The humble sweet potato is nutritious, high in fibre, filling and delicious. It can be boiled, fried and baked to make the most of its sweet flavour and binding texture. Although the white potato may be more popular, this root vegetable has its own health benefits - it is low in GI and each medium sweet potato delivers four times our daily vitamin A.
Although my family and I now live in Australia, we lived in New Zealand for a few years, where sweet potato was particularly popular. Kumara, as it is called there, was used a lot in Maori traditional cooking, as well as in a variety of ways for the home cook. Our family ate kumara every week and found these recipes, which we still use today...
Preheat oven to 200 degrees, fan-forced. Trim off the ends of the sweet potatoes and then chop them in half. Cut in half again and then cut into chip sizes. Put in a bowl and add the olive oil and smoked paprika and mix to combine. Lay out on a baking tray with baking paper, with plenty of room around each chip. Bake for 25 minutes, turning them halfway. Serve with parsley garnish, which also adds to the flavour.
Sweet Potato & Cinnamon Mini Muffins
Ingredients: 1 cup mashed sweet potato, 1/2 cup raw sugar, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup milk, 2 eggs, 1 cup plain flour, 1 cup oats, 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1 teaspoon vanilla essence. Topping: 1/3 cup raw sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 2 Tablespoons finely chopped walnuts.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Spray both a 24 hole and 12 hole mini muffin tin with canola oil spray. Whisk together sweet potato, sugar, oil, milk, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl. Add oats and flour. Whisk until well combined. Mix in cinnamon, mixed spice, ground ginger and baking powder. Spoon batter into mini muffin tin. Set aside. To make the topping, combine cinnamon, sugar and chopped walnuts. Top each muffin with a sprinkle of the topping mixture. Bake for 15 minutes. Makes 32. Eat warm - they don't last long!
Ingredients: 1 sweet potato (peeled, chopped), 425g tin of salmon (drained, bones removed), 2 eggs (whisked), 2 teaspoons red curry paste and 1/3 cup breadcrumbs (plus extra to roll).
Boil the sweet potato in water for 20 minutes until very soft. Drain the water and mash. Allow to cool. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and form into patties. Roll in the extra breadcrumbs and then fry in oil, for 4-5 minutes each side until browned.
Heat oil in a medium saucepan and add leek, garlic and Moroccan seasoning. Stir until leek is cooked and soft. Add the sweet potato and stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes until the sweet potato is soft when you cut with a knife. Stir in the beans. Remove from heat and blitz with the hand blender. Add cracked pepper to taste. Stir through 1 Tablespoon of the coriander and decorate the top of the soup with the other 1 Tablespoon coriander.
Do you love sweet potato, or kumara? It really is an under-used vegetable that is good for you and tasty at the same time. Which recipe will you try this weekend?