Today at the market, where I volunteer at the kids’ nutrition education table, the kids learned about sweet potatoes.
Apparently the orange fleshed yams are called sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes/yams also come in white and purple. Christopher Columbus brought them to Europe from Central America and there are records of them being around 10,000 years ago!
They’re rich in Vitamin A, in the form of beta carotene, as well as Vitamin C, B6, manganese, bone-building copper and heart-healthy fiber.
I purchased my wonderfully fresh sweet potatoes from Haystrom Farm, which is in Picton, Ontario (I just love Jim and Frankie!). They were so fresh that the skin was paper thin and you could actually scrape it off with a spoon, no potato peeler necessary!
I made dehydrated sweet potatoes for the kids to try…
a little mouse with the help of mother nature – I just cut out the ears!…
and of course, the sweet potato mash!
Sweet Potato Mash (SP = sweet potato)
4 cups diced and peeled sweet potato
1 cup apple juice (I juiced mine for my recipe but you can also use prepared apple juice, try to get a sugar-free juice)
2 small apples with skins on, cores removed and diced to a half inch dice
cinnamon to taste (you can also add fresh or powdered ginger or any other spice that you like)
1 tbsp coconut sugar (optional)
- Cook the sweet potato in a large pot with about 2 inches of water. Keep the lid on to help steam the SP.
- When the SPs are about 3/4 cooked (test with a fork, they’ll still be a bit firm), drain the water keeping the SP’s in the pot. (you can save this liquid – I sometimes let it cool for my dogs to drink or you can add it to your composter)
- With the SP’s still in the pot, add the apple juice and cook on low until the SP’s are soft. If the apple juice evaporates you can add more
- With an immersion blender or potato masher, mash the softened SP’s till smooth. It may become quite thick. You can again add more apple juice if you like. I added 1/2 water, 1/2 apple juice.
- Add the diced apple, cinnamon and coconuts sugar, stirring well to incorporate everything.
- Continue to heat on low until the diced apple is a little soft.
- You can keep the mash in a slow cooker to stay warm or spoon into a large dish to serve.
As I said, kids love this because of the natural sweetness the apples and apple juice bring to the dish – you don’t even have to add the coconut sugar. The kids at my table had second and third helpings!