SOS Kitchen Challenge for November

Oh, I am so sneaky!

You see, even though Kim and I had chosen our SOS (Sweet or Savory) Kitchen Challenge key ingredient a week ago, I wanted to suss out the general response to this food before posting, just for fun.  So I posed a question on my DDD Facebook page, asking y’all what was your favorite root vegetable.  Secretly, I was hoping for our veggie to win out. . . and, in the course of our conversation over there, it became clear that the frontrunner was none other than our very choice for this month:



Yes, my friends, the ever versatile sweet potato is our SOS key ingredient this month! Oh, so sneaky.  But also, delicious. 😉

Do you love sweet potatoes as much as Kim and I do?  They really are the Phillip Seymour Hoffman of root veggies: aside from being ubiquitous on food blogs this time of year, they’re equally comfortable as your mild-mannered dinner companion, your spicy weekend fling, or your sweet chaperone for Sunday brunch.  Indeed, they’re the perfect ingredient for a sweet or savory challenge, since they straddle both flavors with aplomb.

And we’re not the only ones who love sweet potatoes here in North America.  These orange (and sometimes yellow, white, or purple) fleshed tubers are a staple in many types of cuisines, from African spicy stews to Chinese soup and steamed buns to Japanese tempura–and let’s not forget our own favorite candied sweet potatoes and the ever-popular sweet potato fries.  I’ve written about these orange gems before, when I devoted an entire “Lucky Comestible” series to them on this very blog; that’s how much I love them!

One theory states that sweet potatoes, originating between Mexico and Venezuela, were cultivated as early as 2500 BC.  They also existed early on in Polynesia, where they’re called kumara (which is also the Maori name used in both New Zealand and Australia, as I found out from my friend Johanna’s blog). Nowadays, sweet potatoes are cultivated anywhere it’s warm enough to support the crop, but most crops originate in China; in North America, the leading producer of sweet potatoes is North Carolina. Go figure!

Aside from their delicate flavor and culinary versatility, sweet potatoes are nutritional superstars. Their high fiber content makes them a great source of complex carbohydrates. They’re also extremely high in beta carotene (converted to Vitamin A in the body) and vitamin C; with good quantities of iron and calcium (about 10% and 3.5% of the daily requirement, respectively, per serving). For vegans (hey–just like all 556 of us participating in Vegan MoFo this month!), they offer up  3 g of protein per medium root, which will give you a good head start on your daily quota.

In fact, in a 1992 study by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), sweet potatoes were compared to a selection of other nutritious vegetables on a series of attributes, such as fiber content, vitamins, minerals, etc.–and sweet potatoes ranked Number One on the list.  And here’s a bonus: they are basically fat-free, rating low on the glycemic index and with only about 100 calories per serving!

No wonder we love the sweet spuds.

Interestingly, there is some controversy over what is and isn’t a true sweet potato.  In North America, we often use the terms “sweet potato” and “yam” interchangeably, but according to this site, true yams are a different vegetable entirely, and not even distantly related to sweet potatoes.

Whatever you call them, we want you to cook up some of your favorite dishes with these vibrant root veggies and submit them to the challenge this month!

And once again, there will be prizes!

Both Kim and I are giving something away this month: once all the entries are submitted and the linky is closed (at midnight CST on November 30th), we’ll pick two names at random. One reader will win a custom handcrafted jar cozy from Kim (perfect for those of us who like to tote our own drinks with us when we’re out and about!); and the other will receive a package (pdf file) with both my ebooks, Anti-Candida Feast and Desserts without Compromise.  (And. . . you may just find a sweet-potato based recipe or two within their pages!) 😉

To enter the challenge, simply cook up a new recipe–either sweet OR savory (or both)–using sweet potatoes, following the usual SOS guidelines for ingredients and submission requirements.  Then submit it by linking up to your blog post with the linky tool, below.  Be sure to add a link to this page on your post, and if you wish, include the SOS Logo.

We look forward to more of your delicious, creative, enthusiastic entries this month!

~ Kim & Ricki


[Disclaimer: this post may contain affiliate links. If you buy using these links, at no cost to you, I will earn a small commission from the sale.]



  1. Love your pick this month, Ricki! 😀
    I already know what I want to make, awesome!

  2. NIce. I did guess it was sweet potato! Excellent!

  3. I sweet potatoes!!

  4. YAY!!! I love sweet potatoes!

  5. Great pick for November! I’m going to try to put my thinking cap on and come up with something. I can’t always find sweet potatoes at the market, but if I do I’m going to get crazy!

  6. Good pick. I just prepared something with sweet potato today..will post it soon.

  7. Oh I love sweet potatoes but hardly ever buy them as I can’t bear the guilt – after all, we have plenty of cheap home-grown root vegetables in Finland while sweet potatoes are always pretty expensive and imported from far, far away. That said, I’m really tempted now, it’s been ages since I’ve had any…

  8. I must try and put something in because I too often forget to cook with sweet potatoes – I don’t think they are as common in Australia as in America but I agree with you they taste great

  9. I can’t believe you had to ask! November and/or December is when all of the sweet potato recipes start appearing. Now there will be even more inspiration. Thank you Ricki and Kim!!

  10. I love love love sweet potatoes. In fact, the recipe I was planning to post today included a sweet potato wrap, so I went ahead and submitted it to SOS as well 🙂

  11. Yay! Sweet potatoes! I have something tasty ready to go. I can’t wait to try out the new recipes that come out of this event. Thanks!

  12. Okay, a serious yah for sweet potatoes! So far I’ve only done one SOS challenge, but this one looks promising. Fingers crossed!

  13. YAY for sweet potatoes!! So many options for this month’s challenge! I already have a few sweet potato recipes bookmarked for MoFo…

  14. I have a kinda simple recipe that I veganized from a local restaurants dish. Maybe I will enter it. It was delicious.

  15. OK, I really will get smart with this Linky tool eventually. I didn’t realize that entering it on Ricki’s site would automatically propagate to Kim’s and/or the other way around. So now, *blush*, it is entered twice on BOTH sites.

  16. I posted my new sweet potato chocolate chip muffins! 🙂 They are very good, especially with my homemade gluten/dairy/sugar-free chocolate chips! 🙂 I used a slash in the recipe title because they would also work and be tasty with pumpkin! I hope everyone enjoys them! 🙂

  17. Love those sweet potatoes. Ever since I discovered how easy it is to steam them and chill them overnight, I always have them in the frig. Great for little snacky pick-me-ups, as well as in sandwiches like my Brown Rice Wrap in this months’ SOS challenge.

  18. of course i made a spelling mistake. to late to fix? drat


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