Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a Hampshire garden. I've been growing veggies since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Some traditional varieties and old favourites as well as new ideas. I share my garden with my allotment assistant Daisy the Labrador. On Twitter as @MatronsVeggies

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Growing Purple Sweet Potatoes

 I just love these!  I first heard about these purple sweet potatoes from a family member who lives in Hawaii.  They knew them as the Okinawa sweet potato (originally from Japan). This purple sweet potato was well known in Hawaii for making purple sweet potato pie - which is a little like our pumpkin pie.  I managed to find some in a Chinese supermarket in London, but I think they are really catching on here in the UK and you can find them in Waitrose as 'Stokes' purple sweet potato but they are seasonal and you can really only find them up till the end of April.
 Now these Japanese Okinawa purple sweet potatoes are being bred as 'Stokes' purple sweet potatoes and grown in the USA alongside their usual crop of sweet potatoes.  When you peel them they are just an amazing colour.  The cooked texture is quite dry with a high fibre content.  As with many other purple veggies they have a higher anthocyanin content.
 I usually steam them in a bag in the microwave so they don't lose too much taste and colour into cooking water. They have a wonderful, sweet flavour and really make a wonderful pumpkin pie, or just as an unusual vegetable to serve with a roast dinner.  You could steam and then fry these slices of purple sweet potato.
 and it keeps its colour even when cooked.  I can most highly recommend trying some of these if you find them.  Some sweet potatoes have different skin colours but have a white or orange flesh, so make sure you find these purple ones. They are well worth the effort to source them.
And finally I have a couple of small purple sweet potatoes that have started to sprout!  I am going to try growing some slips.  These do NOT grow like ordinary potatoes, they are a completely different family of plants.  These sweet potatoes are related to bindweed or the columbine family.  They propagate from vegetative shoots or slips and not by planting a tuber.  I will keep you updated with my progress, but I will keep these shoots growing a bit bigger before planting them. More to follow.


At 10:09 AM, Blogger Mark Willis said...

Definitely more appealing to the eye than the usual types of Sweet Potato!

At 9:40 PM, Blogger Richard Lewis said...

Definitely interested to see you you grow them and how they turn out.

At 4:29 PM, Anonymous Heather~FurnishMyWay said...

I will admit to not being a lover of potatoes. It doesn't seem to matter how they're cooked (baked, mashed, au gratin, etc... french fries being the one exception), I just can't get past the texture. However, these purple potatoes look so interesting! Are they similar in texture to regular potatoes?

Also, I cannot wait to see how these grow!

At 10:53 PM, Blogger Jennifer Edington said...

I did wonder if you can grow sweet potatoes. I'll have to give them a try. Veggie patch a bit of a disaster this year. Severe lack of time. Also not using slug pellets means the corvette plants have been munched. Trying beer traps which has helped.

At 10:18 PM, Blogger Novice Allotmenteer said...

Matron - I have a couple of Stokes Sweet potatoes that are sprouting & was going to try to grow them. Being a total novice I thought planting them like other potatoes was the way but clearly not. What is meant by slips, what should I do & how did you get on?

At 6:31 AM, Blogger Matron said...

Novice Allotmenteer - slips is just another name for 'cuttings' it is a piece of green stem with leaves that you plant.

At 1:58 PM, Anonymous Dee Ryder said...

I am great lover of sweet potatoes, especially for christmas dinner. i must say the photos of your labrador make me smile also.

At 8:13 PM, Blogger greene/Mary said...

Daughter gave me 3 of the Stoke's purple sweets. One is sprouting now (October), so the timing is not all that great. If I can keep the sprouts alive indoors using some heat an lights, I should be able to plant them out when the weather is warm enough. Good luck to everyone.

At 7:30 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Had them tonight they are definitely well worth it 😋


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