Obsessed with sweet potatoes? Well you're not alone...

Adopted by food bloggers and publications as a go-to healthy carbohydrate, creative recipes and enticing pictures of this vegetable are not hard to come by. In fact, I think it is fair to say that the sweet potato is easily part of the clean eating trend.

As a self-proclaimed sweet potato enthusiast, I thought I’d pretty much exhausted all options as far as this potato was concerned. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

How it all began...

It all started one afternoon when my friend mentioned the Japanese Sweet Potato in passing, complaining that she had yet to find one in DC. Needless to say, I was shocked. A sweet potato I hadn’t heard of? Could this be possible?

After pressing her on the topic, I discovered that this variety has a purple skin, yellow filling and denser texture than a regular sweet potato. Its taste, I was told, is somewhat like a roasted chestnut.

vegetable, garlic, onion, carrot
Jennifer Kennedy

As a roasted chestnut enthusiast (I like food what can I say), I was surprised that this had not yet crossed my palette. I made a mental note to try and find one and see for myself what it was all about.

Could it be fate?

The next day strolling through Whole Foods, I stopped dead in my tracks by what some might call fate. There, etched in chalk on the sign below a pile of very purple potatoes were the words ‘Japanese Sweet Potato’.

vegetable, pasture, potato, ulluco, tuber
Jennifer Kennedy

For once ignoring the hefty price tag, I placed a few in my basket and hurried home in excitement.


That night for dinner I set about the preparation, opting for the microwave, which is my usual go-to for the mainstream sweet potato. Once ready, I topped my potato with red pepper, red onion, shredded carrot and Greek yogurt and took my first bite. It didn’t disappoint. Thick in texture, rich in flavor and with perfect topping consistencies, it was as though Christmas and Halloween had come all at once.

Jennifer Kennedy

Toppings wise, there really are few limits. The potato has a rich and definitive taste, and could even be eaten on its own if you are that way inclined. However, if like myself you prefer to pimp out your potato to gain full eating satisfaction, the Japanese Sweet Potato can accommodate that as well. I’ve tried throwing it in a salad, mashing it up as a side addition and making fries - it really is a diverse specimen.

onion, vegetable
Jennifer Kennedy

The Japanese Sweet Potato, as you may have guessed, originated in Japan. Although they have high calorie and carbohydrate content, they are rich in fiber, potassium and vitamins A and C and have also been rumored to keep your skin looking young. They can be steamed, boiled, baked or thrown in the microwave and in my opinion, are a great, easy go-to, hassle-free meal.

Jordan Burns