Sweet potatoes get their name from the high sugar content apart from the incredibly high nutrition in minerals, vitamins, and fiber. Sweet potatoes are a dish; they can be fried, baked, grilled, boiled, and even steamed. Sweet potatoes can also be paired with almost anything, and due to their subtle taste, they only add taste and flavor to any recipe, just like plain potatoes. You will find sweet potato on every nutrition diet, although the amount will be restricted due to high carbs and sugar. They are also extremely cheap, making them a good source of nutrition for every budget.
However, sometimes you may not have a single sweet potato and want to use a substitute that closely resembles the taste, texture and flavor to some degree. We have brought you quite a few alternatives that are not just healthy but also replicate the function of sweet potatoes in any recipe. Let’s get started.
Garnet potato look and feel very similar to sweet potato, and that’s why it’s a great substitute. It has a thin and light red-colored skin with orange flesh. While the taste and texture remain, garnet potatoes are sweeter than potatoes. So they should be used in moderation or can be used in excess if you are including them in sweet recipes and cut down on the use of artificial sugar.
The closest substitute for sweet potato will come from the potato family itself, and why not replace it with the ordinary white potato. It exhibits the same flavor and texture. The sweetness can be replaced by adding natural sweeteners like jaggery and honey or artificial ones like sugar.
Jewel Potatoes or Jewel Yams
Jewel potatoes look different with copper-colored skin and orange-colored flesh. They are interchangeable in any recipe. They need to be cooked to be consumed and become soft, tender, and slightly creamy when cooked. However, the taste is dull compared to sweet potatoes and will need some seasoning to be used in the recipe.
Note: You can also try other options from the potato family like the Yukon gold potatoes, Japanese gold potatoes, Russet potato, etc.
Pumpkin may feel out of place, but it has a rich and creamy texture that is softer than potatoes. Pumpkins can be used in any sweet dish recipe, including desserts, soups, salads, etc. They are less sweet than sweet potatoes and are an ideal replacement if the sweetness of sweet potatoes is too much for you.
If pumpkins can be a viable choice, so can the butternut squash. Any fruit from the squash family can be a suitable replacement as the texture is smooth and creamy, creamier than the typical sweet potato. Butternut squash is an equally healthy alternative with the added exception that it’s higher in carbs and sugar than sweet potatoes. If added calories are acceptable, they are versatile enough to use in soups, stews, etc.
While the name may appear strikingly different, it’s a Japanese vegetable that biologically belongs to the pumpkin family. Kabocha has a sweet taste, and it feels like a creamy sweet potato when cooked. Kabocha has a mild sweetness and can be used in recipes where you want to tone down the level of sweetness.
Please Note: You can use other options from the pumpkin family like the Spaghetti squash, Acorn squash, and others.
With the celery root, we are getting innovative with our substitutes. They look and taste almost similar to sweet potatoes, and as they grow underground, they exhibit the essential earthy flavor tones. They are very nutritious and can be used in any recipe.
Carrots have a more fibrous and crunchy texture than sweet potatoes; however, they taste and feel almost the same as sweet potatoes once cooked. Carrots are naturally sweet, and therefore, you may not have to add any additional sugar. They are highly nutritious, and carrot smoothies are a popular choice in any health food diet. Unlike many substitutes we are considering today, carrots can be consumed fresh. That makes them even more special.
This may be something you may not have heard of. Ube is also known as purple yam or greater yam. It’s a purple-colored starchy vegetable that grows on vines above ground. Do note that Ube looks like Purple sweet potatoes, but both come from biologically very different plants. Ube has a nutty flavor with hints of vanilla and pistachio, making them a great choice in desserts. Its delightful color makes it a good alternative that will improve the look of your salads, desserts, bakes, soups, and more. It is versatile enough to be replaced in all recipes. Ube cannot be eaten raw and needs to be thoroughly cooked. They can be boiled, grilled, fried, baked, and steamed, just like potatoes.
Parsnips are sweet root vegetables with earthy tones. The cream-colored skin and flesh replicate the look of sweet potatoes, while the sweetness closely resembles them. Just like carrots, parsnips can be consumed raw as well as cooked. Parsnips are sweeter than carrots, and so if you are looking for something naturally sweeter, parsnips are the one for you.
Beets and Golden Beets
While you can use beets as a viable substitute for sweet potatoes, golden score better as they lack the red color that will always leak into the preparation giving it a distinct red appearance, golden beets have a golden color. They are also sweeter than regular beets and sweet potatoes. They are an excellent natural sweetener for bakes, cakes, and dessert recipes.
Yuka is an excellent gluten-free vegetable that grows underground. It tastes almost like sweet potatoes with a sweet, soft, earthy, nutty flavor and smooth texture after cooking.
Yams are a commonly found root vegetable grown in the Caribbean and certain parts of Asia and Africa. They are less sweeter but have a similar taste and texture.
Plantains are called cooking bananas, whose sweetness depends on how ripe they are. They have a neutral flavor and a soft texture.
We have tried to give you as many options as possible to substitute sweet potato. Interestingly there are more substitutes available for sweet potatoes than any other vegetable. All the options we shared are easily available at any store around the globe and in any season. The options are also versatile, and each has its uniqueness. So practically, you will never be short of options. The best results come when you stick to some options from the potato family.