All the recent talk about the increased cost of flour has led me to thinking about reducing the quantity of flour we eat to enjoy better health. We consume bread and or roti mostly for convenience. Why not try to switch out some of the flour we use and build better meals with other options which will sustain us for a longer period of time and provide us with better nutrition?
One favourite of mine that does just that are sweet potatoes. They are available all year round, they are highly nutritious, loaded with vitamins and minerals, and are high on the scale of low glycemic index starches. Sweet in flavour and starchy in nature, they are the perfect carbohydrate, satisfying both your taste and your appetite, breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Sweet potato salads are ideal for a lunch or dinner side. Sweet potato galettes or sweet potato cakes are ideal at breakfast time and the recipe for sweet potato and pumpkin loaf uses sweet potato flour and pumpkin, both powerhouses for great nutrition and big flavour.
They are available all year and will keep non-refrigerated for at least two weeks. They need no advance preparation; you can boil or roast them with the skin on.
So make them a part of your weekly meal preparation, because this is one locally available root crop that will never let you down.
Roasted pineapple and sweet potato salad with lime coriander dressing
1 lb sweet potatoes
½ medium sized pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into one inch chunks
1 cup mixed fresh herbs, basil, chives, chadon beni/cilantro or parsley
1 large red or green bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
Lime coriander dressing
1 tbs fresh lime juice
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic minced
1 tsp ground coriander
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients for the vinaigrette and set aside.
Boil or roast sweet potatoes until tender, drain, and cool. Peel and cut into one-inch cubes.
In a glass dish, place pineapple, toss with bitters and broil or grill pineapple for 10 minutes, turning frequently until slightly charred on the ends, remove and cool.
Combine herbs, peppers, pineapple and potatoes, toss with vinaigrette and season to taste with pepper and salt.
Chill. Serves 4 to 6
To roast Sweet Potatoes, wash, wrap in foil and place in a preheated
350F oven for about 40 to 50 minutes or until tender.
Sweet potato and pumpkin loaf with rosemary
1⅔ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sweet potato flour
1 tbs baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tbs chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ cup milk combined with 1/2 tsp white vinegar (let sit for 10 mins)
⅓ cup coconut oil
1 cup pureed pumpkin, uncooked
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350F
Grease and flour 9x5 inch tin
In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sweet potato flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, rosemary and black pepper.
Beat together eggs, add oil and milk.
Stir in pureed pumpkin.
Add this mixture to the flour mixture and stir in cheese.
Stir just until combined
Turn mixture into prepared tin.
Bake for 40 minutes until a wooden pick comes out clean.
Remove and cool.
Makes 1 loaf
Sweet potato cakes
2 lbs sweet potatoes
½ cup milk
¼ cup butter
⅓ cup chopped herbs
¼ tsp nutmeg
vegetable oil to fry
1 cup each bread crumbs and flour to dredge
Boil, peel and mash sweet potatoes
Warm milk with butter and add to potatoes mix well add herbs and nutmeg, season to taste with salt.
Beat egg and set aside.
Place the flour in one plate, and the breadcrumbs in another.
Form the potato into 2 inch balls, dredge in flour, shake off excess, then dip in egg and roll in crumbs, flatten and pan fry until golden.
Makes 6 to 8 cakes.
Sweet potato hash browns
This recipe uses left over sweet potatoes, simply peel and cut into tiny squares,
Chop some onion, garlic and pimentos, have ready some chopped chives and celery.
Heat oil in pan, add onion and garlic, and pimentos sauté add sweet potatoes; cook mashing then a little so that they come together. When they start to brown, add herbs and cook for a few minutes more, season with salt and pepper.