Looking for a delicious mashed sweet potato recipe that isn't overly sweet or covered in marshmallows? I was in the same boat two years ago, which is why I came up with this mashed sweet potato recipe that features slow-roasted sweet potatoes, fresh orange juice, and real maple syrup.
Did you know that when you boil or steam sweet potatoes that have been sitting around for awhile (probably months in supermarket shelves), they can taste a bit bland and less sweet than you'd expect? Hence why many folks slather them with butter, warm spices, and plenty of sweeteners.
I'm all for the aforementioned mix-ins, but these days I'm more sensitive to sugar (cutting back tends to do that), so I wanted a recipe that let the natural sweetness shine along with some flavorful accents.
The Best Method For Making Mashed Sweet Potatoes
In order to maximize the sweetness of the potatoes without adding in a bunch of maple syrup, I roasted them first in the oven--whole and plain--until they were super soft and easy to mash with a fork.
This longer slow-roast for 60ish minutes at 350 degrees helps the starches in the sweet potato break down and the result is a sweeter, way more flavorful tasting potato!
Seriously! Roasted sweet potatoes are so ahhh-mazing straight out of the oven (okay, give them a few minutes to cool off) that they don't need any toppings!
When I roast one or two as sides for dinner I generally slice 'em open and top the sweet potatoes with a bit of coconut oil or pastured butter and sea salt.
The healthy fats help you absorb the fat-soluble vitamins in sweet potatoes (like vitamin A) and the sea salt brings out extra flavor.
These Sweet Potatoes Are Still Delicious Sans The Sweetener
Because this cooking method brings out so much flavor in the sweet potatoes, you don't need much of a sweetener (or any at all). That's good news for folks who can't have added sugar.
My dad has type II diabetes, so I was thrilled to serve him some mashed sweet potatoes last Thanksgiving dressed simply with butter, cinnamon, and sea salt.
We grew up eating sweet potato casserole (a.k.a. candied sweet potatoes) sprinkled with brown sugar, butter, and mini marshmallows every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and he always had to opt out.
Orange + Sweet Potatoes = Match Made in Heaven
So I've established that roasted sweet potatoes are delicious all by their lonesome, but they taste even better when paired with certain flavors--specifically orange!
Fresh orange juice adds a bit of extra sweetness while orange zest brightens the sweet potato flavor and adds an intoxicating (happy) fragrance. This combo really takes sweet potatoes to a whole new level!
Orange-Maple Mashed Roasted Sweet Potatoes
This is the best method for fixing mashed sweet potatoes! The potatoes turn out so sweet, flavorful, and tender with barely any effort. To top it all off, the final dish is paired with bright orange zest, a touch of maple syrup, and warm spices.
4 lbs. of sweet potatoes (garnet or ruby)
4 tablespoons of butter, ghee, or coconut oil
2 tablespoons of real maple syrup (like THIS)
1/4 cup of fresh orange juice (from about 1 orange)
Zest from 1-2 oranges, divided
1 teaspoon of Ceylon cinnamon powder + extra for sprinkling on top
Sea salt, to taste (I love THIS and THIS)
2 pinches of cardamom powder (optional)
potato masher, muddler, large fork, or immersion blender
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash and dry the sweet potatoes, then poke each one several times with a fork. Place the potatoes on a large baking sheet or directly onto the middle oven rack and cook for 60 minutes or until all of the potatoes are very tender. While the potatoes are cooking, zest the orange and set both aside.
Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Slice open the potatoes and either peel off the skin or use a spoon to scoop out the flesh. Don't forget to watch your fingers! The inside will be hot and steamy! Place the cooked sweet potato in a mixing bowl and mash with a fork, muddler, or potato masher (this should take hardly any effort as the potatoes will be very soft from roasting) OR use an immersion blender or stand mixer to whip them until they're super smooth.
While the potatoes are still hot, stir in the butter, ghee, OR coconut oil, maple syrup, fresh orange juice, 1/2 of the orange zest, cinnamon, sea salt, and cardamom (optional). Taste everything and adjust accordingly. When you're ready to serve, transfer to a different container (or use the same mixing bowl), then top with the rest of the orange zest + an extra sprinkling of cinnamon powder.
I'd like to hear from YOU!
What's your favorite way to fix sweet potatoes? When you serve them for the holidays do you prefer them whole, diced, mashed, or casserole-style?
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