Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday's Menu: Thanksgiving Sweet Potatoes

Ah, the sweet potato. No other vegetable can top its sweetness on the Thanksgiving table, or any other time of the year, for that matter. (In my humble opinion, at least!) And besides their lovely texture, sweet potatoes are also high in beta carotene, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B6, in addition to being rich in dietary fiber and complex carbohydrates. Not bad for such a vegetable!

In traditional cultures, sweet potatoes were fermented in holes in the ground. These days, the only time anyone in the U.S. sees them is when they are covered with marshmallows on Thanksgiving day. Unfortunately, marshmallows are extremely unhealthy, and I have to warn you- even the "organic" ones are too! Corn syrup is bad for you no matter what, even if it's "organic"! I've never seen any made without it.

The good news is, it's possible to make some delightful sweet potatoes for your Thanksgiving table, even without the marshmallows. And trust me, I know how hard it can be to give those up. My Mom made sweet potato casserole every year that I can remember growing up, and I used to eat only the toasty marshmallows, eschewing most of the sweet potatoes. So I know how good it is!

But sweet potatoes are so sweet- you don't need marshmallows! I've found that the key to yummy sweet potatoes is plenty, and I do mean plenty, of rich butter.

Here's a basic recipe I use for sweet potatoes. (Although I don't ever add sweetener, and we don't miss it, but I'll include it below for Thanksgiving) I love sweet potatoes so much that we have them once a week! (On Sundays, with our weekly roast!)

So Sweet Sweet Potatoes (Serves 4-6)

(I don't follow this precisely by any means, so feel free to add more butter, or more salt or cinnamon if you think it needs it!)

10 medium sized organic yams
1-2 tspns. sea salt, to taste
1-2 tspns. organic cinnamon, to taste
1-2 sticks organic butter, like Organic Valley's cultured, unsalted butter, or use homemade raw butter!
1 cup organic raisins
1/4-1/2 cup Rapadura, or raw honey

Wash sweet potatoes and prick holes all over them. Bake in a 350 degree oven (put some foil on the bottom of your oven for easy cleanup) for about 2-3 hours, or until very, very tender when pierced with a fork or knife.

Take the sweet potatoes out of the oven when very tender, and cut them down the middle. Scoop out the flesh into a large bowl. Add in the butter, and stir until thoroughly melted and evenly distributed. Then add the sweetener, sea salt, cinnamon and raisins. Stir thoroughly.

Serve right away, or reheat in a dish in the oven, or in a crockpot on Thanksgiving day.

Enjoy your sweet, sweet potatoes!

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