How To Bake Sweet Potato Pudding Original Jamaican Style.
By: Elaine A. Ayre, Baking Technologist
Reminiscent of childhood days when we could hardly wait for the school year to end just so we could escape the city and retreat to the country where everything we enjoyed was waiting; the wide outdoors and all its offerings, the river, the open plains, fruit trees abundant with their treasures - mangos, guineps, jackfruit, rose-apple, star apple, guavas, pineapples, jelly coconuts, ripe bananas.
Reminiscent of a time when we all would sit on the back door steps under the starry night sky with a big wash tub loaded with mangoes. how we devoured them with delight, one after the other in quick succession. It was a competition.
Never mind that we even consumed a couple of worms in the process, that was the joke for the next day, who ate the most wormy mangoes, but under the light of only the stars, that was inevitable.
I even remember the day Ms. Mary's cow chased my mom and I across the field. I never knew my mom could run until that day.
And then there was the sweet potato pudding. Our grandmother was an ardent adventist. She did next to nothing except worship on the sabbath, so whatever meals we were to have were prepared the day before.
So there was sweet potato pudding for lunch, baked to what we knew then as perfection. Us kids lived for the sabbath because there was no consuming of this delight until after church ended. SO we waited and waited.
Every Saturday the same routine. Us kids, we didn't mind, because there was sweet potato pudding, and it was well worth the wait.
I have since learnt the art of making sweet potato pudding, and with every bite into a slice of my own, i remember my grandmother, lovingly slaving over her wood fire 'oven' to create one of the best sweet potato puddings I have ever had.
Unfortunately, grandmother left us but never left her recipe, and I did not pay much attention to what she was doing at the time (until it was time to eat).
I share with you my recipe for this absolutely delicious treat
SWEET POTATO PUDDING
2 lbs. grated sweet potatoes
1/2 lb/. yellow yam
1 1/2 cups flour
1 oz. margarine
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt.
4 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. mixed spice
2 tsps. nutmeg
2 tsps. vanilla
1 tbl sp. almond flavour
Mix together the grated potato and yam
Stir in flour and melted margarine
Add spices (cinnamon, mixed spice, nutmeg)
In another bowl combine coconut milk, sugar, salt, vanilla and almond
Pour the coconut mixture into the sweet potato mixture and stir well
Pour into greased and lined baking tins and bake at 350 F for 1 1/2 hour or until pudding iw=s well browned on top.
You can have your sweet potato pudding while steaming hot with a glass of milk, chocolate, cup of coffee or even with a bowl of your favorite ice cream.
Useful Information: Sourced from the Jamaica Gleaner
Useful Hints About Jamaican Sweet Potato
- To prepare sweet potatoes for cooking, it is advisable to wash them before use.
- Before cooking sweet potatoes, scrub skin and trim off any bruised or woody portions.
- Sweet potatoes can be baked, boiled, fried, broiled, canned or frozen. They can also be cooked in the microwave oven.
- Bake a large pan of sweet potatoes at the same time. This saves time and energy. Freeze for later use or store the sweet potatoes in the refrigerator for seven to 10 days.
- Frozen sweet potatoes may be substituted for the fresh form in any recipe calling for cooked sweet potatoes as the starting point.
- If you are cutting calories, serve a plain sweet potato, cut down on margarine or butter and use skim milk or unsweetened orange juice as liquid when you prepare mashed sweet potatoes. It is what you add to the sweet potato that increases calories.
5 Questions Answered About Jamaican Sweet Potato:
Question # 1: Does sweet potato contains any vitamins?
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A and a good source of iron, calcium, potassium and vitamin C, B6, riboflavin, copper, pantothenic acid and folic acid.
Three and a half ounces of baked sweet potatoes will give you over 8,800 IU of vitamin A or about two times the recommended daily allowance.
Sweet potatoes with a deep orange colour are very rich in vitamin A.
Question # 2 : What are some nutritional facts about sweet potato?
On a nutritional basis, sweet potato is an abundant source of calories, and is enjoyed especially by rural residents as providing a good source of energy for working in the fields and doing rugged and back breaking work.
The Jamaican climate allows the sweet potato to develop a richness in high-complex carbohydrate. It's not advised to consume sprouted sweet potatoes as this is not recommended. The starch is broken down to high sugar levels during sprouting.
The average sweet potato contains 141 calories, and is considered an alkaline group of starchy foods, making it suitable for persons who are diabetic and weight conscious.
Question # 3 : How long can we store sweet potato and how?
Sweet potatoes should be not be stored in your refrigerator but should be stored instead, in a dark, dry, cool and well-ventilated place where they can stay fresh for two weeks or more.
If you store them over 60 degrees Fahrenheit this will cause the sweet potatoes to sprout, getting them ready again for planting. However, cold storage of sweet potato will result in the natural sugar to starch and alters the texture as well as the flavour.
Question # 4 : Is yam and sweet potato one and the same?
Yam is a derivative of the African word 'nayami', which means a starchy, edible root. Ever so often, sweet potatoes are confused with yams especially in the United States and around the world.
This misnomer started back in the 1930s when American farmers introduced a new variety of a very sweet, orange-fleshed sweet potato and assigned it the Louisiana Yam, so to differentiate it from the popular white sweet potato grown at the time.
Though the terms are used interchangeably, yams, so named in America, are actually sweet potatoes known by their moist texture and orange flesh. The sweet potato, a tuberous root of the plant compared to yams, are rhizomes with creeping stems that run on the surface of the soil.
Question # 5 : Does Jamaican sweet potato contains any poisonous substance similar to Jamaican ackee ?
Consuming sweet potato as many food types do carry a few reported downsides.
Some people have suffered from a very unusual food allergy after consuming sweet potato.
One mother discovered that after she fed her child crushed sweet potato as part of weaning, the child vomited all of it due to a reaction in her digestive tracts.
However, reports of food poisoning or sicknesses being developed from eating sweet potato food are rare, still research is being done into this allergic discovery.