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The Best Easy Sweet Potato Recipes
Generally one of the must have dishes on the Thanksgiving table is sweet potatoes. Whether they are boiled, broiled, baked, or fried, sweet potatoes have been an American autumn favorite for decades.
Up until the past five years or so sweet potatoes and yams were a part of the Thanksgiving menu, often served again at Christmas and then the recipe was placed back in the family recipe box until the next year. Luckily that has started to change and sweet potatoes are becoming known for the healthy, vitamin filled side dish that they are. With so many recipes available there is no reason not to have this super antioxidant weekly.
And, with the sweet potato being available fresh all year there is no reason to use the commercially canned version, full of chemical preservatives and sugar.
The Nutrition of Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes and yams are not the same thing, although both are power houses of nutrition. The flesh of the sweet potato can be creamy ivory, yellow, orange, or even purple while the yam tends to be a deep orange color.
Interestingly the yam is not a true yam (of African origin) but is a type of sweet potato that was introduced to the United States in the mid 1900s.
Call it what you will these tubers are rich in vitamins:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B6
Without additional ingredients the sweet potato is also low in calories and yet naturally sweet. They can be eaten during certain stages of some low carb diets due to the higher fiber content and lower glycemic index that a regular white potato.
Serving size:1/2 cup
Equals one serving of vegetables
Equals one starchy vegetable on the diabetic exchange list
- Calories: 100
- Fat 0
- Cholesterol 0
- Sodium 10mg
- Dietary Fiber 3
- Protein 2g
- Vitamin A 440%
- Vitamin C 41%
- Calcium 3%
- Iron 2 %
Cooking Sweet Potatoes
- For maximum flavor bake the sweet potatoes and then scoop the flesh out rather than peeling and boiling them. The difference is amazing and once you do it that way you will never be happy with canned yams or boiled sweet potatoes again.
- To bake a sweet potato clean it, pierce with a fork, and place it in a 400F oven for fifty minutes to an hour.
- Unless the potato is organic do not eat the peel. The peels of conventionally grown potatoes (sweet and white) carry a number of chemicals and toxins from pesticide use as well as chemical fertilizers.
- The darker the flesh of the potato the more vitamin A it has in it.
- Use a stainless steel knife to cut sweet potatoes. Carbon will make it turn dark.
- Choose sweet potatoes that are plump, smooth, and clean.
- Do not refrigerate raw sweet potatoes.
Bourbon Sweet Potatoes
The alcohol cooks out leaving just an incredible flavor.
- 5 sweet potatoes
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon Korintje cinnamon
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Bake the sweet potatoes until they are soft, about an hour. Cool and scoop out the flesh.
In a mixer beat the sweet potato, 1/4 cup of butter, cinnamon, and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time beating until smooth. Beat in the bourbon.
Spoon into a buttered casserole dish.
Mix the pecans, butter, brown sugar, and flour until crumbly. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole.
Bake at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes.
Homemade Candied Yams
- 6 large sweet potatoes
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 2 cups light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
Peel the sweet potatoes and slice them.
Melt the butter in a heavy pan and add the potatoes.
Mix in the remaining ingredients except vanilla. Cover and simmer on low for one hour or until potatoes are tender and candied. Stir often to keep them from sticking and burning.
Stir in the vanilla.
Serves 8 to 10
Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows
- 5 sweet potatoes
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 bag of mini marshmallows
Bake the potatoes, scoop out the flesh and mash.
Beat the potatoes and the rest of the ingredients except marshmallows until smooth.
Spoon into a buttered casserole dish and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Add the marshmallows and bake until the marshmallows melt and turn golden, about 15 minutes. Watch carefully.
Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Raisins
- 6 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup Grade B maple syrup
- 1/2 cup boiling water
Peel and cube the sweet potatoes and then spread them in a single layer on a 9 by 13 inch pan. Mix in the raisins and chopped nuts.
Mix the water, syrup, and butter int a bowl until butter is melted. Pour over the sweet potato mixture.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 400 for 50 minutes to an hour. Let cool slightly before serving.
Chipotle Sweet Potatoes
Sweet and spicy, a nice change from standard sweet potato dishes.
- 6 sweet potatoes baked
- 1 tablespoon dried, minced chipotle chiles (Archer Farms has a good one in the spice section)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
Scoop out the flesh and mash the sweet potatoes. Stir in the remaining ingredients and bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until heated through.