Are sweet potatoes that are sprouting safe to eat?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question, “Are sweet potatoes that are sprouting safe to eat?”. We will discuss what makes sweet potatoes sprout and other common questions about sprouted sweet potatoes.

Are sweet potatoes that are sprouting safe to eat?

Yes, sprouting sweet potatoes are safe to eat. Sweet potato sprouts, unlike the sprouts usually emerging from a regular potato, are edible and they taste very delicious! They also have the same nutrient concentration as that of the sweet potatoes they eventually grow into.

You can either keep the plantlets on your sweet potato and cook them with them, or you can clip them off and utilize them to add crisp to a salad or a little spice to a stir fry. Sweet potato sprouts don’t have the same nutritional value as full-grown sweet potatoes, yet even these little shoots have some nutritional value.

What can you do with sweet potato sprouts?

  • If it’s too cold to send them outside at the incorrect time of year, save them by putting them in a damp potting medium and keeping it warm. Young sensitive leaves should develop after a few weeks, and you can either keep them until it’s able to plant out or use them to produce sweet potato greens
  • Cook these in the same manner as the other of your sweet potatoes, or split them off and toss them into salads for a wonderful crunch.
  • Even though sweet potato leaves are normally thrown, they are a tasty and nutritious portion of the plant. If the sweet potatoes are growing but you don’t want to replant them to produce new potatoes, you can use the sprouts to produce a delicious number of new leaves.
  • These could be used similarly to spinach, or they can be put in a salad, juiced, or simply chewed on their own. Sweet potato leaves are abundant in Vitamin C and B6, as well as other vitamins and minerals, making them an excellent source of nutrients.

What are the benefits of eating sweet potatoes?

  • Sweet potatoes with sprouts are high in beta carotene, a vitamin A precursor. This may aid in the protection of eye tissues from UV damage caused by the sun. It can aid in the prevention of vision loss, therefore enhancing eye health.
  • Sprouting sweet potatoes are high in vitamins and low in calories, making them ideal for weight loss. It also contains magnesium, which can aid in the reduction of stress and anxiety.
  • Because of its antioxidant characteristics, a serving of sprouting sweet potatoes can aid increase brain functioning and minimize memory loss.

How to make sweet potatoes sprout?

Sweet potatoes do not sprout from seeds. They grow from slips that arise from the tubers, just like their regular potato cousins. Sweet potatoes, like other plants, are frantic to reproduce and pass on their DNA for the following season. Standard potatoes will sprout on their own if left in the appropriate conditions for long enough, but sweet potatoes require a little extra support.

There are a few things you can do to encourage your sweet potato tubers to sprout if you have a taste for them. 

Keeping sweet potatoes in a cool environment, as you should if you want to keep them, will stop them from sprouting because they require heat to reproduce, so don’t keep them in the refrigerator!

  • You can enhance sprouting by leaving your sweet potatoes hot and in an area with a high humidity level. To assist sweet potato sprouts growing, keep the temperature about 70 degrees F and the humidity around 80 percent.
  • You may also assist your sweet potatoes to sprout to grow by placing them in a jam jar with enough water to cover the bottom half of the sweet potato. Keep it for roughly a month, or until small roots and slips begin to form.
  • You might also try putting your sweet potatoes inside a cabinet and ignoring them but, this is ineffective and will almost certainly result in a pile of mold where the sweet potatoes were once!

How to safely handle sweet potato sprouts?

Buying: Sweet potato greens should be washed and chopped in the same way as other leafy greens. Go for sweet potatoes having dark flesh and rich green leaves when purchasing sweet potato greens.

Storing: Wrap them in a wet paper towel before placing them in a ziplock bag with a few holes in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer. This will keep the greens fresh for a few days.

Cleaning: When cleaning the greens, use a small quantity of water. 

Preparing: There are many recipes to cook sweet potato leaves.

  • Remove the stems and rinse the leaves before chopping them into large parts.
  • In a pan, heat the oil (along with the water) and add the greens.
  • Simmer for 3-5 minutes, covered.
  • Remove the pan from the heat, strain, and serve right away.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question, “Are sweet potatoes that are sprouting safe to eat?”. We discussed what makes sweet potatoes sprout and other common questions about sprouted sweet potatoes.

If you have any questions or comments, please let us know.

References

https://nesfp.org/world-peas-food-hub/world-peas-csa/produce-recipes/sweet-potato-greens#:~:text=The%20 greens%20are%20edible%20 raw,climates%20of%20Peru%20and%20Ecuador.

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.