Guide to Hawaiian sweet potato, delicious recipes and health benefits
Purple sweet potatoes are fantastic to put into your diet and so tasty, healthy and filled with so many vitamins and minerals. Popular to eat around the islands, you can easily find sweet purple potatoes or more common Okinawan sweet potatoes at farmers markets, specialty food stores, roadside stands and even grocery stores around the islands. Used as a supplement and typical side dish, this nutritious food is used for both savory and sweet dishes around the islands and worth finding on the menu or making your own dish with the recipe samples below that are easy to follow and make.
HIstory of Hawaiian sweet purple potato
Hawaiian sweet potato or Uala or Uwala in Hawaiian is one of the essential canoe plants that were brought from the various Polynesian islands to Hawaii. The sweet potato were important canoe plants the early settlers to brought with them to Hawaii to grow and harvest quickly and supplement their meals with nutritious food to feed the settlers. Sweet Hawaiian potatoes were a large part of their daily diet on the islands, unfortunately the original sweet potato plants are not grown commercially anymore on the islands on a large scare. This has been replaced with the more popular to grow Okinawan sweet potato variety which is typically grown and sold all around the islands.
Purple sweet potato is also called a variety of other names
Hawaiian sweet potato
Okinawan sweet potato
What is purple sweet potato?
Prized for its purple flesh, this potato is typically white skin colored with the beautiful purple colored flesh unlike the sweet red potato with white flesh. The purple sweet is just slightly sweeter tasting but much dryer and starchier which requires more time to cook. The typical sweet purple potato in Hawaii is called Okinawan sweet potato that is cultivated in Japan and eventually made it to the islands. There is another unique Molokai sweet potato that is cultivated specifically in Molokai and developed in 1978 with purple skin.
Interesting fact: Hawaiian Sweet Potato is not part of the potato family. It is part of the morning glory family.
What are the health benefits to eating purple sweet potato
High in fibre and antioxidants and also considered a superfood, purple sweet potato contains beta -carotene, vitamin C and potassium, anthocyain with dementia reducing antioxidants, anti-aging agents, maintaining brain health and reduces heart disease.
The skin is also full of nutrients and vitamins and is also edible. Anthocyain is what makes the sweet potato is famous purple color.
Grow your own Hawaiian sweet potato
Growing Hawaiian sweet potato is relatively easy and carefree once you have the area and soil conditions set up which requires full sun and well drained soil. You can easily just buy a sweet potato at the local market and cut them up into two to three inch sections and place them in a cool area to sprout on their own and eventually plant them in the ground and spaced out in the garden. Although you can plant year round, spring is usually the best time when the winter rains have subsided. It takes about 4 to 6 months for the tubers to grow into a sizeable shape to harvest. You can tell when harvesting is ideal when the vines start to turn yellow and you can dig up the tubers.
How to cook with Purple sweet potato
Purple sweet potatoes can be cooked in the same fashion as yams and white potatoes but it takes a little longer to cook because of the dry flesh. You can steam, boil, roast and then mash, saute or create into casserole dishes as a main ingredient.
Mashed purple sweet potato
Bring a pot of water to boil with the sweet potato until soft and take out of the water and mash together like a regular potato
Steam purple sweet potato
A popular method to steam the potato with the skin on for a bout half an hour until the flesh is easy to poke and soft. You can eat the potato hot and fresh or used as an ingredient
Roasting purple sweet potato
Coat the skin with some olive oil and salt and roast for about 45 minutes and split open and eat or use as an ingredient.
Delicious recipes to try with your purple sweet potato
You definitely can steam, boil or roast your sweet potato easily and serve but if you want to take it up a notch and create some sensational foods using sweet potatoes, why not try these recipes.
Check out these fabulous and easy to follow recipes below with the key ingredient using sweet potatoes.
Purple Sweet Potato Fries
Baked Sweet Potato Chips
Sweet Potato Manju Recipe
Hawaiian Sweet Potato Mochi
Okinawan Sweet Potato Haupia Pie
Sweet Potato Pudding
Check out these other Hawaii Inspired foods and recipes
Conclusion on Hawaiian sweet potato
If you found some other delicious sweet potato recipes to try from this post, please share your experiences in the comments below for everyone to enjoy. Or even if you have any questions about visiting, I would be more than happy to answer them below.
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