Sweet potatoes, also known as yams, are one of the most nutritious foods in the world. They are one of the best sources of Beta-carotene – a powerful antioxidant – and are also high in other nutrients such as vitamin C and folate.
Cooking a sweet potato in the microwave is one of the quickest and most efficient methods of preparing this delicious vegetable while preserving those important nutrients.
How to Microwave Sweet Potatoes
- 2 Medium Sweet Potatoes (How long are sweet potatoes good for?)
- 2 Teaspoons Olive Oil or Butter
- Pinch of Cinnamon (Optional)
- Skill Level: Easy
- Serving Size: 1-2 people
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 5-8 mins
1. Clean Your Spuds!
Use a produce brush and cold running water to get rid of the dirt and loose skin.
2. Dry Your Sweet Potatoes
Blot the sweet potatoes dry using a serviette or paper towel.
3. Pierce To Let Steam Escape
Use a fork to pierce the sweet potatoes five times in different places. Piercing the potato allows steam to escape.
Fail to do this and your sweet potatoes will burst and splatter all over the inside of your microwave.
4. How Long To Microwave A Sweet Potato
Place the sweet potatoes on a microwave-safe dish.
- If you’re using a 1600-watt microwave, set the timer to cook for 5 minutes.
- If you’re using an 850-watt microwave, set the timer for 10 minutes.
- If you’re using a small microwave that has a lower wattage than 850, set the timer for 10 minutes, but pause at 5 minutes to rotate the sweet potatoes. This ensures they cook evenly on both sides.
5. Remove And Serve
Once the time is up, remove the sweet potatoes from the microwave and place them on a cutting board. The microwaved sweet potato will be extremely hot and should be handled with care. Using silicone cooking gloves is a great way to prevent burns.
Next, you can choose to do any of the following:
- a) Cut into each potato about five times to allow it to cool quickly. After both potatoes have cooled down, peel off the skin with a knife and then place the pieces on a plate.
- b) You can also place a whole sweet potato on a paper towel, rub it gently to loosen the skin, then place it on a plate and cut it up into smaller pieces. Use your hands to remove the rest of the skin.
- c) Hold a fork in your left hand and a knife in your right. Carve a large X into the sweet potatoes and then use a paper towel to open it up. Pour olive oil or butter and cinnamon on the split potatoes. Use the fork to mash the ingredients together with the flesh of the potatoes.
If you decide to go with either ‘a’ or ‘b’, serve the sweet potatoes with a hot beverage such as milk, tea or coffee. You can enjoy alternative ‘c’ as it is, using a fork or spoon.
Is It Bad To Cook A Sweet Potato In The Microwave?
When you microwave a sweet potato, it helps to preserve the nutrients that are often destroyed when using other cooking methods. According to IOWA University, 30 percent of vitamin C is lost using methods such as boiling, while 20 percent is lost when steaming.
Unlike other cooking methods, you do not need to spend lengthy amounts of time boiling water or preheating the oven to cook your potatoes.
Storing a microwaved sweet potato in the fridge and reheating it later could destroy all of those good nutrients, so it’s a better idea to prepare just enough for one meal.