(Family Features) Colder, shorter days call for a little comfort. Cozying up with a hearty meal on brisk winter evenings can help fight off the chill while savoring your favorite flavors alongside the ones you love.

Avoid venturing into the cold for a trip to the store by turning to a pantry staple like sweet potatoes. As one of the most versatile veggies, they’re easy to add to various recipes while enhancing both flavor and nutrition. Perfectly suitable for both simple and elevated dishes, they can be baked, microwaved, grilled, slow-cooked, or prepared on the stove so their sweet taste never goes out of style.

Their long shelf life – up to four weeks if stored properly in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area away from heat sources – means you can rely on sweet potatoes throughout the winter as an on-hand ingredient. Additionally, as a “diabetes superfood,” according to the American Diabetes Association, they’re rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber, all of which are good for overall health and may help prevent disease, making them a key source of nutrients during wintertime.

When your family needs a warm-up on those frosty days, put sweet potatoes at the center of mealtime (with an added kick) in this Jalapeno Sweetpotato Chowder. Loaded with the flavors of winter comfort, it’s a filling meal that makes enough for a crowd so no one goes hungry.

Visit ncsweetpotatoes.com to find more comforting meal ideas.

Jalapeno Sweetpotato Chowder

Recipe courtesy of the North Carolina SweetPotato Commission

Servings: 6

  • Two large North Carolina sweet potatoes baked
  • One small onion, 1/4-inch diced.
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1-quart chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups whole corn kernels
  • Two teaspoons minced jalapenos
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • One teaspoon salt
  • chopped scallions for garnish
  • Peel baked sweet potatoes; discard skin and puree.

In a soup pot, saute onion in butter until softened. Add pureed sweet potato and stock, as desired. Bring to a boil, reducing the liquid slightly.

Add chicken, corn, jalapenos, heavy cream, and salt. Simmer for 10 minutes.

To serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped scallions.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...

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