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.