As our yearly calendar comes to an end this week many people begin thinking about what they want to do in the new year. Here at Eat Like No One Else we are the same way. One of the issues I want to talk about more in 2013 is GMOs (genetically modified organisms) or GM foods. More and more research is being conducted that is showing the danger of these foods. Avoiding these foods, going back to the way God intended is very “Eat Like No One Else”. The majority of our population is eating these foods daily without a clue. So I wanted to begin my journey into bringing you more information on food that are non-GMO by starting with a food most of us have probably consumed over the holidays in some form of another – the sweet potato. Not just your everyday sweet potato, I am going to introduce you to the Stokes Purple Sweet Potato.

 

Reasons to Buy these Potatoes
1. That purple color means lots of antioxidants that are oh so good for our bodies.
2. A non-GMO variety that has been messed around with in a lab
3. Not overly sweet

I spotted these purple “cousins” to the spud during Thanksgiving season. They originated in North Carolina. The climate and soil where they are mostly grown around Hanging Rock State Park and the Sauratown Mountain range help produce a sweet potato of such unique color and with rich nutrients. They are also grown in California. Each state produced about 30 acres worth in 2012. They are distributed by Freda’s Produce and Stokes Foods. The ones I purchased had the Freda’s label on them. They have been in the wholesale specialty produce business for 50 years, based out of Orange County, California. They launched the Stokes Purple Sweet Potatoes nationwide for the first time this past Thanksgiving. Check out this cool video below from Freda’s about their newest addition.

As I mentioned these sweets had their origins in North Carolina. Stokes Food has the patent on the variety and name “Stokes Purple”. For more on that story here is another video for your viewing pleasure:

The flavor of the potato is outstanding, part of that is due to it’s more dry texture that leaves you will less water and more flavor. I think these characteristics make them an excellent choice for homemade sweet potatoes fries (check out my recipe). They also are not as sweet as other sweet potatoes, which I approve of. Unlike purple beans, these purple sweet potatoes don’t lose color when cooked in fact that purple color even intensifies as well as their health benefits. If you want to see their vivid color on full display trying making my Purple Sweet Potato Gnocchi.

I made them for the first time for Christmas dinner. I choose to steam them. I started steaming my sweet potatoes after watching an episode of Good Eats. Alton Brown said that while you can bake them that takes time and mutes their sweetness (probably why people decided to throw piles of brown sugar or marshmallows on them). Boiling is not a good option as sweet potatoes water log really fast. So steaming gets the job done fast without sacrificing the flavor or texture.

Steamed Purple Sweet Potatoes
 

Ingredients
  • 2 medium to large Stokes Purple Sweet Potatoes
  • 2-4 tablespoons butter
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions
  1. Peel your sweet potatoes, then cube them.
  2. Place them into your steamer basket (see notes if you don’t have one) and steam them until fork tender
  3. Mix in butter, salt, and black pepper to taste.

Notes
If you don’t have any special steaming equipment just take a pot that you had a lid for place a mesh strainer over top. Add the sweet potatoes. Fill the pot with enough water to just come underneath the potatoes. Add the lid. Bring the water to a boil, then turn down to simmer. Cook until tender.

 

Where to Buy
Here are some spots that have had them at one point or another. Stokes Foods expects to have inventory of them from the 2012 crop until about April or May 2013
The Produce Station (Ann Arbor, MI)
Hillers (Ann Arbor, MI)
HEB (select Texas locations)
Central Market (select Texas locations)

Check out Stokes Food website for more on where to buy them. You can buy from them directly. They ship 8 lb. or 15 lb. boxes by the US Postal Service, and 10 lb. or 40 lb. boxes by UPS from the farm.

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