This is for my Lose 10 lbs by Christmas challenge for the Females 55+ Team.
I’m to blog about a vegetable I never heard of before and how to use it.
Purple Sweet Potatoes
Did you know that Okinawan sweet potatoes were highlighted by Dr. Oz as being one of the top Superfoods of 2010?
This vibrantly purple sweet potato, a locally grown staple of Hawaiian cuisine, is rich in flavor and packed with nutritional benefits. With Okinawan sweet potatoes in abundance at this time of year they make a refreshing break from the usual late Summer/Autumn fare.
The Okinawan sweet potato is not related to the potato but is actually in the morning glory family. Native to the Americas, it was brought to Japan sometime between 1492 and 1605. The hardy plant grew well in Japan and quickly became popular in a variety of Japanese dishes. When it eventually made its way to the Hawaiian Islands, brought by the Polynesians, the crop flourished in the rich volcanic soil.
Sweet potatoes of all varieties are high in vitamin A, vitamin C and manganese. They are also a good source of copper, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, potassium and iron. Sweet potatoes are known to improve blood sugar regulation and some studies have discovered significant antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. The primary nutritional benefit, and the one for which Okinawan sweet potatoes are especially prized, is their high antioxidant levels.
The antioxidant known as anthocyanin is the pigment which is responsible for the brilliant purple color of the flesh. It is the same pigment that gives blueberries, red grapes and red cabbage their color. Blueberries are well known for their high antioxidant levels, however, the Okinawan sweet potato actually has 150 percent more antioxidants than blueberries. Antioxidants help to guard against cardiovascular disease and cancer.
To try some variety to your meals you can make a nutritious change by having them in place of mashed potatoes. Here is a recipe link for: Okinawan Sweet Potato Manapua
You can try something very gourmet and fancy like: Stuffed Potato Appetizers (Bolognese Potatoes)
Or a new take on a hearty food like gnocchi (Italian are various thick, soft dumplings that may be made from various combinations of flour, semolina, ordinary wheat flour, flour and egg; flour, egg, and cheese; potato, or breadcrumbs, or similar ingredients.) Like this recipe: Purple Yam Gnocchi
Finally if you are the kind that really likes to put together unusual and delicious food you might want to amaze guests with a completely different kind of sweet potato pie—we’ll call it a fusion dessert or dish—the beautiful color will be its first wow-factor but the simplicity yet richness of the pie’s flavor combinations will have them begging for more and for the recipe: Asian-Fusion Purple Potato Pie (warning this one takes a lot of work)
Keep scrolling down its toward the bottom of the blog.
I like tuberous vegetables and nutritious sweet potatoes are one of my favorites. I had never heard of Purple or Okinawan Sweet Potatoes but purple is my favorite color so I now I’ll have to check them out.
Mostly you might look for them at local Asian Markets, (don’t be afraid to ask for Japanese Sweet Potatoes) but if not they can be purchased on line
Or at Amazon.com under the heading Purple or Okinawa Sweet Potatoes at the bottom of the first page.
Here are two offers I found there :
Stokes Purple® Sweet Potato
And: Fresh Purple Sweet Potatoes-2LBS
I also saw people on blogs that said they can sometimes be found at Whole Foods Markets.
Happy Adventuring! Kacey