Monday, November 11, 2013

A Variety of Sweet Potatoes

I'm really hipped on sweet potatoes.  In addition to being delicious and healthy, they are easy to grow.  I've left some in my back yard food forest to see how they do as perennials.  Now I'm really excited about the different varieties available at our various organic markets.  I've seen at least six different varieties at New Leaf Market, Fresh Market, and Earth Fare, as well as other markets and the local farmers' markets.  I have seven varieties on my kitchen counter including those from my own garden.  I plan to slice and roast them to make a comparison.   I will grow slips from the ones I like the best for my next year's crop.  This year I grew Beauregard, which is the type usually found in groceries, as well as Garnets and Purples.  The Garnets came from slips I grew from the delicious sweet potatoes sold at New Leaf Market.  The purple ones were from slips I obtained at Just Fruits and Exotics.  Beauregard produced the most and the largest potatoes.  The Garnets and  Purples were smaller and did not have as many potatoes per plant. 

The purple potatoes were denser and not quite as sweet with a mealier texture.  They were best when boiled or roasted and then mashed with a flavoring syrup recommended by my sister.  It would be delicious with any variety of sweet potatoes. 

  6 to 8 oz. pineapple juice (or orange)
  Brown Sugar and/or Honey 
  Star Anise (about 3)
  Fresh Ginger or Crystalized Ginger
  Maybe some cinnamon and/or nutmeg
    (or use Japanese 5-spice powder in lieu of the other spices)
  Cook down until syrupy.  Remove solids.
  Add a little butter. Stir into your warm mashed sweet potatoes.

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