There is good reason they say variety is the spice of life. And kumara is no exception. Kumara varieties vary in a lot in texture, flavour profile and of course colour. Experiment with different varieties to showcase New Zealand’s culinary vegetable!
Fieldco has 4 main varieties of kumara:
Traditionally known as an Original Red variety, it is somewhat of a culinary icon of New Zealand kumara. Today, it is still the main commercial crop grown in the Kaipara. It has a deep red skin with a creamy white flesh and veined centre. Owairaka Red are a firm textured variety, making them an ideal salad or roasting kumara.
You can’t go wrong with Loaded kumara wedges: https://fieldco.co.nz/recipe/loaded-kumara-wedges/
This variety is a great healthy substitute for the average potato – for kumara hash browns, shred and add some spices. Fry them in a fry pan or grill and serve with a side of spicy avocado dip.
These are commonly enjoyed as ‘sweet potato’ in many countries. Its rich orange skin and sweet orange flesh make it a colourful vegetable and a likely candidate for many sweet recipes.
Beauregard is softer in texture compared to the Original Red and has a faster cooking time. Its soft texture means it is best suited to use for a mash or as a potato or pumpkin substitute in any dish.
It is the sweetest tasting of all the kumara varieties.
Try spiralised in a Soba Noodle Salad: https://fieldco.co.nz/recipe/kumara-soba-noodle-salad/
The soft texture of Orange kumara makes a great addition to a delicious Chicken Pie: https://fieldco.co.nz/recipe/chicken-kumara-pie/
This is another variety that is a national New Zealand variety. The Tokatoka Gold is indigenous to the Kaipara, named after the iconic TokaToka Peak rising out of the otherwise flat landscape. Tokatoka Gold have a golden skin and a soft golden flesh and similar in texture to the Beauregard variety. TokaToka Golds are best roasted because of their soft flesh.
The Tokatoka is a super versatile variety; a perfect balance between sweet and savoury.
Try in a tasty Walnut & Kumara Tart: https://fieldco.co.nz/recipe/kumara-walnut-tart/
Or an entrée option of kumara subric: https://fieldco.co.nz/recipe/kumara-subric/
Purple dawn is a newer variety of kumara with an amazing vibrant purple flesh and purple skin. This variety is more an earthy taste and soft in texture. Purple Dawn is great for roasting and mashing. They also make a great addition to a kumara medley because of their vibrant colour. Part of the purple vegetable family, they are considered superior in nutritional value compared to other kumara varieties
Purple fruit and vegetables are known for their rich nutritional value and the purple kumara does not disappoint! This kumara variety is rich in anthocyanins. This means it possesses antidiabetic, anticancer and anti-inflammatory effects as well as prevention of cardiovascular diseases. What’s not to love about purple vegetables?
Try a purple dawn puree for a pop of colour: https://fieldco.co.nz/recipe/duck-kumara-crostini-with-apple-slaw/
Great addition to a seasonal salad: https://fieldco.co.nz/recipe/kumara-fattoush-salad/
Cooking tip: Add a dash of vinegar into the water while you boil these to help the kumara retain their vibrant purple colour.
Kumara has a natural sweet taste that lends itself to being a very versatile vegetable, being included in both sweet or savoury dishes.
Herbs and Spices: Fresh herbs such as coriander, basil and thyme all pair nicely with the sweetness of kumara. Also try spices such as nutmeg, smoked paprika or sumac.
Pair with zesty flavours like lemon or orange to compliment the sweetness of kumara.
Other flavours that pair well with kumara include, walnuts, pecans, orange, garlic, chorizo and bacon.
Head to our recipe page for more tasty recipes and inspiration: www.fieldco.co.nz/recipe/
Looking to save time in the kitchen?
Preparing kumara can be hard work.
We are working to make it easy for people to include kumara on their menu. Growing all their produce for the best flavour, our products are naturally packed with goodness and save you prep time.
Orange Dice: Beauregard dice product is a great product to add to any soups, casseroles, or pies.
Red Dice: Add some natural sweetness of the Original Red kumara variety to any dish.
Yummo’s – these are Fieldco’s bite-sized baby kumara portions. These make a tasty side dish with minimal effort and are a convenient choice for a vegetarian or vegan main.