Sweet Potato – Vegetable of the week

I decided to ramble on about a Vegetable/Spice/Herb every week. They are my loves and I can be quite a nerd about them, so I hope you will enjoy reading about it as much as I like talking about it.
So this week’s Vegetable is….. drumroll….
~~Sweet Potato~~
(crowd cheers)

Three different Varieties of sweet potatoes on white --- Image by © 68/Ocean/Corbis

Three different Varieties of sweet potatoes on white — Image by © 68/Ocean/Corbis

Now, this is one of my favorite vegetables, so naturally I pick it for my first veggie of the week post. My favorite part about this vegetable is that it is considered a super food! There are a great variety of sweet potatoes out there. My favorite is the red skin and white flesh sweet potato. There is also the red skin yellow flesh. However, the Okinawan Purple sweet potato is the most gorgeous and wondrous thing I have come across in vegetable land. I grew up eating the white skin white flesh sweet potato but then I met the two I mentioned above and fell in love all over again.

Oh and before we get more into the wonders of sweet potato let me remind you that the orange flesh and orange skin YAM is a sweet potato. For some reason Americans refer to it as a Yam. Sweet potato and Yams are not the same thing either. I will post about Yams another time. I grew up eating those and they are much drier than a sweet potato. They are called Ube in Phillipnes and Kand or Ratalu in India.

Anyhow, so back to my sweet potato loves. The red skin white/yellow flesh one is the most commonly used one in my household. I buy it from the Korean market. I love just chopping it up and steaming it and adding it to dishes or pan frying slices of the tuber.

image courtesy justonecookbook.com

image courtesy justonecookbook.com

Daigaku Imo is a very delicious Japanese dish for these sweet potato with black sesame in a sweet and salty sauce. I personally prefer my sweet potatoes prepared savory. I will use it in place of potato since its much healthier. I enjoy the marriage of sweet and savory in the same dish. Find a good recipe of this dish at JustOneCookBook.com.

photo by lettucebehealthy.het

photo by lettucebehealthy.net

The Okinawan sweet potato is harder to find. I grab a bunch at the Korean or Japanese market when I see them. There are many varieties of purple sweet potato as well. I usually just steam or bake these and eat them as is since they are so flavorful. I have tried using them in a savory Indian potato dish and it was so delicious in it. I mean the color is just so gorgeous once cooked. The purple color is from flavonoids present in the tuber. These flavonoids are very good for your body. Anti-Inflammatory hence anti-cancer, antioxidants, antibacterial, helps against cardiovascular diseases, regulates blood sugar, helps against heavy metal poisoning when passing through digestive the tract and well I don’t need any other research to know that this is good for me.
Oh and I must mention it has beta carotine, Vitamin A, B and high in some critical minerals. It is said the best way to eat this is to steam and eat with a little bit of fat (preferably olive oil, coconut oil) for better absorption.
For further info please read up nutrition info on whfoods website.
I need to dabble into more recipes with these wonders of nature. I see a lot of desserts in the Asian bakeries but as I said before, I’d like to try my hand at making these beauties savory. But I just love them as is and don’t really try to get too complicated with them. They are delicious just steamed or roasted!

How do you eat your sweet potato?
Are there any herbs or vegetables or spices you would like me to talk about?

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