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Mashed Paleo Purple Sweet Potatoes with Lime and Coconut

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I don’t tend to post my crafting and culinary failures. I know some bloggers do, and some people think they should, but I don’t. Usually when I mess up, it’s too much of a discouraging, unappealing mess to look at! I picked up a bunch of purple sweet potatoes recently with the intention of creating sweet potato latkes. Well…they may have tasted okay, but they were hideous. The potatoes oxidized and turned this awful brownish grey color that I didn’t even want to eat, no matter how good them smelled! Purple sweet potatoes are gorgeous, though, and I really wanted to create and share a recipe using them. I went back to the drawing board and came up with these mashed purple sweet potatoes with lime and coconut.

Paleo Coconut Lime Purple Sweet PotatoesI’m actually glad my latke attempt turned out horrible or I probably never would have made these. Man, they are delicious! Especially when you steam or roast the potatoes, instead of letting them get all soggy in a pot of water, and then add more coconut on top.

Paleo Coconut Lime Purple Sweet Potatoes with flaked coconutHave you ever steamed potatoes? It’s pretty easy, and the purple sweet potatoes smell fantastic while they’re steaming! I know that doesn’t seem possible, but it’s true.

I don’t actually have a steamer basket for any of my cooking pots, but our large rice cooker does have one. Like most of our useful kitchenware, the rice cooker was a gift from my dad. I don’t actually use it all that often for making rice (especially since Papi Chulo is gone right now), but I love using it to steam things! Steaming sweet potatoes (or roasting them in the oven, if you don’t have the steaming capability) makes them more flavorful than boiling, and it also keeps them from getting as soggy. Microwaving sweet potatoes doesn’t really do them justice (but I do admit to doing it for convince from time to time!). Exactly how long you’ll need to steam your potatoes depends on how big they are. I like to start with about 25 minutes and then go from there. Steam them until a knife can slip in and out very easily. This takes anywhere from 25 minutes for smaller potatoes to 45 minutes for the larger ones. Most ‘medium’ potatoes seem to take about 35 minutes in my steamer.

In addition to my rice cooker, I also used my stand mixer for these mashed sweet potatoes. (By the way, both the rice cooker and stand mixer links take you to appliances I own, just in case you’re curious!) Through one of life’s mysteries, we don’t have a potato masher. It’s okay, though, because we do have our fantastic stand mixer! If you don’t have a stand mixer, feel free to mash them the old fashioned way. =)

paleo purple sweet potatoesLast little bit of info before the recipe – I only used two medium sweet potatoes. This is enough for two people to have a  generous serving, or for 3-4 to have a smaller one. If you want more mashed sweet potatoes, just add more! Make sure to increase the coconut milk and lime juice proportionally, too, and you’ll end up with a tasty side for everyone.

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Mashed Paleo Purple Sweet Potatoes with Lime and Coconut
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
  • 2 medium purple sweet potatoes
  • ½ cup coconut milk (the kind in a can, not the dairy case!)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • grated or flaked coconut, to taste
  1. Wash and scrub your sweet potatoes, then steam them until a knife slips easily in an out, about 35 minutes.
  2. Carefully remove the sweet potatoes from the steamer basked and place them on paper towels to remove surface moisture. Cut each potato into three or four chunks, being careful not to burn yourself in the process!
  3. Fit your stand mixer with the paddle or dough hook attachment.
  4. Place the potato chunks in the bowl of your standing mixer, lock it in place, then mix on low until the potatoes are fairly well broken up but not totally creamy, about 30-60 seconds.
  5. Swap out the paddle or dough hook for the balloon whisk attachment, add the coconut milk and lime juice to the bowl, and lock everything back in place. Start mixing on low so the coconut milk doesn't splash everywhere then increase speed to medium. Mix until the ingredients are fully combined and the potatoes are fairly smooth, but still have a few lumps for texture, an additional 30-60 seconds.
  6. Transfer to a serving dish, top with additional coconut, if desired, and enjoy!

These mashed sweet potatoes keep and reheat fairly well. Just wrap them tightly with plastic wrap or transfer them to a reusable, sealable container and stash them in the fridge! I will make these mashed sweet potatoes one day and then have them with two or three additional meals throughout the week, so they’re a great way to cook ahead.

purple sweet potatoesSo why is there a seashell in that last photo? Well, because there aren’t many varieties of purple sweet potatoes left in the world and one of them is Hawaiian! Moloka’i sweet potatoes are delicious and closely related to Okinawan purple sweet potatoes. I am also aware of the Alabama Purple. If you’re out at the store searching for purple sweet potatoes, they probably won’t actually look purple from the outside, so knowing these varietal names may help you find what you’er looking for!

Have you tried purple sweet potatoes yet?


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{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Duni April 14, 2015, 06:19

    I don’t post culinary failures either 😉
    I’ve steamed regular potatoes, but I’ve honestly never seen a purple sweet potato here! I bet this tastes delicious with the added coconut!

    • Natashalh April 14, 2015, 09:54

      You know what’s funny? I’ve never steamed a ‘normal’ potato! Since heirloom varieties keep getting more popular, maybe you’ll see some purple sweet potatoes soon. =)

  • Splendid Little Stars April 14, 2015, 18:27

    I’ve never heard of purple sweet potatoes, although I’m not surprised they exist. I’ve heard there are around 4,ooo potato varieties in the world, 180 being wild species.
    This recipe sounds SO delicious! I will have to try it, even if I don’t have purple sweet potatoes.
    You don’t remove the skins?
    I have a potato ricer.

    • Natashalh April 15, 2015, 07:09

      Wow – 4000 types of potato?!

      I do leave the skins on since they have so many vitamins and whatnot. You could wait for them to cool a little and then slip the skins off after steaming – they come off pretty easily at that point.

      I’ve never even used a potato ricer! The vast majority of mashed potatoes I’ve made in my life have been mashed with a humble fork and spoon.

  • Paige April 15, 2015, 02:48

    I’ve seen “regular” potatoes in various colors, but not sweet potatoes! Another reason to go back to Hawaii someday, haha. I love how these look!

    • Natashalh April 15, 2015, 05:13

      I think they taste so much better than the usual sweet potatoes, too! I know which ‘normal’ ones you mean – we can get bags small potatoes in a ‘rainbow medley..’ Calling three colors a rainbow seems a little ambitious, but I like them anyway!

  • Splendid Little Stars April 15, 2015, 17:38

    I like to leave the skins on whenever possible because of their nutritional value.
    I’m thinking of growing potatoes this year.

    • Natashalh April 21, 2015, 15:18

      Fresh potatoes are so delicious! I grew some four or five years ago and they were fantastic. I hope your potato planting goes well!

  • Marieken April 15, 2015, 20:52

    Sounds great, I’ve never even had plain sweet potatoes up until 2 weeks ago! I bet it tastes delicious.

    • Natashalh April 19, 2015, 04:09

      I hope you enjoyed your first sweet potato! The varieties available are really different around the world. I’d love to try the ones you can find locally to see how they’re different!

  • LeAnn April 19, 2015, 08:29

    I’d never heard of purple sweet potatoes. How pretty! And your photo with the shell is wonderful. (Rose should be happy to know you’ve embraced her e-book with such enthusiasm–a star pupil!!)

    • Natashalh April 21, 2015, 15:03

      She really gave me the courage to try shooting in RAW and it’s made such a difference! I wasn’t familiar with purple sweet potatoes before going to Hawaii, but they’re great.

  • Tiffany August 1, 2016, 05:06

    Hi Natasha! I’m an editor at Life by Daily Burn. I’m working on a story about the health benefits of ube, and would like to include this Paleo Purple Sweet Potato recipe in the round-up. I’ll link directly to your site and provide photo credit. Would you be able to send me a high-res image of the recipe? You can reach me at tiffany.ayuda@dailyburn.com. Thank you!

    • Natashalh August 1, 2016, 06:36

      Thank you for reaching out! I’ve actually changed computers since then, but I’ll hunt around for a photo and get in touch with you. =)

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