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Purple Sweet Potato Recipe

Today, we’re diving into a vibrant and nutritious twist on a classic comfort food with our Roasted Purple Sweet Potatoes With Cinnamon Honey Butter.

This post will also explain the various ways you can cook purple sweet potatoes from roasting to steaming to baking purple sweet potatoes in the air fryer. 

mashed purple sweet potato recipe on a white plate with honey butter drizzle
The deep color of purple sweet potatoes makes this recipe a show-stopper!

Bursting with vibrant color and packed with flavor, purple sweet potatoes are not only a feast for the eyes, but also a treat for your taste buds. Perfectly suited for any occasion, from a cozy family dinner to a festive holiday feast, they are sure to become a staple at your table!

Purple Sweet Potatoes Versus Traditional Sweet Potatoes

Purple sweet potatoes and regular sweet potatoes differ mainly in color and some aspects of nutritional content. Here are the primary differences:

  1. Color: The most obvious difference is the color. Purple sweet potatoes have a deep purple flesh due to a high concentration of anthocyanins, which are powerful antioxidants. Regular sweet potatoes, often referred to as orange sweet potatoes, have a bright orange color that comes from beta-carotene, another type of antioxidant.
  2. Nutritional Content:
    • Anthocyanins: Purple foods are rich in these antioxidants, which may provide anti-inflammatory health benefits and help protect against certain diseases, like heart disease.
    • Beta-carotene: Orange sweet potatoes are particularly high in beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A, essential for healthy vision, immune function, and skin health.
  3. Flavor and Texture: Purple sweet potatoes tend to have a denser, drier texture and a slightly different flavor profile compared to the creamier texture and sweeter taste of orange sweet potatoes.
  4. Cooking Uses: While both can be used interchangeably in recipes, the unique purple color of Japanese sweet potatoes makes them popular for adding visual appeal to dishes.
  5. Geographical Origin: Purple sweet potatoes, also called Okinawan sweet potatoes are often associated with specific regions, like Okinawa in Japan, and are used in traditional dishes there. Orange sweet potatoes are more widely grown and consumed across various cultures.

Overall, both types of sweet potatoes are considered whole foods, high in vitamin A and vitamin C, and below we’ll discuss the many ways they can be made into the perfect side dish.

a rack of uncooked purple sweet potatoes

​How To Select Purple Sweet Potatoes

The same rules used to select regular potatoes also apply to sweet potatoes. When selecting Japanese sweet potatoes at the grocery store look for firm potatoes without cracks or soft spots. 

Avoid sprouted or wrinkled potatoes, and do not buy from stores that refrigerate their sweet potatoes, as this can negatively impact their taste. 

How To Store Purple Sweet Potatoes

Purple potatoes should not be stored in the refrigerator as this will negatively impact their taste. The moisture and light in the refrigerator will cause the sweet potatoes to sprout, which converts their starches into sugars. 

A dark, cool place like the lowest shelf in your pantry is ideal. Do not store them in the plastic bag from the produce section, but remove them so that they are well-ventilated. Okinawan purple sweet potatoes will remain fresh for up to one month if properly stored. 

How Long to Roast A Purple Sweet Potato

Roasted Purple Sweet Potato Recipe Cooking Time:

Standard Oven: 350° for 40 minutes to 1 hour, depending on size

Air Fryer: 385° for 30 minutes

Pro Tip: Roasting potatoes is the best cooking method to make any type of mashed potato (even white potatoes) because it avoids excess water, ensuring a creamy texture and retaining the most nutrients.

Baked Purple Sweet Potato Instructions

Baking a purple sweet potato is simple and similar to baking regular sweet potatoes. Here’s a straightforward method to do it:

Ingredients

  • Purple sweet potatoes (as many as you’d like to bake)
  • Olive oil (optional)
  • Salt (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven: Set your oven to 350°F 
  2. Prepare the sweet potatoes:
    • Wash the sweet potatoes thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris since the skin can be eaten if desired.
    • Pat them dry with a towel.
    • (Optional) You can rub the skins with a little olive oil and sprinkle them with salt for added flavor and a crispy skin.
  3. Poke holes: Use a fork to poke several holes in the sweet potatoes. This allows steam to escape and prevents them from bursting in the oven.
  4. Bake:
    • Place the sweet potatoes directly on the oven rack for a more even cook. You can place a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper on the rack below to catch any drips.
    • Bake for about 40-60 minutes. The exact time can vary based on the size of the sweet potatoes. They’re done when you can easily insert a fork or knife into the flesh with no resistance.
  5. Serve: Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven, let them cool slightly, and then split them open. 

How Long To Steam Purple Sweet Potatoes

Ideally, sweet potatoes should be steamed, not boiled, as boiling adds unnecessary moisture to the potatoes and leeches vitamins and minerals into the boiling water. 

In a simple steamer basket, steam 1/2 inch cubes for 7 minutes. Bigger chunks of sweet potato, such as a half of a sweet potato or quarters may be steamed for 9-10 minutes. 

Unless the cook prefers to peel the sweet potatoes, the flesh will easily detach from the peel throughout steaming. 

A pot full of mashed purple sweet potato and honey
Honey cinnamon butter drizzle tops the perfect potato side dish

Exciting Recipe Ideas To Dress Up Purple Sweet Potatoes

  • Top with your favorite baked potato ingredients such as butter, cinnamon, or even savory toppings like black beans, crispy chickpeas, fresh herbs, and sour cream
  • Peel the potatoes and cut them into planks to make sweet potato fries. Spritz with avocado oil and sprinkle with sea salt, roast at 425° until soft and cooked through
  • Purple yams can be sliced thin on a mandoline and fried in hot oil to make purple sweet potato chips, a great side dish with sandwiches and burgers
  • Substitute purple potatoes and make a purple sweet potato pie using your favorite sweet potato pie recipe
  • Rather than boiling sweet potatoes, steam 1/2 inch cubes for 7 min to retain the most nutritional value.
  • Turn leftover purple potatoes into sweet potato hash for a unique breakfast main dish
  • You can make purple hasselback sweet potatoes by slicing thin slices 2/3 of the way through the potato and roasting as usual
mashed purple sweet potato recipe on a white plate with honey butter drizzle
Yield: Serves 4-6

Purple Sweet Potato Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Purple Sweet Potatoes are roasted and whipped with cinnamon, honey, and butter for a decadent side dish you'll crave time and again!

Ingredients

To Roast The Sweet Potatoes

  • 2-3 large purple sweet potatoes

To Make Them Mashed

  • 6 tablespoons butter (can also use coconut milk or coconut oil)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons honey (or more to taste)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350° (or use the air fryer instructions above at 385°). 
  2. Wash the potatoes, and place on a baking sheet. Using a fork, poke holes along the potato so steam may escape.
  3. Place the potatoes in the oven and bake for 40 min to 1 hour, depending on the shape and size of your sweet potatoes.
  4. When the sweet potatoes are soft and cooked throughout (you can press with a fork to make sure they are soft throughout) remove from the oven and let the potatoes cool slightly. This will allow them to steam off their peels. 
  5. When they are cool enough to handle, remove the sweet potato peels by agitating the potato with a fork and paring knife, and the peels will puff up and peel off. Discard all of the peels in the garbage or compost. 
  6. ​Place all of the cooked purple sweet potato flesh into a bowl, followed by the butter, cinnamon, salt, and honey. 
  7. Using a large fork or potato masher, mash into a smooth consistency. If preferred, you can use a potato ricer to mash the purple sweet potatoes. 
  8. Stir well and season to taste. 

Notes

If preferred, you can use a potato ricer to mash the purple sweet potatoes. 

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 205Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 300mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 3gSugar: 12gProtein: 2g

This nutritional information is provided as a courtesy as an estimate only. Consult with a dietician for precise estimates. This website makes no claims that the nutritional values listed are accurate.

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