Without question, one of my favorite local Hawaiian foods is the Purple Sweet Potato, known as ‘uala.
There are a quite a few different types of sweet potatoes found in Hawai’i, but one of the most common is the Okinawan purple sweet potato, which has a light beige skin and lavender to dark purple flesh. Mild in flavor, and lightly sweet, this fabulous superfood can be prepared in numerous ways and is a daily staple in my household. Homemade purple potato chips, purple hashbrowns, purple mashed potatoes with coconut milk, braised purple potatoes, purple potato samosas. There is a seemingly unending list of things that you can create with the excellent mild flavor that seems to blend well with both sweet and savory seasonings.
The Purple Sweet Potato, actually called an Okinawakan Sweet Potato (although originating in the Americas) is not truly a potato, but in fact a relative of the Morning Glory. In addition to being a culinary treat, purple sweet potatoes are excellent for your health. Extremely high in antioxidants, Vitamins A, B6 and C and a good source of potassium, copper and fiber.
Recent scientific study shows that the chemical that makes the potato purple is part of what makes it so good for us.
Anthocyanins have been epidemiologically associated with a reduced cancer risk, but the anti-cancer ability of the purple sweet potato has not been well investigated.
(…)Cyanidin and peonidin showed significant cell growth inhibition for the cancer cells, but there were no significant changes in the cell cycle. Lim said a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms in the Kansas-bred potato could provide scientific evidence of its health benefits.
Source: Science Daily Article Link
According to University of California article
A cup of cooked purple sweet potato has about 500 mg of this powerful antioxidant, says Stoddard, just shy of the amount in a cup of blueberries (600 mg).
Consider adding some color and nutrients to your recipe with purple sweet potatoes. If you cannot find them at your local supermarket, look for them at an Asian market or consider growing them yourself. They thrive in dry, warm climates and are quite easy to grow once established.
And some great recipes here