Sweet potatoes accounted for 60 percent of the Okinawan diet until about 1950. This slightly sweetened preparation is delicious and can serve as a dessert or a snack. On our last visit to Okinawa, we watched the potatoes cook- ing and were uninspired until Jordan, a Hawaiian who lives on the island, produced two packages of macadamia nuts from his backpack. We ground them up, rolled the sweet potatoes into balls, and rolled the balls into the nuts. Voilà!
1 pound (about 3) white, orange, or purple sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1⁄3 cup ground peanuts, macadamia nuts, or sesame seeds
Dash of cinnamon
Boil or steam the potatoes until tender, then mash potatoes with sugar.
Once cool enough to handle, roll potatoes into walnut-size balls.
On a clean surface, spread a layer of ground nuts of your choice or sesame seeds.
Gently roll the potato balls in the nuts to coat.
Powder with cinnamon to serve.
The Blue Zones Kitchen fuses scientific reporting, National Geographic photography and 100 recipes that may help you live to 100. The Blue Zones’ food tradition is going the way of the dodo bird, thanks to the encroachment of the American Food Culture.Learn More