Sweet potatoes are one of the healthiest of all vegetables, providing generous amounts of potassium, vitamins A, C, E and folic acid. They are a good source of complex carbohydrates, and with the peel left on, sweet potatoes provide plenty of healthy dietary fiber. While sweet potatoes are easy to prepare boiled, fried or grilled, baking is an easy method and retains much of the nutrients. Although aluminum foil isn't required for baking, foil is a good idea if you like softer skins, as the potatoes cook in their own steam.
Clean sweet potatoes when you're ready to use them. Until then, store the unwashed potatoes in your refrigerator.
Wash the potatoes under cool running water. Use a vegetable brush to remove soil.
Trim off bruised or damaged spots. Don't peel sweet potatoes because many nutrients are located in the skin.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Poke the sweet potatoes several times with a fork or the tip of a paring knife -- without a way for steam to escape, the potatoes may explode in your oven.
Wrap each sweet potato in aluminum foil. Twist the ends of the foil so the potato is sealed.
Place the wrapped sweet potatoes on a baking sheet. Bake the sweet potatoes for about an hour, or until the potato feels soft when you squeeze it.
Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven. Allow the potatoes to cool for a few minutes, and then remove the aluminum foil.
Serve the sweet potatoes hot. Top the potatoes with butter, salt and pepper. You can also top the potatoes with pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar or orange juice.