‘Imo’ is Japanese for potato but the word also means uncool. I beg to differ. This is one hot potato.
I was introduced to a Satsuma-Imo by my dear friend Naoko who met me in a Whole Foods Market booth for lunch with a little brown bag. At the end of our soup and salad she opened the bag and out rolls a warm, deep red root vegetable. “Dessert?”, I thought. This toasty, sweet, creamy potato was sliced and handed to me with a grin. How I wondered, could a root vegetable, oven-baked and without a touch of added seasoning make such a sweet impression? IMO’s, like good friends, have magical properties.
I happened to have brought along some of my favorite maple almond butter. A light smear on this new find was indescribable. Layer on the fact that this seasonal treat is loaded with vitamins, minerals and healing antioxidant properties. They are fiber and protein packed. And leave it to a dessert-like plant to ward off sugar cravings while balancing your blood sugar. Sweet.
A few tips for cultivating your Japanese potato, available right now at many Asian markets and Whole Foods Markets.
- Eat the skin (The antioxidant level in the skin is said to be triple of that in the flesh)
- Wash them well.
- Poke ‘em so they can take the heat
- Bake them for approximately 40 minutes,depending on size, on just a cookie sheet.
- Allow them to relax and rest before enjoying
Treat yourself to this jewel of a potato while the season’s supply lasts.