Sweet potato – the trend tuber

For many people, the sweet potato is already an integral part of a conscious diet. But how can you simply grow vitamin-rich sweet potatoes at home?

“There are different varieties of sweet potato, the skin and pulp of which are colored differently. In many areas of the world they are staple foods,” says Dr. Annette Neubert, nutritionist at the Nestlé Nutrition Studio. “The sweet potato probably originally came from Central and South America.”

The sweet potato is botanically a distant relative of the potato, because it belongs to the order of the nightshade-like. However, they are assigned to two completely different families. While the potato, as a nightshade plant, tolerates a cool climate well, the sweet potato, as a bindweed plant, prefers the warm tropical climate. They only grow properly from a temperature of 18 degrees Celsius. They do not tolerate temperatures below 10 degrees. Since they are sensitive to frost, they should not be planted until May. Their water requirements are relatively high, which is why they have to be irrigated in dry years.

“Both varieties are characterized by a high proportion of important vitamins and minerals such as potassium,” explains Dr. Annette Neubert. In the meantime, sweet potato fries are often offered as an alternative to fries in restaurants. It can also be used to conjure up hearty pastries and creative salads. The tubers are versatile and can be boiled, deep-fried, pureed, baked or fried. “While potatoes should be eaten without their peel, sweet potatoes can do this without any problems.”

Grow and care for sweet potatoes yourself

If you fancy the trend vegetable sweet potato, you can grow young plants from tubers yourself. The tubers can be used like potatoes, but taste sweeter.

This is how cultivation works (best time January & February):

  • Cut off one end of the sweet potato
  • Stick toothpicks all around like a wreath in the sweet potato
  • Hang with the cut side first in a glass of water

As is known from the avocado seed, the sweet potato is also immersed in a glass of water for some time.

SN / pixabay

As is known from the avocado seed, the sweet potato is also immersed in a glass of water for some time.

It takes a few weeks for the first shoots to appear. They are taken as cuttings, rooted in pots and planted out at the end of May at the earliest, better at the beginning of June. Sweet potatoes need a lot of warmth, full sun and loose soil. This works best in the cold frame. Be careful, like pumpkins, they form very long shoots! The harvest must take place as late as possible because the tubers only grow in size in autumn.

Recipe tip
Sweet potato and cheese waffle burger with braised balsamic onions
For the waffles:
100 g Woerle Großglockner
2 sweet potatoes
2 eggs
3 tbsp flour
½ teaspoon paprika powder
1 pinch of nutmeg
Salt pepper
Olive oil for greasing
For the patties:
4 slices of Woerle processed cheese
250 g minced meat
2 teaspoons of mustard
Salt pepper
Oil for frying
For the braised onions:
2 onions
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon of sugar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt pepper
To serve:
4 tomato slices
4 lettuce leaves

Wash the sweet potatoes, cut in half and place with the cut surface facing down in a baking dish or on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes until the pulp is soft. Then let it cool down briefly and scrape the meat of the sweet potatoes out of the skin. Grate cheese and mix with sweet potatoes, eggs, flour, paprika powder and nutmeg in a bowl. Heat a waffle iron, brush with oil and add one to two tablespoons of batter. Close the lid and bake the waffles until they are light brown and crispy on the outside. Keep warm in the oven at 120 degrees.

For the braised onions, heat a little butter in a saucepan, add the onion rings and sweat for five minutes until translucent. Add sugar and caramelize. Deglaze with balsamic vinegar and simmer gently for three to four minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the meat patties, mix the minced meat with mustard, salt and pepper. Form four round patties. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the patties for three to four minutes on each side. Finally, melt a slice of processed cheese on each of the patties. Serve the sweet potato and cheese waffles with the meat patties, braised onions, tomato slices and lettuce leaves as a burger.

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