Boil until an inserted knife comes out easily. Rinse with cold water to cool enough to touch.
The skin will come off the easy ones with a vegetable peeler…
Some skins will come off just in your hands, and any and all woody parts should just be yanked off.
The flesh underneath will range from dark purple to white.
I made this batch of sweet potatoes with Maracuya (passion fruit).
If you cut it open like this…
It will all spill out, so…
Instead of cutting all the way, cut it open enough to pour out the contents (like an egg).
Pour the fruit into a sieve and strain to remove the seeds.
You will end up with (very sour) juice.
Here I added some brown sugar (with Stevia) and reduced…
I ended up with a thick syrup to add to the sweet potatoes.
Butter, a splash of chicken stock, and cream, and I am ready to…
Mash, mash, mash.
Add more cream as needed to get the consistency right.
Get them as smooth as you can by hand (or use an immersion blender). Taste and season.
Sweet potatoes are a wonderful food that many North Americans only think about around the holidays. The smooth yellow and orange varieties that many are used to, come from the behemoth sweet potato producer, China.
High up in the hills of the Andes (at least originally) the harder environment has yielded purple roots - both for potato’s and sweet potatoes, even though they are not related. Sweet potato is actually a Morning Glory. The sweet potatoes of South America (camote or batata are the Spanish terms, and seem to be interchangeable) tend to not only be purple, but more root like with their hard bark coverings.
The color and seeming woody texture have scared many away who are not familiar with this variation. With a few tips under your belt there is no reason to avoid this nutritional and delicious veggie.
The easy answer to the woody parts is to simply remove them. Below the tough exterior is a gooey center, just waiting to get out. Of course if you throw away half the sweet potato, you are going to end up with less than expected. Be prepared, buy twice as much as you think you need, and even if you don’t use them all, they cost so little it is not much of an issue.
Here is one of many ways to enjoy your sweet potatoes. I have doubled down on the Andean theme and have prepared smashed sweet potatoes with Maracuya (passion fruit). So, you get a quick primer on how to deal with this wonderful fruit as well.
Click on any image to see the entire step by step gallery.