Healthy Mashed Sweet Potatoes | The Rising Spoon

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Healthy Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Learn how to make the best mashed sweet potatoes that are smooth, fragrant & comforting, yet still healthy (no marshmallows needed)! The method is super easy and makes the potatoes taste amazing all by themselves! This is simple enough for a weeknight dinner, yet elegant enough to bring as a side dish to your favorite holiday gatherings like Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter. {gluten-free, paleo & vegan + whole30 option}

The Best Healthy Mashed Sweet Potatoes Recipe


Looking for a delicious mashed sweet potato recipe that isn't loaded with sugar? I grew up eating sweet potato casserole every Christmas that was generously topped with brown sugar & mini marshmallows (my sis loved 'em), but these days I prefer to actually taste the sweet potato - LOL!

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.

That's why I came up with this mashed sweet potato recipe that features fresh orange juice + zest, real maple syrup, and warm spices like cinnamon & cardamom.

It's my go-to mashed sweet potato recipe that I serve each year for Thanksgiving. My family is always impressed at how fragrant & flavorful it is without relying on a ton of sugar.

The fresh orange juice adds a bit of extra sweetness while the orange zest brightens the sweet potato flavor and adds an intoxicating (happy) fragrance. The orange + cinnamon combo really takes the sweet potatoes to a whole new level!

When I'm not in a food coma from over-the-top sweet potatoes, that means I have plenty of room for pumpkin pie + LOTS of whipped cream.

Confession: I'm the weird person who's dessert plate looks like a big mound of whipped cream. Is there even a slice of pie under there? Wouldn't you like to know... ;)  

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First things first: These are NOT boiled or steamed. Why?

Most sweet potatoes & yams at grocery stores (we're not counting farmers markets) have been sitting on the shelves for MONTHS, so they don't taste anywhere as flavorful & sweet when they're cooked on the stove. Hence why many folks slather them with butter, warm spices, and lots of sugar.

Fortunately, there's a technique that completely eliminates the need for that. :)

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How to Make Mashed Sweet PotatoesThe Secret To Making The Best Mashed Sweet Potatoes

In order to maximize the sweetness of the potatoes without adding in a bunch of maple syrup or sugar, I baked them first in the oven (whole and plain) until they were super soft and easy to mash with a fork. 

Why Go Through The Extra Effort of Baking The Sweet Potatoes First? A longer bake in the oven at 350 degrees helps the starches in the sweet potato break down and the result is a sweeter, way more flavorful tasting potato.

Seriously! Baked 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

TIP: If you have a loved one who can't have a lot of sugar (like my dad who is Type II diabetic) there is NO need to use artificial sweeteners. Just bake & mash them some sweet potatoes, season them with warm spices and fresh orange zest, then stir in butter & salt and they'll love it!

When I bake 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. That's it.

The healthy fats help you absorb the fat-soluble vitamins in sweet potatoes (like vitamin A) and the sea salt brings out extra flavor.

If you have a veggie hater in your life, try baking or roasting more veggies (like root vegetables) and you're sure to win them over.

Now you know my secret! This is how I create perfect, ahhh-mazingly flavorful sweet potatoes (baked or mashed) with hardly any work.

Please tell your whole family so baking then mashing sweet potatoes becomes more popular for holiday feasts. :)


How to Make Healthy Mashed Sweet Potatoes

How to Make The Best (Healthy) Mashed Sweet Potatoes

  • Bake the Potatoes: Wash the skins first to remove any dirt then prick the outside of each sweet potato a few times with a fork. We don't want any exploding taters! Pop them directly into a 350-degree oven and bake until super tender, usually an hour. You'll know it's done when the natural sugars start to drip out of the pricked holes & you can slide a fork or knife into the thickest part of the sweet potato with hardly any effort. (They will smelly heavenly at this point.)
  • Remove the Skins: Let the potatoes cool a few minutes, slice them open, carefully peel away the skin, then scoop out the flesh. Watch your fingers - the insides will be hot!
  • Mash or Puree: Transfer the cooked sweet potato to a mixing bowl to mash by hand or puree with an immersion stick blender. You can also whip them in an electric blender or food processor until they're super smooth. The insides are VERY soft after baking, so I typically just mash them. But if you want them super smooth & whipped - use one of the blenders. 
  • Season: Stir in the butter (or ghee/coconut oil), maple syrup, orange juice, orange zest, cinnamon powder + cardamom powder. Taste the sweet potatoes and add more of any of the ingredients until it tastes good to you. I don't add a ton of sweetener since the baking brings out the potatoes natural sweetness but you may want more. Note: some sweet potato varieties are drier (rather than moist) so they may require a bit more juice or butter to get them to the consistency you want.
  • Serve: Transfer the sweet potatoes to an oven-safe dish (in case you need to reheat them) and top with extra orange zest + cinnamon powder. Serve immediately while warm with extra butter on top, if desired. 

CREAMY OPTION: If you want to make these sweet potatoes creamy - i.e. adding milk, heavy cream, sour cream, crème fraîche, yogurt, nut milk, etc. - add the creamy ingredient the bowl or blender before mashing/pureeing. Start with 1/4 or 1/2 cup so you don't add too much liquid. You can always add a bit more if needed. Note: This may cool down your potatoes enough that you need to reheat them for 5-10 minutes in the oven before serving.


The Best Healthy Mashed Sweet Potatoes Recipe

More Comforting Side Dish Recipes You'll Love:




easy, best, thanksgiving, Christmas, simple, yams, maple syrup, orange, cinnamon, make ahead
side dish
American
Yield: 8 cups
Author:

Healthy Mashed Sweet Potatoes Recipe

Healthy Mashed Sweet Potatoes

prep time: 15 Mcook time: 1 hourtotal time: 1 H & 15 M
Learn how to make the best mashed sweet potatoes that are smooth, fragrant & comforting, yet still healthy! The method is super easy and makes the potatoes taste amazing all by themselves! This is simple enough for a weeknight dinner, yet elegant enough to bring as a side dish to your favorite holiday gatherings like Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter. {gluten-free, paleo & vegan}

ingredients:

  • 4 lbs. of sweet potatoes (I use garnet or ruby)
  • 4 tablespoons of butter, ghee or coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons of real maple syrup (like THIS) - omit for whole30
  • Zest from 1-2 oranges, divided*
  • 1/4 cup of fresh orange juice (from about 1 orange)
  • 1 teaspoon of Ceylon cinnamon powder (a.k.a. "true" cinnamon) + extra for sprinkling on top
  • Sea salt, to taste (like Celtic or Himalayan) 
  • 2-3 pinches of cardamom powder (optional - look for it in the bulk spices section if you want to grab a tiny bit)

instructions:

How to cook Healthy Mashed Sweet Potatoes

  1. Preheat 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 on 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 oranges and set both aside.
  2. Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and let them 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.)
  3. Place the cooked sweet potato in a mixing bowl and mash with a fork 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.
  4. While the potatoes are still hot, stir in the butter (or preferred cooking fat), maple syrup, fresh orange juice, 1/2 of the orange zest, cinnamon powder, sea salt, and cardamom powder (optional). Taste the sweet potatoes and add more spices, orange juice or butter until it tastes good to you. (Some sweet potato varieties are drier than others so they may require extra liquid.)
  5. For serving (if it's a holiday) transfer to a ceramic dish, then garnish with extra orange zest, a few sprinkles of cinnamon powder, and a nob or two of butter (while hot).

NOTES:

ORANGES: I typically use heirloom navel oranges for this recipe (if I can find them). If the ones in your store are huge, you'll be fine with one orange. If they're normal-sized or smaller (ex: you're using clementines or cuties), grab two or more so you have enough juice + plenty of zest. You can always add a bit of zest at a time and taste it to see how citrusy you like it. Or just buy extra oranges and use any leftover zest + juice to make my Rosemary, Thyme & Orange Flavored Salt. MAKE-AHEAD: This is a great side to make the day before a big feast so you have fewer things to worry about and more space in your kitchen. Do everything as instructed in the recipe except for the garnishing part. Once completely cool, store in a sealed container in your fridge, then follow the steps below to reheat. REHEATING: Place in an oven-safe dish, tightly cover with foil and pop it in the oven at 350 or 375 degrees until warmed through again (this will typically take 20-30 minutes). When it's nice and hot, take off the cover and garnish with the extra zest + cinnamon + butter.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Did You Make This Recipe?

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Click Here to Save This To Your Side Dish Recipes Board On Pinterest!
Learn how to make the best mashed sweet potatoes that are smooth, fragrant & comforting, yet still healthy (no marshmallows needed)! The method is super easy and makes the potatoes taste amazing all by themselves! This is simple enough for a weeknight dinner, yet elegant enough to bring as a side dish to your favorite holiday gatherings like Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter. {gluten-free, paleo & vegan}

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MEDICAL DISCLOSURE: The information included on this website is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions expressed here are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for your own situation or if you have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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