Steaming is the most efficient way after washing the sweet potatoes and it takes about 8-10 mins or less, depending on size (choose the smaller size so that you need to cut them into halves when steaming).For this recipe above, I decide to make it into a dessert style for my lunch.
1 pc of sweet potato
3-4 red dates
handful of wolf berries
1/2 cup of pearl barley
1 dried fig
Barley reminds me of my childhood as my late mum would cook this for us when the weather is a bit unbearable and hot. She says it helps to cool down the body. I love it unsweetened especially when the barley become mashed and thick.
A low GI food, Barley contains many nutrients that are good for our body. It is a good source of Fiber (many people are lacking this in their diet in today's busy lifestyle), cholesterol free, low in fat and contains antioxidants that help our body to fight off the free radicals. As a plant-based food, it also contains phytochemicals which helps to decrease the risk of cancer, diabetes and heart diseases.
Wolf berries are more commonly known in market for its benefits of improving one's eyesight as it contains beta-carotene (much higher than carrot). What's interesting to know is wolf berries or goji berries as some called it is a potent source of Vitamin A and antioxidants as well.
When we talk about vitamin C, most would think of consuming it from oranges but actually red dates contain 70-80 times more Vitamin C than apples, grapes and oranges. It earns the name "king of nuts" for its rich nutritional value - Vitamin A, B1, B2, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and iron.
Figs provide a good source of potassium (most would think of banana for potassium) , necessary to help lower blood pressure. It is also high in fiber and beneficial for those with weight management issues.
This dessert recipe is so easy to prepare and convenient to get the ingredients as well. Only the sweet potatoes are required to be cut into smaller pieces with the rest just washed and dump into a big pot of water. The sweetness of the dessert comes from the red dates and fig so NO added sugar required.
Some prefer the barley to be more cooked and chewy so that would require a longer time to simmer the pot while others prefer it less chewy. Sweet potatoes can be added last since it gets cooked pretty fast.
If you cook a large pot for the family, you can also keep the remaining in the fridge and serve as chilled dessert.
Enjoy the natural, wholesome goodness of this nutrient rich dessert!