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How many of you guys watch those overhead square videos with the disembodied hands making food you think you’ll make but never do? Oh, yeah. I love ‘em. 

I saw one of them make “toast” out of sweet potato planks awhile back and thought, “No way. There’s no way that’ll work. It’ll ruin your toaster.” 

Well, of course, I tried it and even bought a $6 clearance toaster from HEB because c’mon guys. I have a pretty swanky Oster long-slice toast-o-matic that I wasn’t going to sacrifice for the cause. 

What I learned: 

  • Multiple bloggers suggested 1/4'' planks. Cut thinner if you can. This is a value-added opportunity for fresh-cut departments, I think, or maybe for those of you who have vegetable butchers on staff; 
  • Be careful when you cut these suckers. They’re starchy and unwieldy. I sliced my finger (not uncommon in my kitchen, unfortunately); 
  • Par-cook slabs in the microwave for a minute or two, and poke with a fork. This helps keep them from getting burnt edges; 
  • Although the bloggers said rotating too-large slices is fine, either use a long-slice toaster or choose the roundest, “toast-siziest” sweet potato you can find, or you’ll end up with a burnt middle and uncooked edges. 

After I did my initial toast test in the kitchen, I saw the folks on “The Chew” try it, too, and they pre-cooked their planks much longer — several minutes, compared with my one minute. That kind of kills the whole “toast” thing, though, if you ask me. 

This is a great opportunity to promote something fun and healthful, and it presents an incremental sales opportunity. I’ve seen this stuff topped with all kinds of things from avocado to peanut butter and bananas.  

 

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