Purple Sweet Potatoes, also commonly known as Purple Yam or Dioscorea alata in Latin is a species of a tuber. The color ranges from vivid-violet purple to a lavender purple. This species of potato has been naturalized in different continents such as South America, Australia, and Africa, as well as the South-eastern U.S. Because of this, it has many different names for each region it is grown in.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Order: Dioscoreales
- Family: Dioscoreaceae
- Genus: Dioscorea
- Species: D. alata
- Binomial Name: Dioscorea alata
Purple Sweet Potato Trivia
- Even though the vegetable is known for its purple color, it can also sometimes be white.
- This species of potato has been used by humans since ancient times.
- At the moment, the leading producer of Purple Sweet Potatoes is in West Africa
Purple Sweet Potato Buying Guide
Look to buy Purple Yams in farmer markets in your region if possible since they’re of the best quality. While choosing a perfect Purple Sweet Potato, know that they’re different from the firm regular ones. They should be moist with soft flesh making it an entirely different vegetable.
Purple Sweet Potato Production & Farming in Texas
It is known that the vegetable of Purple Sweet Potatoes can be grown in Texas but the variety was specifically bred for Hawaii and Okinawa. Professional growers of the purple yam implied that the vegetable requires plenty of water during hot weathers but it also likes sunny and warm conditions and also prefers healthy soil.
Even though the regular potato has one of the highest percentages of pesticide residues, the sweet potatoes have a considerably lower amount of pesticides.
The vegetable itself is one of the most main crops in Austronesian cultures. Some archeological evidence implies that it was first domesticated in the highlands of New Guinea around ten thousand years BP. It has been spread to Island Southeast Asia at around 4,000 years BP.
To grow these in Texas, you’re going to need a trellis to accommodate the potatoes. Lean the tips of the vines so that the trellis can support their growth. The vegetable should be watered deeply once a week. Harvest in late summer when the vine has stopped growing.
After they’ve been harvested, they’re placed in a cooler with around 60°F until the order comes for the right amount. Afterward, they’re placed in sanitizing water and they’re washed. They’re dried so no moisture remains on them. After the cleaning process, they’re placed in boxes by their grade and size before being shipped to the customers.
Enjoying Purple Sweet Potatoes
Even though they’re called sweet potatoes they’re used in many different dishes ranging from sweet to savory. Purple Yams can be boiled, fried, mashed, or baked. They can also be used in stews, stir-fries, and soups.
Just like with any other potato, Purple Yam shouldn’t be put in a refrigerator as it would expose it to moisture and create an unpleasant taste. Place them in a dark and dry place just like with regular potatoes, a basement or a garage would be an ideal option.
If you’re looking to make something delicious with a name that is catchy and will draw attention Purple Yam Jam is exactly what you need.
Boil the water in a large pot and place the potatoes in for about thirty minutes until the potatoes are tender. Cool, and drain them until they’re easier to handle. Melt butter on medium heat and stir in the milk. After that, add grated purple yam and reduce the heat to low. Stir it without stopping until the mixture is sticky for about thirty minutes. Pour in some more milk and stir for about 15 minutes before turning off the heat and placing it aside to cool off to room temperature.
Purple Yam is very rich in antioxidants which include anthocyanins and vitamin C. They help defend your body from free radicals, which are harmful molecules. The anthocyanin part of the antioxidants is a type of polyphenol antioxidant. Experts say that eating fruits that contain polyphenol regularly will reduce the risk of cancer in your organism.
Purple Yam also showed great results in a lab experiment because they reduce the blood pressure.
They are also a great source of vitamins A and C, iron, potassium, and calcium.
When Are Purple Sweet Potatoes in Season in Texas?
To find out when Purple Sweet Potatoes are in season in Texas, please check the seasonal chart below. Why is this important? We are rarely encouraged to think about the physical lengths our food travels before arriving on the market shelves. And all of this travel comes with a hefty environmental cost that is concealed from the consumer’s eye. One of the most salient benefits to eating seasonally is that you are effectively reducing your carbon footprint and supporting a more geographically sustainable food economy. Check other fruit and veg that’s in season in Texas now.