Sweet potatoes are a Thanksgiving staple, but there are limitless ways to cook these hearty tubers — with or without marshmallow topping. Loaded with potassium, half your daily recommended intake of vitamin C and nearly 250 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin A, these healthy sweet potato recipes will help you eat tasty, nutritious food this fall. When properly harvested, cured and stored, sweet potatoes can last you all winter long — that’s right, sweet potato pie for all those snowy, wintry days.
The most basic way to prepare sweet potatoes is to scrub the skins clean, then prick with a fork and roast in a 400-degree-Fahrenheit oven until soft, around 30 to 40 minutes. Alternately, you can boil either whole or roughly cut sweet potatoes until fork tender. Top with butter, spices, mash with milk and butter, or puree for the basis of several of the following recipes. For a quick treat, cut your sweet potatoes into wedges, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast on baking sheet to make homemade sweet potato fries.
Sweet Potato Waffles
1/3 cup melted butter, cooled
2 cups mashed or pureed sweet potatoes
6 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk (or 2 cups buttermilk, or a combination)
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup finely ground walnuts or pecans (optional)
2 tbsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp each ground cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger (optional)
Stir together butter, potatoes, eggs and milk. Sift together dry ingredients and stir into potato mixture. Bake in a hot waffle iron. Serve topped with maple syrup or honey. Makes approximately 5 8-inch waffles.
Sweet Potato Biscuits
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1½ tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp cold butter
1 cup buttermilk (can use milk)
1 cup mashed or pureed sweet potatoes
1 tbsp honey
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium-sized bowl. Cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter or two knives — the mixture should look like course meal. Mix together the milk, sweet potatoes, and maple syrup or honey. Pour into the flour mixture and stir with a fork until the mixture just comes together. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead, using a light touch, until the dough is fairly smooth. Use a little more flour if the dough is too sticky, remembering that short and gentle kneading will give you the most tender biscuit. Pat the dough out to a thickness of three-quarter to 1 inch. Cut with a 2-inch biscuit cutter. Place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Bake 15 minutes, or until just golden. Serve hot! Makes approximately 20 biscuits.
Curried Sweet Potato Soup
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, chopped (optional)
2 pounds sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 tsp curry powder
1 cup apple cider
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large soup pot, sauté onion, garlic and jalapeño in olive oil until soft. Add potatoes, vegetable broth and curry powder. Bring to a boil, then simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat, cool slightly and puree. Add apple cider, salt and pepper, and stir well. Excellent if served with a dollop of yogurt or a splash of cream swirled in. Serves 4.
Sweet Potato Molasses Pie
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie shell
3 medium sweet potatoes (approximately 1 lb)
1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup molasses
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup milk
Sweetened whipped cream, to garnish (optional)
In a medium saucepan, cook raw sweet potatoes in enough boiling salted water to cover for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender. Drain. Cool slightly and peel. Mash cooked or canned sweet potatoes (you should have 1½ cups). Set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine mashed sweet potatoes, brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Add eggs and milk; mix well. Pour sweet potato mixture into unbaked pie shell. Cover edge of pie with foil. Bake in 375-degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove the foil. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes more or until a knife, inserted halfway between the center and edge, comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Cover and chill to store. Serve with sweetened whipped cream, if desired.
Photo from Flickr/Paul Goyette