Cooking Local: Sweet Potato Salad
Feeding ourselves is one of our most critical daily activities. Doing so with fresh, local and organically grown ingredients is the good for you and good for the environment, which is something we hope to inspire with this article. We’ll explore how to make a sweet potato salad from ingredients you can find in local markets such as El Mercado Municipal in Zona 1, and the mercados La Democracia and Minerva in Zona 3. Each of these markets offer a plethora of local fruits and vegetables.
The focus in this article is on the sweet potato, a.k.a. el comote in local parlance. El camote is native to the tropics of Central and South America and is believed to have been domesticated around 8000 years ago in Peru – i.e. ground zero for the potato. The tuber is found represented in pre-Columbian works of art and has been found in archaeological sites. Now it is grown and eaten worldwide and is quite easy to find here in Guatemala at a good price.
El camote is rich in carbohydrates and natural sugars and is therefore a great source of energy. It also contains high levels of Vitamin A, various B vitamins and Beta-keratin.
And now on with our recipe, Sweet Potato Salad:
2 sweet potatoes (camotes)
1 bell pepper (chile pimiento)
6 celery stalks (tallos de apio )
1 small onion (cebolla pequeña)
300 g of spinach (espinaca)
Boil the two sweet potatoes and cut them into small slices along with the bell pepper, celery, spinach and onion. Mix in a bowl and add the dressing outlined below.
1 clove of garlic (diente de ajo)
1/8 cup of vinegar (vinagre)
1/8 cup of olive oil (aceite de oliva)
1/8 cup of lime juice (jugo de limón)
1/8 cup of mandarin orange juice (jugo de mandarina)
Cinnamon, salt and pepper to taste (canela, sal y pimienta)
Mince the garlic well, mix the ingredients and serve over the salad. You have yourself a healthy, local meal or side salad!