Sweetpotato, more than a holiday side dish

Smothered in marshmallows, baked in pies, served mashed and roasted, sweetpotatoes have long been a staple of the holiday table. Across, the globe, however, sweetpotato is much more than holiday side dish, it’s a vitamin-packed powerhouse that is helping turn the tide on hidden hunger. As little as 125 grams of biofortified orange-fleshed sweetpotato offers enough of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A to meet the dietary needs of a child under 5. It is also rich in vitamin C, calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorous magnesium, and iron.

Vitamin A deficiency is one of the most pernicious forms of malnutrition, resulting in blindness, stunting, and early death. It affects more than 43 million children in Sub-Saharan Africa alone. The International Potato Center (CIP for its acronym in Spanish) works to develop biofortified varieties of orange-fleshed sweetpotato with the market preferred-traits farmers seek. As the sixth most important food crop in the world, sweetpotato offers a viable food-based solution to growing health and income.

This year as you prepare a holiday menu use some of our recipes to add a twist to your sweetpotato offerings. Take a bite out of sweetpotato and bite into health.

Orange-fleshed sweetpotato lassi

 Ingredients 

  • Natural yogurt 600ml (20 ounces)
  • 2 small orange-fleshed sweetpotatoes
  • 1/2 tsp. Cumin powder
  • 1/3 Cup honey
  • Small bunch of mint leaves

 Preparation:

  1. Wash the orange-fleshed sweetpotato, prick with a fork and microwave for 10 minutes or bake in the oven until soft.
  2. Cool and peel.
  3. Dice and blend with yogurt, cumin, mint, and honey, until it reaches a smooth consistency
  4. Pour into a large tumbler and serve with a sprig of mint.

Servings: 2

Orange-fleshed sweetpotato salad

 Ingredients: 

  • 2 medium orange-fleshed sweetpotatoes
  • I small ripe avocado
  • I red bell pepper
  • Dash of salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Lemon juice
  • Vegetable oil

 Preparation:

  1. Wash and dice the orange-fleshed sweetpotatoes. Season with salt and pepper and bake in a moderately hot oven for 40 -50 minutes until tender.
  2. Cool the sweet potatoes
  3. Cut the avocado and dip in a lemon juice -water solution
  4. Dice the bell pepper
  5. In a salad bowl mix all the ingredients and dress with lemon juice, vegetable oil and freshly ground black pepper.

Presentation: Serve layered with soft lettuce.

Servings: 2

Orange-fleshed sweetpotato, tomato, and apple soup

 Ingredients:

  • 3 medium sweetpotatoes
  • 1 tomato
  • 2 apples
  • 3/4 Cups orange juice
  • 1 ¼ Cups Water – 1onion
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • ½ tsp Ginger and garlic paste
  • 1 sprig Parsley
  • black pepper to taste

 Preparation:

  1. Clean and roughly chop the sweetpotatoes, apples, and tomato
  2. Chop the onions and sauté in butter.
  3. Add ginger garlic paste, sweetpotatoes and sauté briefly before adding apples and tomato.
  4. Add orange juice and water, bring to boil and simmer till cooked.
  5. Puree in a blender strain and serve.

Presentation:

Pour into bowls and add a dash of freshly ground black pepper, chopped parsley, and apples.

Orange-fleshed sweetpotato Shepherd’s pie

Ingredients: 

  • 5 medium orange-fleshed sweetpotatoes
  • 1 pound minced lamb
  • ½ cup milk
  • 3 ½ TBSP butter
  • 1 egg
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 big onion chopped
  • Ginger and garlic paste
  • 2 tomatoes (blended)
  • 1 celery stalk (finely chopped)
  • 1 carrot diced
  • ½ Cup garden peas (parboiled)
  • Oregano
  • Dash cinnamon powder

 Preparation:

  1.  Wash and boil the orange-fleshed sweetpotatoes until soft.
  2.  Add milk and butter and mash until creamy.
  3. Sauté onions until translucent, add celery and minced lamb.
  4.  Cook over rapid heat until browned.
  5. Add tomatoes and vegetables, season and simmer to a thick consistency.
  6.  In a baking dish alternately layer sweetpotato mash and lamb mince (sweetpotato-lamb -sweetpotato).
  7.  Egg wash and bake in a pre-heated oven until the surface is browned (30  minutes).

Presentation:

Cut out rectangular shapes lay on a plate accompanied by a garden salad.

Orange-fleshed sweetpotato semifreddo

Ingredients:

  • 1 sweetpotato
  • ¼ Cup cream liquor
  • 3 large egg whites
  • ½ liter heavy cream
  • ¼ Cup fine sugar

Preparation:

  1. Scrub sweetpotato clean. Prick with a fork all around and bake in an oven until soft.
  2. Peel the OFSP and puree it with cream liquor
  3. In a separate bowl whisk cream and sugar until it thickens.
  4. In a separate bowl beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  5. Fold egg whites and sweetpotato puree into the cream.
  6. Pour into a lined loaf pan and freeze for three hours.

Presentation:

Serve garnished with honeydew and grapes.

CIP is using orange-fleshed sweetpotato to work towards enhanced nutrition, health and wealth for the world’s poor with everything from food processing and commercialization to consumer education on nutrition and health.

These recipes were developed as part of the Feed the Future Kenya Accelerated Value Chain Development (AVCD) Program. With generous funding from USAID, CIP is working to reach 65,000 women and 54,000 children under five in Kenya on utilizing OFSP as part of a healthy diet.

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