Creamy sweet potato mash
Updated: Feb 9
I grow up in a small village in Belgium, practically on the farm or at least well within walking distance, my grandparents were milk farmers. That said, I grow up eating mainly boerenkost which translates to English "farm food".
Way throughout history and to date, there always has been an abundance of potatoes from where I come from, so we've been preparing this vegetable in all sorts of ways. The one and definite most favored way of using the potato was and still is, frying. The famous Belgian French fries which have a fascinating history but we'll get deeper into that another day.
Another great way of preparing the potato is by mashing them up with milk, butter and some nutmeg. Many times with additional veggies like carrot, spinach etc.
Usually I make potato mash on its own, with carrots, spinach or even with broccoli.
As much as I love the traditional recipes that bring me way back to childhood, I have a tendency of playing around with different ingredients and give the recipes my own personal touch.
Therefore I choose this time for the sweet potato which I never even knew it's existence of till I moved to Spain. It's not a typical Belgian vegetable, it's origin is from either Central or South America, then later got transported into New Zealand, China and so on till arriving in Europe.
"The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the bindweed or morning glory family, Convolvulaceae. Its large, starchy, sweet-tasting, tuberous roots are a root vegetable. The young leaves and shoots are sometimes eaten as greens."
Anyway I will not bother you any longer with history if you just came here for the recipe, in which case I am very please you arrived.
I always like to share what I create but I also find it interesting to go a little deeper into the origins of the food I am handling, do some research and learn something new.
Ingredients for this creamy sweet potato mash:
* 1 large sweet potato
* 3 to 4 cloves of minced garlic
* 1/2 cup of milk of choice
* 1 tbsp butter
* 2 tbsp Philadelphia cream cheese
* 1 tsp nutmeg
* some parmesan cheese
* salt and pepper
First you'll have to peel, wash and cut the potato into pieces 2x2cm I would say.
You can either cook your veggies or you can steam them, I prefer steaming.
Once ready, I add the rest of the ingredients and mash them till having a smooth texture.
Be careful adding the milk bit by bit to decide for yourself how you like it best.
This mash goes with nearly anything and is so rich in flavor, especially when adding the right amount the garlic.
It's the perfect side dish, a great way to give some color to your plate.
Something I found very interesting to learn about sweet potatoes;
"The genome of cultivated sweet potatoes contains sequences of DNA from Agrobacterium (now reclassified as Rhizobium), with genes actively expressed by the plants. The T-DNA transgenese were not observed in closely related wild relatives of the sweet potato. Studies indicated that the sweet potato genome evolved over millennia, with eventual domestication of the crop taking advantage of natural genetic modifications. These observations make sweet potatoes the first known example of a naturally transgenic food crop."
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