These simple mashed purple sweet potatoes are super easy to make and are creamy and healthy. This is an amazing side dish that is going to add color and great taste to any dinner!
A few years ago I came by purple sweet potatoes at a local farmer’s market here in NC and couldn’t resist buying a few. I had never seen purple sweet potatoes before and I was super curious to taste them.
Since then, I harvest a whole lot of purple sweet potatoes every fall and use them throughout the winter. One of my favorite dishes to make is these mashed purple sweet potatoes.
Mashed Purple Sweet Potatoes…
This dish is easy and healthy. The purple color of the potatoes adds interest to the dinner table and I can assure you that this dish is going to stir up a lot of conversation since many people don’t even know that there is such a thing as purple sweet potatoes.
Three Kinds of Purple Sweet Potatoes…
You might come across three different kinds of purple sweet potatoes. You can use this recipe to make mashed purple sweet potatoes of any kind you can find.
Okinawan Purple Sweet Potato – has a whitish skin and purple flesh. It is believed to have come to the Philippines and China area from South America around 1490. The plant reached Japan around 1600 and was initially planted in the island of Okinawa before farmers all over Japan started growing the crop.
Somehow, this potato ended up in Hawaii and became an important part of Hawaiian culture. This is where it is cultivated today for the American market and therefore it’s known today as Hawaiian Purple Sweet Potato.
Molokai Purple Sweet Potato – these are purple on the outside and purple on the inside and were developed on the island of Hawaii. I’ve never tried them but it sounds like they are very similar in shape and taste to the Stokes potato.
Stokes Purple Sweet Potato – this variety has purple skin and a deep purple flesh. They are dense, a little dry, very very healthy, and a little less sweet than the orange potato we know.
They are an American made potato, originated in Stoke County, NC, but are now grown mainly in central California. As far as I understand, a mysterious woman gave a farmer from NC some potato slips many years ago. He planted them and ended up with purple sweet potatoes.
He liked them so much that he kept growing them and eventually they were registered under the name Stokes potatoes. These are the ones that I am growing and cooking.
Where to Find Purple Sweet Potatoes…
You might find purple sweet potatoes in Asian supermarkets or sometimes in Whole Foods or other organic supermarkets or specialty stores. If you’d like to order them online I recommend a company called Frieda’s.
Purple Sweet Potato Health Benefits…
This dish is not only beautiful but it’s also good for you since these tubers are very healthy! Purple sweet potatoes are low in carbohydrates and fat and are a great source of vitamins like vitamin A and C and fiber.
They are also a great source for calcium and potassium, but maybe the greatest health benefit of purple sweet potato is their richness in antioxidants. This is a common benefit that all the purple vegetables share.
Ingredients for Mashed Purple Sweet Potatoes…
This is a simple dish that only uses three ingredients… Purple sweet potatoes, butter, and maple syrup.
Tools That We Are Going to Need…
If you choose to boil your potatoes to soften them you’ll need a large enough pot. I choose to bake them in the oven so I use tin foil to wrap the potatoes in.
To Boil or to Bake Your Potatoes…
There are two ways to soften any kind of potato…
The first is to boil it and the second is to bake it in the oven. You can do either with your purple sweet potatoes but I personally prefer to bake them in the oven.
If you choose to boil your potatoes, peel them first and then place them in a pot. Cover them with water and bring the water to a boil. Then boil until the potato is soft. Drain the water and let the potatoes cool for a little bit before you mash them.
If you prefer baking the potatoes instead, follow the tutorial below…
How to Make Mashed Purple Sweet Potatoes…
Start by stabbing the potatoes with a fork a few times…
Then wrap them in tin foil with the shiny side of the tin foil in. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and stick them in the oven to bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour.
Once they are soft, take the potatoes out of the oven and let them cool just a tiny bit to the point where you can touch them. We want them to still be hot so they’ll melt the butter. Unwrap the tin foil, slice the potato all the way down its center…
And peel off the skin. It comes off really easy.
Add the flesh of the potatoes to a mixing bowl and add one tablespoon of butter per potato (or a little more! You can’t go wrong with butter, right?)…
Next, add 1 tablespoon of maple syrup per potato. Since purple sweet potatoes aren’t as sweet as their orange relatives, this adds a tiny bit extra natural and delicious sweetness.
By this time the heat of the potatoes have melted the butter and it’s time to use the hand mixer to mash the potatoes and mix it all together until smooth.
Tips for Making Mashed Purple Sweet Potatoes…
- If you choose to boil the potatoes instead of baking them, you can make the process quicker by using a pressure cooker or by cutting them into smaller pieces.
- Purple sweet potatoes aren’t as sweet as the orange sweet potatoes, feel free to add a little bit more maple if you want the dish to be sweeter.
- Purple sweet potatoes are very dense. You can add a little bit of milk, sour cream, or whipping cream (one tablespoon at a time) to lighten them up a bit.
- I usually don’t season my mashed sweet potatoes but you can try to add a bit of salt and black pepper if you’d like.
How to Serve Mashed Purple Sweet Potatoes…
Mashed purple sweet potatoes are a great side dish to any main meat dish. I love serving them next to meatloaf or steak. I also love to serve them with venison dishes like BBQ venison, or pulled venison. They just go very well with red meat.
They are a great addition to the Thanksgiving table or Christmas table. Not only they are delicious but they are also beautiful with their purple color and will be a great conversation starter!
Can I Freeze Purple Mashed Potatoes?
Yes! You can freeze mashed purple sweet potatoes just as you would freeze regular sweet potatoes. Just add them to a zip lock bag and place it in the freezer. They should last for about a year.
I freeze mashed sweet potatoes all the time and use it in my delicious old fashion sweet potato bread, but I’ve never tried to make this bread with mashed purple sweet potatoes before.
More Purple Sweet Potato Recipes…
If you find yourself falling in love with purple sweet potatoes, here are a few recipes for you to try…
Baked Purple Sweet Potato – my favorite way of preparing these potato.
Roasted Purple Sweet Potatoes – kinda like home fries with homemade garlic dipping sauce. The combination is seriously delicious!
Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries – this recipe is made with the orange potatoes but you can do the same with the purple sweet potatoes.
41 Purple Sweet Potato Recipes – this is a list post of some amazing purple sweet potato recipes savory and sweet. The things that you can make with this potato are amazing! make sure to check it out.
Here is the handy printable…
- 4 medium purple sweet potatoes
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons of maple syrup
- 1/4 cup milk, whipping cream, or sour cream (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Wash your potatoes well and stab the potatoes a few times with a fork.
- Wrap the potatoes in tin foil, shiny side in.
- Place your wrapped potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for about an hour. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.
- Unwrap your potatoes, peel the skin and add the flesh to a large mixing bowl.
- Add the butter and maple syrup. Let the butter melt for a couple of minutes and then use a hand mixer to mash and mix everything together. If you feel that the texture is too dense, add a little bit of milk, whipping cream, or sour cream.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and serve hot.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 mashed potato
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 277Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 142mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 4gSugar: 21gProtein: 3g