Want a delicious way to improve your diet? Discover the great taste and super health benefits of purple sweet potatoes – and try one of these 57 recipes!
Ever heard of anthocyanins? The explanation is below, but it’s enough to know that’s what gives the flesh of these potatoes its glorious, vibrant color. Talk about kid friendly … when your little ones sit down to a plate of purple mashed potatoes, they’ll think you’re magic!
Read all about this delightful vegetable below, beginning with all the health benefits of purple sweet potatoes. That’s why you should eat them, but following that are more than 50 recipes to give you an idea of why you’ll want to eat them. Only question is, which will you try first?
Vitamins, Minerals & Antioxidants
This tasty veggie has so much going for it that it’s been called a super food. To begin with, it’s a good source of several vitamins and minerals, including:
- Vitamin A – important for vision, healthy skin, and reproduction; helps support your immune system; helps organs such as the heart and lungs work properly
- Manganese – aids in bone formation; required for processing protein, carbohydrates, and cholesterol
- Potassium – needed for virtually every function in your body; especially important for kidneys and heart, for nerves, and for muscle contraction
- Magnesium – helps maintain nerve and muscle function; supports immune system; helps regulate blood glucose levels; aids in production of energy and protein; important for bone health; may help control blood pressure
On top of that, purple sweet potatoes are loaded with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents. Inflammation is a normal reaction to various infections or injuries, but prolonged or “chronic” inflammation is a problem. Over time it may increase your risk of type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart and other diseases.
Of course, poor diet isn’t the only cause of inflammation. Other contributing factors can include lack of physical activity, lack of adequate sleep, stress, and toxins in the environment. Purple sweet potatoes can’t fix all that, but they do contain anti-inflammatory properties that may prove to be helpful.
As mentioned above, the vivid color of this veggie comes from anthocyanins, a phytochemical that is a powerful antioxidant. Research even indicates some promising anti-cancer properties.
You’ve probably read that antioxidants can play a role in balancing out the free radicals that may be found in your system. It’s one of the reasons that blueberries are considered a super food. Purple sweet potatoes may be even better. An article from the Dr. Oz show website states that purple sweet potatoes contain 150% more antioxidants than blueberries!
Purple Sweet Potatoes Are A Low-Energy-Dense Food
If you aren’t familiar with the term “low-energy-dense”, it refers to a food you can eat to stay fuller longer on fewer calories. Who doesn’t want/need that?!
Energy density is simply the amount of energy (measured by calories) in a specific portion of food (measured by weight). To do the math yourself on any food, just divide the total number of calories per serving by the total number of grams per serving.
High in Fiber and Why It Matters
Lots of low-energy-dense foods are high in fiber, and the purple sweet potato is no exception. A one-cup serving provides 5 grams of fiber. That includes both soluble and insoluble fiber, and some of the many health benefits include:
- Slows the rate of sugar absorption into bloodstream – This prevents spikes and sudden drops in glucose levels.
- Speeds up your intestines – Foods rich in fiber move through your system more quickly and help you feel full faster, which helps keep you from overeating.
- Provides natural cleansing – Fiber acts as a cleanser in the intestines to remove bacteria and help prevent colon cancer.
- Regulates digestion – Eating a diet with plenty of fiber helps prevent constipation and promote regular bowel movements.
- Helps prevent disease – A fiber-rich diet may help lower cholesterol and reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Now you know this vegetable is good for you, but what about taste? The good news is that purple sweet potatoes are delicious. They have a firmer flesh than the orange variety of sweet potatoes, and the taste is somewhat of a cross between the two.
As for cooking them, that’s easy because they’re so versatile. To get an idea, check out all the ideas in the recipe list below.
Purple Sweet Potato Recipes
This collection includes recipes for everything from sides to breads to soups to desserts. When you want to keep it super simple, try a plain baked purple sweet potato. Serve with a little sea salt or any toppings you enjoy on other types of baked potatoes.
- Mashed Purple Sweet Potatoes with Smokey Glazed Carrots
- Purple Sweet Potato Soup with Cashew Cream
- Dark Chocolate Purple Potato Coconut Butter Cups
- Beef and Butternut Skillet with Monterey Jack and Purple Sweet Potato Chips
- Blueberry and Purple Sweet Potato Popsicles
- Purple Sweet Potato Toast (3 ways)
- Socca Pizza with Purple Sweet Potato Hummus
- Purple Sweet Potato Muffins
- Japanese Purple Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls
- Purple Passion Hummus
- Mashed Paleo Purple Sweet Potatoes with Lime and Coconut
- Purple Sweet Potato Chia Seed Pudding
- Garlic Roasted Purple Sweet Potatoes
- Chinese Purple Sweet Potato Buns
- Purple Sweet Potato Bars with Homemade Marshmallows
- Grilled Purple Sweet Potatoes with Honey Yogurt Sauce
- Purple Sweet Potato Waffles
- Baked Purple Sweet Potato with Banana & Cherries
- Purple Sweet Potato Smoothie
- Roasted Purple Potato & Cauliflower Soup
- Tahini Mashed Purple Sweet Potatoes
- Purple Sweet Potato Grits
- Vegan Spiced Sweet Purple Potato Baked Oatmeal
- Purple Sweet Potato Pancake
- Purple Sweet Potato Croissants
- Chickpea Flour Tarts with Purple Sweet Potato Dip
- Purple Sweet Potato & Tahini Ice Cream
- Garden Cafe’s Coconut and Purple Sweet Potato Gratin
- Sweet Potato Breakfast Bars
- Okinawan Soup with Purple Sweet Potatoes
- Purple Sweet Potato Bread
- Savory Sweet Potato Stacks
- Hawaiian Purple Sweet Potato Pie with Coconut Topping (Haupia)
- Vanilla Purple Sweet Potato Pancakes (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
- Roasted Purple Sweet Potato and Beet Souffle
- Cardamom Mashed Purple Sweet Potatoes
- Purple Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Pistachio Mint Pesto
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Jackfruit with Basil Pesto
- Savory Vegan Mashed Purple Sweet Potatoes
- Purple Sweet Potato Chocolate Tart with Almond Cookie Crust
- Baked Balsamic Beet Purple Sweet Potato Chips
- Macadamian Milk Cream Cups (Pitaya & Purple Sweet Potato)
- Purple Sweet Potato and Kale Hash with Fried Eggs
- Flourless Purple Sweet Potato Brownies
- Vegan Purple Sweet Potato Pie
- Stokes Purple Sweet Potato Souffle
- Purple Sweet Potato Mochi (Vegan & Gluten-Free)
- Japanese Purple Sweet Potato Bun Recipe – Straight Dough Method
- Okinawan Potato Chip Recipe
- Purple Sweet Potato Ogura Cake
- Okinawan Sweet Potato Scones
- Purple Sweet Potato Tart
- Vegan Halloween Cupcake Monsters with Naturally Purple Frosting
- Haupia Sweet Potato Cheesecake
- Coconut & Purple Sweet Potato Ice Cream (Vegan)
- Broccoli Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Vegan Cheese Sauce
- Chickpea-Free Purple Sweet Potato Hummus Toast
You might also like…
National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements
Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School
CDC Low-Energy-Dense Foods and Weight Management
University of California San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital
SFGate: What Are the Health Benefits of an Okinawa Imo?
University Health News Daily