The tradition of sweet potato sweets is deeply rooted in Spanish culture. Do you know how to prepare them and what are their benefits? We will tell you.
The panellets or sweet potato sweets are a traditional delicacy that is prepared for All Saints ‘Eve and All Souls’ Day. In Spain they are well known in Catalonia, Aragon, Valencia and the Balearic Islands. They are made with a marzipan base that contains eggs, sugar and almonds, to which sweet potato or sweet potato is added. This version is one of the most used because the sugar is substituted for the cooked sweet potato.
Their most popular shape is round, and they are covered with pine nuts or almonds. However, you can vary it with other nuts of your choice. Would you like to learn how to prepare them at home? Contrary to what many think, its preparation is not complicated at all. Next, we detail the step by step.
Ingredients needed for the panellets or sweet potato sweets
Although there is no evidence about its origin, it seems that the panellets come from a tradition of ancient funerary cults. They were offered to the church or to the graves of the deceased during his day. They are also associated with eternity and the memory of the dead for having a long time of conservation.
There are many versions of panellets in Spain, but those made with sweet potatoes are one of the most tasty, nutritious and beneficial. You want to know why? Look in detail at the ingredients and their properties.
100 grams of sweet potato or sweet potato
You can use the white variety of sweet potato or the yellow and orange variety, since they have more provitamin A or beta carotenes. In addition, when cooked at no more than 70 ºC, starch is transformed into simpler sugars such as maltose. It has a third of the sweetening power when compared to sugar.
200 grams of whole or ground almonds
These nuts are abundant in proteins, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, fiber and omega 3 and 6 type fat. In this way, the nutritional value of the sweet potato increases.
200 grams of pine nuts
The pinions they are also nuts that give extra value to panellets. They contain fiber, B complex, vitamin E, omega 3 and 6, among other nutrients of interest to health.
150 grams of sugar glass (optional)
Remember the sweetness of the sweet potato. The amount of sugar glass What you are going to add depends on your tastes. For example, if you are diabetic, you can substitute an artificial sweetener. About 2 tablespoons of sucralose will give it a good sweetness, although if you prefer, do not add any sweetener.
The egg will serve to homogenize and compact the sweet potato mixture. In addition, this food is the source of the best protein. nutritional quality, given that It contains all the essential amino acids that the body needs.
Zest of 1 lemon
The essential oils contained in the lemon peel will provide citrus flavor and aroma. With this, this ingredient helps to balance the predominant sweet taste. These oils have antioxidant properties.
Preparation of sweet potato sweets step by step
Once you have the ingredients ready, It is time to start preparing the sweet potato sweets. The end result is distinguished by its creaminess and its natural sweet taste. Of course, as we have mentioned, you can add more sugar if you prefer.
- To start, wash and peel the sweet potatoes. Then cut them into small sizes.
- Next, cook in water or steam until very tender.
- Then mash with a fork or mash press.
- If you wish, add the sugar glassAlthough if the sweet potato is very sweet, it is not necessary.
- Grind the almonds if they are whole. To do this, use a blender.
- Besides, in a bowl, add the almonds and the sweet potato puree. Mix until you get a moist, but not sticky dough
- Refrigerate the dough in a closed container. Leave it for 3 hours or overnight.
- After this time, remove the dough from the refrigerator and make small balls or the size you prefer.
- Beat the egg in a bowl and put the pine nuts in another bowl.
- Wrap each ball of sweet potato with the beaten egg and then with the pine nuts. Tighten them well.
- Put them on a tray lined with parchment paper
- Later, spread each ball again with the rest of the egg.
- Preheat the oven to 175ºC and bake for 5 or 6 minutes.
- Once ready, take them out of the oven and let them rest.
Other varieties of sweet potato sweets can be prepared with the addition of grated coconut, hazelnuts, orange, coffee, strawberries, chocolate and brown glacé. In any case, the sweet potato provides certain benefits that add a healthy value to each panellet.
Sweet potato properties
With the growing interest in natural and beneficial health products, the sweet potato turns out to be an interesting food. Also, it has different uses in the food industry.
For example, in Peru it is used in baking and making noodles; Meanwhile, in Japan they obtain flour and its pigments are used to make probiotic fermented milks. Let’s look at some of its positive effects.
Yellow and orange sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene or provitamin A, recommended for improving vision. In fact, They rank fourth among the foods that contain the most vitamin A.
They also provide vitamin C, the lack of which can cause poor healing. Some researchers have used sweet potato alone and fortified with beta-carotene to reduce iron deficiency in children.
According to Lim, author of the book “Edible, medicinal and non-medicinal plants”, this ingredient is a source of energy, since it contains between 20 and 27 grams of starch per 100 grams; and between 4 and 10 grams of sugar. Its fiber content ranges between 1.2 and 3.5 grams per 100 grams.
An article reports that sweet potato benefits the heart, as it contains vitamin B6, which helps prevent hardening of the arteries and other blood vessels. Likewise, the consumption of this food is recommended to lower blood pressure, since it provides potassium.
The presence of pigments in sweet potatoes, like peonidin and cyanidin, they exert antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties when they pass through the digestive tract. In turn, it has observed that your intake it can contribute to reducing the risk of degenerative diseases associated with age. Anyway, more studies are required.
Do you already know how to prepare homemade sweet potato panellets?
It is not necessary to wait for a specific date to enjoy them. These sweets are ideal to calm cravings during a snack or between meals. In addition, if they are prepared without sugar, they are ideal for promoting well-being and a healthy weight.
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