In recent years the consumption of Boniato has increased, and we believe that the way of eating this tuber has also expanded.
Not only you can enjoy it roasted or in stews, but you can make desserts and pastry with them.
WHAT IS BONIATO?
Boniato, botanically classified as Ipomoea batatas.
It’s a tuber with dry, white flesh and pink to purple skin. It has a nutty-flavored root vegetable in the same family as sweet potatoes.
Boniato is also known as as batata, camote, kamura, yellow sweet potato and even the Cuban Sweet Potato.
It’s not as sweet as your traditional sweet potatoes, and but it has an amazing history.
Boniato In English
Boniato in English means “sweet potato”. However, it refers to a specific type of sweet potato that is that is drier and less sweet than the varieties typical in the US. Also sometimes called Japanese or Cuban sweet potatoes or boniatos.
While Boniato is quite popular in South Florida, this kind of sweet potato originated in Central America, and has been cultivated as early as 1000 BC in Columbia and Peru.
It reached Europe around the 16th century and from there it spread throughout the world due to its nutritional value and good taste. They reached Asia through pre-Incan explorers traveling to Eastern Islands. Today nearly 90% of the world’s boniato comes from Asia.
Boniatos are a great source of carbohydrates. It stands out above other tubers due to its resistant starch that provides satiety and reduces the glycemic index of meals, being an excellent source of energy.
It’s full of fiber, antioxidant vitamins and essential minerals. It contains vitamin C and, above all, vitamin A (retinol). It also provides a good amount of potassium, magnesium and calcium.
Generally, sweet potatoes are a healthier alternative to potatoes, although both are healthy products in themselves.
A small 400g boniato (white sweet potato) has approximately 242 calories.
Here is the nutritional value for a 400g boniato.
Calories 242 (1012 kJ) Protein 7 g 14% Total Fat 0.4 g 1% Saturated Fat 0 g 0% Trans Fat 0 g Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g Monounsaturated Fat 0 g Omega-3 Fatty Acids 0 g Carbohydrate 51.5 g 17% Sugars 20.2 g Dietary Fibre 11 g 37% Sodium 37 mg 2% Potassium 754 mg Alcohol 0 g Cholesterol 0 mg
Introducing this tuber in our diet can have great benefits for our overall health including:
- Provides physical and mental energy
- Great food for people with anaemia and low iron levels
- Its high levels of flavonoids and beta carotene can helps fight against stress and the formation of free radicals
- Aids with digestive problems, ulcers and intestinal diseases
- Boost overall immune system health
- Supports bones, nails, hair health.
This boniato potato recipe will have your family craving for more.
- 2 boniato (white sweet potato) sliced in 1/4 inch slices.
- 3 tbsp ghee
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp tahini
- Pre-heat oven to 400F. Coat potatoes in ghee, lay flat on a sheet pan.
- In a small bowl mix spices and sprinkle generously over potatoes.
- Finish with a drizzle of tahini, or like me the dried crumbly bits at the bottom of the jar.
- Roast at 400F for 25 minutes, broil for 5 minutes.
Boniato vs Batata
Batata is simply another name for Boniato. This tuber is called batata because it belongs to the genus and species Ipomoea Batatas. It’s also known as batata dulce.
Boniato vs Sweet Potatoes
Boniato and sweet potatoes are not the same. Boniato is a root vegetable in the same family as sweet potatoes. However, its appearance and taste differ from that of a traditional sweet potatoes.
Boniatos should be kept in a dry, cool place at below room temperature for at least at week (40 F – 50 F). Or keep them in the fridge for at least two weeks. Make sure you eat them within that time range. They will start losing flavor within a few days.
HOW TO cook & eat BONIATO
Almost any recipe for sweet potatoes can be used for cooking boniato.
Boniatos are just as versatile in that they can be mashed, fried, baked, steamed or roasted
There are several ways to cook this vegetable. One way to eat them is by making them into a puree with butter, then dipped in flour, whisked with egg and breadcrumbs and shaped into balls. It’s so tasty!
It can also be cooked whole. You can either brush and wash the skin very well, or peeling it raw before start cooking.
Cut into sticks and it becomes a good alternative to French fries. You can fry it or bake it.
Where to Buy Boniato?
You are most likely to find boniato in your local international grocer that cater to Latin American and Asian populations. Some traditional supermarkets may carry it as well.
In South Florida, two varieties of Boniatos are commercially grown: Picadia, which is grown in autumn and winter, and Campeon, which is grown in summer and autumn. Picadito is the second – and most widespread.
Growing, Planting & Care
Did you know Boniato (Ipomoea batata) is one of the most widely used sweet potato varieties in the USA for gardeners who want to grow something?
The yield of boniato is not as high as that of traditional sweet potatoes. After planting, it usually takes 4 to 6 months to be able to harvest the tubers.
Tubers are a bit tender and prone to bruising so handling must be carried out with care.
You need to watch out for weevils and nematodes, common pest problems when growing this tuber.