Salaams, Peace. I must admit, I hate sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are one of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat. Rich in all important beta carotenes, minerals like potassium, calcium and magnesium, they are a good source of vitamin B6 and fiber. Sounds almost too good to be true until you taste them. Ugh. At least that was my opinion. I’m sorry a sweet potato french fry does not rock my world. Luckily, I found 3 simple recipe hacks that helped me fall in love with this healthy vegetable.
- Mix with white potatoes. Yes, you read that correctly. I had the good fortune to dine with a West African friend and she served this delicious pale orange colored mashed potatoes. The texture, taste, consistency were perfect! I had to ask her, what was the secret? She shared that in her home country they mash the white potato with 1/4 sweet potato and prepare as usual. I have since tried this variation many times at home with great success! My recipe: for every 4 medium sized white potatoes I use one medium sized sweet potato. (About the size of the potato in the picture above.) I boil the potatoes together and mash with butter, plain Greek yogurt, and season salt. Any other seasonings you can add to your particular taste.
- Make it savory. (Season with tomatoes, onions, green peppers.) With sweet potatoes, cooks often make it sweeter by adding brown sugar, marshmallows, honey etc. However going the opposite direction should not be overlooked. For breakfast we ALL enjoy sweet potato hash browns. Easy to make. (The hardest part is peeling and chopping the sweet potato.) I dice the sweet potatoes into small pieces. (Not too thin or it will turn to mush!) Saute in olive oil as the potatoes begin to soften, I mix in diced tomatoes, onions, green peppers. (To avoid chopping these veggies in the morning I sometimes add a bag of “southwest seasoning mix” available in most frozen food sections. It has these same veggies pre-chopped for your convenience.) I continue sauteing until the veggies are nicely softened and seasoned with salt, pepper, smoked paprika, cumin, garlic and onion powder. I also finely chop a handful of cilantro.
- Drown it in spices. (Season with cinnamon, nutmeg and plain yogurt.) While I don’t enjoy my sweet potatoes, sweetened. Some spices are undeniably a pleasant complement. Cinnamon, and nutmeg bring this sometimes bland veggie to life. For a baked sweet potato you can add the traditional salt, pepper, garlic powder, etc. Or you can kick your baked sweet potato up by going with plain yogurt, butter, cinnamon and nutmeg. Other spices that pair well are cardamon, ginger, smoked paprika.
I have not included specific recipes because I don’t use a recipe when I cook. I love to get into the kitchen and experiment. I cook to my/our tastes. I encourage you to take these suggestions and come up with creations that your family will enjoy. Feel free to share your suggestions and recipes in the comment section. Meanwhile, I pray you and your family will be encouraged to try this healthy vegetable in new and healthy ways!