Who said nutritious and delicious food had to be expensive? Indonesia has a variety of foods that are priced at affordable prices. One of them is the sweet potato, part of the tuber that is rich in beta-carotene.
In 100 grams of sweet potatoes, there are 3.3 grams of fiber which is higher than potatoes which contain 2.2 grams of fiber. These foods also contain phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin C, and choline which are often referred to as versatile nutrients. Choline helps the absorption of fat in the body to optimize brain function. No wonder this tuber is often recommended for pregnant women and children.
Although known to be nutritious, not many people like this food because it tends to be bland. Of course this is difficult to accept in the tongue of children. Don’t worry, we can work around this with proper processing, from how to choose sweet potatoes to serving them.
There are various types of sweet potatoes to choose from, ranging from purple sweet potatoes, white sweet potatoes, to the popular sweet potato from Cilembu. Each has a unique taste. But before buying, there are a few things to consider.
Choose sweet potatoes that are still firm or not mushy. Make sure the sweet potato doesn’t give off a pungent smell. In addition, the size of the sweet potato can affect the taste. Sizes that are too large tend to taste bland. Then you should choose a medium-sized sweet potato that is a handful.
Avoid sweet potatoes that are still gummy because they can make the taste bland, even bitter. The sap is usually found in young sweet potatoes. However, do not also choose sweet potatoes that are too old because the texture will be very hard. For old-aged sweet potatoes, it is usually characterized by stringy flesh.
- Cleaning sweet potatoes
The next step that should not be ignored is the cleaning process. If you’ve already bought a gummy sweet potato, be sure to clean it thoroughly. The trick, cut both ends of the sweet potato, gently rub the ends to clean the sap and wash under running water.
If you plan to roast the sweet potato with the skin on, don’t forget to clean the skin carefully. Instead, we clean the sweet potato that is still covered with the skin using a new toothbrush.
Not only the selection process, sweet potato storage must also be considered so that it lasts a long time. Immediately remove the sweet potato from the plastic after buying it. If not consumed immediately, wipe the surface of the sweet potato with a cloth. Place the sweet potato in a clean container parallel to it so it doesn’t sprout easily. The appearance of shoots indicates the sweet potato is not suitable for consumption. Then, store it in a cool, dry place. Keep sweet potatoes with foods that have a strong odor such as shrimp paste or kencur.
Various processing methods can be tried for sweet potatoes, such as steaming, boiling, and roasting. Of the three, the steaming process is the most recommended because the nutrients are not reduced much. Based on research from the Bogor Agricultural University (IPB) in 2012, the fiber content of steamed Cilembu sweet potatoes was 18.77% while those that were fried were only 8.9%.
As for the protein content, the remaining steamed Cilembu sweet potato is 3.17% while the one fried or made into chips is only 1.99%. However, don’t worry, steamed without any additional spices, Cilembu sweet potato can be eaten deliciously.
Processed sweet potato is often served as a dessert or snack. Starting from brownies, bakpau, talam cakes, chips, to compote. Serve a bowl of purple talam cake with hot plain tea in the afternoon. This snack can be eaten by the whole family, from children to adults. Not only delicious, this snack is quite filling until dinner time arrives.
In addition to snacks, you can serve sweet potatoes as the main menu. For example, steamed Cilembu sweet potato served as an energy-packed breakfast. Still for breakfast, you can also serve steamed purple sweet potatoes sprinkled with grated young coconut side by side with warm sweet tea. For lunch, you can serve sweet potatoes cooked in curry which is rich in spices, healthy and filling.
Having a myriad of benefits and menu options for processing, sweet potatoes can be added to your monthly grocery list. Happy creative!