Everyone is familiar with the well loved sweet potato. But have you tried the seemingly elusive purple sweet potato? This has got to be one of my favorite varieties! Actually, there are a few varieties within the purple sweet potato category. So to be specific, I tend to favor Stokes Purple Sweet Potatoes. Their bright color is not only eye catching, but it offers us a hint of just how loaded they are with antioxidants. Another popular purple sweet potato is the Okinawan sweet potato. You can easily tell them apart from the color of their outer skin. The Stokes potatoes have a purplish skin, while the Okinawan potatoes have a beige skin. These are not to be confused with the Japanese Yam which have purple skin but are white on the inside.
Is the purple sweet potato really different than your standard sweet potato? Yes. Compared to other sweet potatoes and yams, you will notice its flavor and texture is favorably dryer, denser, and richer taste with well-balanced sweetness. Because it is drier, if you choose to bake them, do so at 350°F, which is a lower heat setting than your typical potato. Of course it will take you a bit longer to cook, so make note of that. You can also steam or boil these potatoes. They still retain their vibrant color all throughout the cooking process. So no matter which method you choose, you will end up with a gorgeous purple color. Since sweet potatoes have a shorter life span than traditional potatoes, buy them with a plan to use them in the near future. Store them in a cool, dry place and use within 1-2 weeks.
Let's talk health benefits. Studies have suggested that eating purple potatoes may lower blood pressure. This could be because of their effect on the capillaries and blood vessels, along with the high concentration of a phytochemical called chlorogenic acid, which has been linked to lower blood pressure. Another serious bonus is these pretty purple potatoes can help prevent thrombosis, which unfortunately is a leading cause of death throughout the world. As I previously mentioned, the purple potato contains chlorogenic acid. This acid has been shown to break down blood clots and inhibit the enzymatic activity of procoagulant proteins and peptides.
Many people struggle to get enough fiber in their diet. Maybe a little purple potato can help with that problem since it has a healthy high fiber content. Why is fiber so important? One of the biggest reasons is that it helps keep things moving along smoothly through your digestive system, which can help eliminate constipation, irregularity and discomfort. These potatoes contain insoluble fiber and that is fabulous news for us runners and endurance athletes. Insoluble fiber provides a sort of time-released effect that helps endurance athletes sustain high energy levels for an extended period of time. So forget about carb-loading on pasta. Switch to sweet potatoes for more health benefits as well as being easier to digest.
In addition to the ease of digestion, they also contain an ample load of potassium. This is beneficial for athletes of all types, in particular, due to the electrolytes it contains. The purple potato contains 341 milligrams of potassium per half cup serving, which is 10 percent of the daily recommended value. This may make the potato the perfect carb for athletes as it helps prevent low potassium levels.
If you are struggling to find these beautiful gems in your produce section, check out Frieda's website to find out the best place to find them in your area. So let's talk about this pudding. First off, when I say pudding, don't think I'm referring to that traditional chocolate pudding you ate as a kid. Although that was delicious at the time, this sweet potato pudding is nothing like that. It's by far superior! The list of ingredients is simple, yet they create a thick and creamy kind of magic. Full of nutrition and flavor, you could eat this pudding for breakfast! But no matter when you choose to enjoy it, I have no doubt it will quickly become one of your favorite sweet potatoes too!
1 & 1/2 pounds of purple sweet potatoes (2 packed cups, cooked)
2 Tbs pure maple syrup (or to taste)
1/2 to 3/4 cups full fat coconut milk (to reach your desired consistency)
2 Tbs cashew butter
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1. Peel and cook the sweet potatoes in boiling water for 10-15 minutes, or until fork tender.
2. Drain the sweet potatoes when done, and smash them down with a fork to tightly pack them. You should end up with about 2 cups.
3. Place the sweet potatoes and the rest of the ingredients into your high speed blender. Start with 1/2 cup of the milk and gradually add more as needed. Blend ingredients until smooth.
4. Divide into 4 servings. Top with your choice of ingredients such as unsweetened coconut, chopped nuts & seeds, fresh or dried fruit, coconut whipped cream, etc.
5. Enjoy this warm or cold. Both ways are delicious. Store any leftovers in an airtight container.