Lately we’ve been buying and eating lots of sweet potatoes. If the sweet potato had a Facebook page, I would “like” it. Why?
Easy. A sweet potato microwaves beautifully in about 4 minutes. From dusty hard tuber to orange deliciousness almost instantly.
Versatile. Sweet potato pie (I make mine with tofu instead of eggs and milk). Sweet potato pecan bread is delicious, and sweet potato-black bean chili brings raves from everyone. (Recipes for the pie, the bread, and the chili are posted below.) Then there’s sweet potato pancakes, fries, ravioli, apple-stuffed, mashed, praline-topped, and pudding. For starters.
Local. The sweet potato is grown all over the world wherever this is a temperate climate and sufficient water, but North Carolina grows more than 40% of the national sweet potato supply.
Healthy. Compared to other vegetables, the sweet potato ranks highest in nutritional value when considering fiber content, complex carbohydrates, protein, vitamins A and C, iron, and calcium.
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1 pound silken tofu
2 cups cooked sweet potatoes
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp ginger
¼ tsp cloves
Put all ingredients into a food processor and puree. Spoon into an uncooked pie shell. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.
Sweet Potato Pecan Bread This moist bread is low in fat and easy to make.
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mace
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
½ cup raisins
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup applesauce
4 tablespoons milk
1 cup cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
Grease bottom of a loaf pan approximately 9x5x3 inches. Stir together flour, baking powder, salt and spices in mixing bowl; stir in the sugar, pecans, and raisins or dates. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, applesauce, milk, and mashed sweet potatoes; stir to blend well. Add wet mixture to the dry ingredients and mix with a large spoon just until the mixture is moistened. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 325° for about 1 hour and 10 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan and continue cooling on wire rack.
Black Bean-Sweet Potato Chili. Perfect for the Super Bowl.
2 Tbs olive oil
2 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 64-ounce can low-sodium tomato juice
2 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon ground red pepper
2 15-oz cans peeled and diced tomatoes
3 large sweet potato, peeled, diced into 1/2″ pieces
2 can 15-oz black beans, drained, rinsed
¼ cup chopped cilantro
In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-low heat, add the onion and ¼ cup water. Cover pan and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and bell pepper with about ½ cup of the tomato juice. Cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, and cayenne; stir 1 minute. Then add the remaining tomato juice, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the black beans and simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and serve with corn chips or over rice.