When my dad was a boy in the early years after the Great Depression, he, his siblings and neighborhood kids had to create their own amusements and games. From sun-up to sundown, they built forts, played cowboys and made up all kinds of adventures.
One special treat was building a campfire and roasting sweet potatoes. When he told us about it when we were kids, we doubted how special that could really be. Treats for us were cookies or ice cream. But if they had ice cream, they made it themselves. If they wanted potato chips, they made them from sliced potatoes on a wood stove.
I often think about those fire-roasted sweet potatoes in the fall. Although I would have no idea how to roast them on a campfire, I love them right out of the oven, roasted in their crispy jackets.
My mom also makes sweet potatoes and apples, with a bit of brown sugar and cinnamon, rather than candied sweet potatoes, loaded with butter, brown sugar and maple syrup. Additionally, she mashes them with maple syrup and toasted pecans.
Another easy way to enjoy sweet potatoes is to slice them up, toss with olive oil and spices, and arrange them on a baking sheet coated with nonstick spray. Roast them at 425 degrees until they are tender, turning once through the baking process (about 20 minutes).
There are lots of easy ways to prepare sweet potatoes, which are rich in vitamin A and fiber. They can be a heart-healthy accompaniment to almost any meal.