Improve your mood with this sweet potato jar recipe

This recipe brings new meaning to the term ‘comfort food’. We rely on carbs for energy and protein to rebuild muscle, but they also improve our emotional wellbeing. “Lentils and sweet potatoes are both prebiotics which feed your gut bacteria. Having a strong microbiome in our intestines helps our body absorb nutrients from food and plays a huge role in sending the right signals and ‘happy’ hormones to our brain,” says nutritionist Cheryl Telfer.

So, when you’re feeling dismal about all the uncertainty that 2020 has stowed upon us, grab a jar (or two) and think of it as your temporary hug – until we can all enjoy the real deal freely again. 

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE LENTIL LAYER:

60 g green lentils

250 ml water

FOR THE SWEET POTATO LAYER:

1 large sweet potato, peeled and roughly chopped

1/4 tsp Himalayan salt or sea salt

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

FOR THE YOGHURT CHUTNEY:

4 tbsp plain yoghurt or vegan yoghurt 

1/2 tsp rapeseed oil

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/4 green chilli, finely chopped

1/4 tsp Himalayan salt or sea salt

Pinch of red chilli powder

ADDITIONS:

4 tbsp coriander chutney

4 tbsp red pepper chutney, optional

4 tbsp maple chillied seeds

1/2 avocado, chopped into chunks

TO GARNISH:

1 small red chilli

2 spring onions, thinly sliced

Micro coriander or a few leaves of coriander

FOR THE MAPLE CHILLIED SEEDS:

2 tsp coconut oil

4 tbsp pumpkin seeds

4 tbsp sunflower seeds

2 tbsp sesame seeds

1 tbsp fennel seeds

4 tbsp cashews

chilli flakes

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp Himalayan salt or sea salt

maple syrup

FOR THE CORIANDER CHUTNEY:

60 g coriander (cilantro) leaves

30 g peanuts

1 tsp Himalayan salt or sea salt

Juice of 1 lime

1 green chilli, optional

1 tbsp honey

6 tbsp water

FOR THE RED PEPPER CHUTNEY:

2 red peppers, chopped into large chunks

2 cloves garlic

1 tsp Himalayan salt or sea salt

2 tsp ground cumin

Red chilli powder

1 tbsp jaggery, brown sugar or coconut sugar

2 slices mango or 1/2 cooking apple, optional

80 ml water

METHOD:

Rinse the lentils in a sieve under cold running water. 

Place in a large saucepan with the measured water and bring to the boil. 

Simmer for 20–25 minutes until the lentils are cooked and soft. 

Drain the lentils. 

Steam the sweet potato pieces for 20–30 minutes until very soft, so they can be mashed easily.

Prepare the yoghurt chutney while the lentils and sweet potato are cooking. 

Place the yoghurt in a large bowl. 

Heat the rapeseed oil and mustard seeds in a very small saucepan on a low heat. 

Add the green chilli, when the mustard seeds pop. 

Remove from the heat and pour into the yoghurt. 

Add the salt and red chilli powder, and mix together well.

When the sweet potato is cooked, drain and place in a small mixing bowl. 

Mash until smooth. Then add the salt, paprika and red onion. Mix well.

Layer into your jars once everything is ready. Spoon around 2 tablespoons of mashed sweet potato, a spoonful of yoghurt chutney and a spoonful of Coriander Chutney and/or Red Pepper Chutney into each jar. Add a sprinkle of Maple Chillied Seeds, then a tablespoon of lentils and a few pieces of avocado.

Add the garnishings and top with another sprinkle of Maple Chillied Seeds. You can repeat with more layers if there is space.


FOR THE MAPLE CHILLIED SEEDS:

Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan over a medium–low heat, then add all the seeds and the cashews. 

Sprinkle the chilli flakes, paprika and salt over the top and add the maple syrup. 

Mix together, then cook for a few minutes, stirring regularly. 

Remove from the heat and leave to cool. The seeds and nuts will become crispy once cooled. This will keep for 10–14 days if stored in an airtight container.

FOR THE CORIANDER CHUTNEY:

Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until you have a thick, smooth liquid. This will keep for 3–4 weeks in an airtight container in the fridge.

FOR THE RED PEPPER CHUTNEY:

Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. This will keep for 3–4 weeks in an airtight container in the fridge.

Image and recipe courtesy of Saffron Soul cookbook by Mira Manek, £20 Jacqui Small

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