Date posted: 08 August 2019
Sweet potatoes have recently been harvested from the Little Sprouts Kitchen Garden and some are huge!
Packed with nutrition and taste, sweet potatoes really are a "superfood" to add to your weekly meal plan. In the Little Sprouts Kitchen Garden, we aim to showcase the benefits of growing fresh, healthy produce, instilling healthy habits from a young age through our school program.
Let's explore a little more about this "wonder" vegetable:
- Sweet potatoes are in the Morning Glory family (Convolvulaceae) and not closely related to normal potatoes. Potatoes are in the Nightshade family (Solanaceae), along with tomatoes, capsicums and eggplants.
- The sweet potato is native to Central America and has been grown for hundreds of years. When Christopher Columbus made his voyage to the Americas in the 15th century, he found the sweet potato already being cultivated by the Native Americans. He brought the vegetable back to Europe, and traders consequently introduced the sweet potato to Asia.
- Sweet potato grows as a vine that runs horizontally on the ground. It can reach 15-30cm in height and 30cm-1.8m in length.
- Sweet potato is a rich source of dietary fibre, carbohydrates, vitamin A and antioxidants. It contains a decent amount of B group vitamins and minerals such as manganese and potassium. It is also low in sodium and has zero fat.
- When combined with lime juice, juice extracted from sweet potatoes can make many different colours of dyes, from purple to black, which are used in the textile industry.
- Despite its “sweet” label, sweet potatoes can be eaten by diabetics because of their low glycemic index. This means eating a sweet potato does not cause a sudden spike in blood sugar levels.
Try this recipe for a delicious snack:
Sweet Potato Muffin
3 cups mashed sweet potato (refer to below for instructions)
2 cups flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup sugar
¾ cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup ground flaxseed meal (optional)
- To prep the sweet potatoes (this can be done a day or so ahead if you want to break up the muffin-making process): Pierce the potatoes with a fork and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 200°C for approximately 45 minutes, or until the inside is soft when poked with a fork. Remove and let cool. When the potatoes are cool, peel off the skin and mash the sweet potato filling with a fork or masher until any big lumps are gone. Measure out 3 cups worth of filling.
- To make the muffins: In a large bowl combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and then add the sweet potato.
- Pour into muffin tins/cups. If using flaxseed, sprinkle on top of the muffins. Bake at 160°for approximately 30 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!