Purple Sweet Potato Gnocchi

The best current gut health science advises that we should be including as much plant diversity in our diets as possible. According to Dr Megan Rossi, one of the worlds leading gut health scientists and researchers, we should aim for 30 diverse ‘plant points’ every week. Do you eat 30 different plants a week? We certainly hope our veg boxes help you along the way to hitting that target.

We all know about the importance of eating our greens, but did you know that purple foods are really important to include in our diets too? Purple fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants called anthocyanins? All brightly coloured fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants which help prevent or delay cell damage. It’s best to get a full range of all the different types of antioxidants out there, so in the spirit of eating the rainbow, I’ve been trying out one of the new vegetables we have in, the vibrant, purple sweet potato! I’ve already made an irresistible classic – baked purple sweet potatoes with a bean chilli – and I couldn’t not make some gnocchi. Here’s the surprisingly simple recipe. I made a batch of butternut gnocchi at the same time for even more plant diversity on our plates. How will you eat purple sweet potatoes?

Enjoy! Liz x

Ingredients

  • purple sweet potatoes (one per person)
  • plain flour (amounts vary – see method)
  • salt to taste
  • butter/oil for frying
  • pesto to serve (make your own or we deliver a choice of organic pestos, add them to your fruit and veg order here)

Method

Pre-heat your oven to 200C. Scrub one sweet potato per person. Prick the potatoes with a fork and bake them in a tray in the oven until soft all the way through. Sweet potatoes cook faster than regular potatoes, so test them after 20 minutes.

Allow the potatoes to cool to a temperature you can handle. Then peel them or slice them in half and scoop out the soft flesh.

Mash or puree the baked sweet potato flesh in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Season the mash really well with salt (bearing in mind you will be adding flour).

Then start adding flour, a little at a time, and mixing it into the puree until you reach a soft dough consistency*. I generally use plain flour or strong white bread flour but most flours work. You can easily make these gluten free by using a plain flavoured gluten free flour like rice flour or a plain gluten free flour blend.

Tip the dough onto a floured work surface and gently knead into a smooth, soft ball. Do not overwork the dough, you want to keep it tender.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Get a frying pan and some butter or oil ready too.

Roll the ball of dough into a long snake about 2 cm thick. You may wish to divide the dough into manageable pieces, depending on how big a batch you are making.

Cut the snake into bite sized pieces. You can leave the pieces in the pillow shapes they are, or roll them into balls then over a gnocchi board to make little grooves. Alternatively you can roll the pieces over the back of a fork.

Boil the gnocchi in the pot of boiling water in small batches. Once they start to float to the top of the pot, scoop them out with a slotted spoon and fry them in the frying pan with a little oil or butter until they are hot and crispy and take on some colour.

Toss the hot gnocchi with some pesto (you can loosen the pesto with a little of the pasta water if needed) and enjoy with some peppery salad leaves.

*I made a batch of butternut squash gnocchi at the same time. The method is the same. But as butternut squashes generally contain more water than sweet potatoes, they need a fair bit more flour to turn into dough.

Purple Sweet Potato, Bean Chilli & Garlic Lime Kale

Have you tried a purple sweet potato yet? They are absolutely stunning and oh so delicious! I can never resist a baked sweet potato with a smokey bean chilli so here’s my quick and easy recipe. I’ve served it with lots or gorgeous garlicky kale spiked with lime too. So yum! What will you make with your purple sweet potatoes? I’m thinking purple gnocchi next, or maybe a purple sweet potato pie! Liz x

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 4 purple sweet potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp each cumin seeds, ground coriander, smoked paprika and chilli flakes
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin kidney beans
  • 1 tin black beans
  • 2 limes
  • another tbsp of oil
  • 4 large handfuls of kale
  • 4 more garlic cloves
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

Scrub the sweet potatoes, prick them with a fork, pop them in a roasting dish and get them in a 200C hot oven to roast – they should only take about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile make the smokey bean chilli. Dice and then sauté the onion and garlic in the oil until soft and taking on some colour.

Add the spices and sauté for a few minutes to toast them and bring our their flavours.

Add the tin of tomatoes. Half fill the tin with water then swirl out all the tomatoey juices into the pot.

Drain and rinse the two tins of beans and add them to the pot to simmer. Cook for 15 minutes or so then taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile make the garlic and lime kale. Rinse the kale and tear the leaves away from the stems. Put the leaves in a bowl and the stems on the chopping board.

Finely chop the kale stems and the extra 4 cloves of garlic. Sauté them together in the tbsp of oil until soft. Then add the kale leaves and the juice of a lime. Season with salt and pepper and sauté for about 3 minutes to wilt the kale. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Serve the baked potatoes with the bean chilli and kale. Add a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lime to the middle of each baked potato. Enjoy!