes already available on our organic blog (listed below), I’ll add some new ones for culinary inspiration.

Recipes for Your Thanksgiving Table

Year-Round Treats

Photo courtesy of the North Carolina SweetPotato Commission