This week’s veggie is the tasty plump purple sweet potato! Slightly sweet in taste, creamy in texture and highly nutritious, this root vegetable offers not only a spark of colour to any meal, but delicious flavours and a range of health benefits as well.
While there are a number of different varieties of the purple sweet potato, the Okinawan variant has been grown and shared by people for the longest time. It is thought to have originated in Central and South America, cultivated by the Aztecs, before it was brought over the seas to the Philippines and China in the 15th century. In the 1600’s it was planted in Okinawa in Japan – hence its current name – where it became incredibly popular. Eventually, it was brought over to Hawaii where it quickly became a loved staple ingredient.
Purple sweet potatoes can be stored and cooked in the same ways as their orange counterparts. Though their lifespan is somewhat shorter, the purple sweet potato will, like the orange sweet potato, last for longer when stored in a dry, cool place. Furthermore, while they are delicious in most recipes where you would normally use the orange sweet potato, they may require a longer cooking time. Delicious and warming as the cool weather sets in, the purple sweet potato can be part of your savoury winter stew or favourite casserole. Or they can be, in classic potato style, simply mashed.
Mashed Purple Sweet Potato
- 3 medium purple sweet potatoes, or more to taste
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 lime, juiced
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 190 degrees C.
- Poke holes all over potatoes with a fork. Arrange in a baking dish.
- Bake in preheated oven until potatoes are easily pierced with a knife, about 45 minutes.
- Cut potatoes in half, widthwise, on a cutting board. Scoop flesh into a mixing bowl. Add coconut milk, lime juice, salt and pepper to taste. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth.