Spices and Seasons – Sweet Potatoes

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Native Persimmon As autumn begins its swan song, my attention is shifts towards warm and comforting foods. Today was the last soccer game of the season and with the chilly weather, I am quite thrilled to take a break from hanging out in our beautiful parks and fields. In our house and kitchen, the is always sound of the pressure cooker singing and the silent smells and flavors of the slow cookers. Yes, I think after my posts about appetizers I might do something on one-dish stews.

The yard has all but died down, but there is still some quite action, some brocolli raab, beets and turnips that should hopefully last a few more days.  So, fittingly, my attention has been diverted to roots and winter squashes.  A vegetable that I had never been able to truly accepts until very recently was the sweet potato, which by the way is different from yams.

This year, I have accepted the sweet potato and in fact seem to have gotten quite hooked onto it. See, as I say, there is always a time for everything. In a few weeks, I realize that vegetables such as these will become the mainstay as they are in most seasonal diets in the Northeast.

Sweet Potatoes

Grated Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes are an ancient vegetable that is believed to be a native of the Americas and were cultivated and harvested by the Native American as well. The young greens of the sweet potato plant are also edible.

Sweet potatoes pack a generous amount of potassium and vitamin C and work well with a lot of the warming fragrant spices of Autumn and winter, such as fennel, ginger, cardamoms and saffron. I have not really been able to accept the sweet potato as a substitute for potatoes, but this year I have learnt to love them just for their own merits. As a general rule of thumb, their soft texture allows you to adapt them into recipes that you would use for potatoes, such as boiling, baking and stewing. Hopefully, you like them too, because like today’s recipe and a lot of others that I cobbled up this week, they have become a new favorite in our house.

 

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About Author

Rinku Bhattacharya, the Spices & Seasons blogger, loves meshing seasonal produce with fresh spices. Most of her recipes are inspired by her Indian heritage, and her cooking is practical, easy and well suited for a busy lifestyle on the go. As a mother with two young children, her recipes are also usually balanced and kid-friendly. Rinku is the author of the blog, Spice Chronicles (formerly,Cooking in Westchester), where she shares her life experiences and original recipes. Rinku is blessed with a gardener husband, who always surprises her with a prolific and fresh supply of produce to keep her creative instincts flowing. Rinku has been teaching recreational cooking classes for the past nine years. Rinku is the author of two cookbooks: The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles an award winning (Gourmand 2013) cookbook that highlights culture, memories and recipes from her childhood transformed where needed for her Lohud kitchen and Spices and Seasons that marries Indian flavors with local and seasonal produce. Rinku can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest and is also a contributor for Zester Daily.

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