'Tis the Season to be Sweet

Sweet Potato Recipes for the Holidays


We all love the sugary, caramelized flavor of sweet potatoes, but don’t let their sweet nature fool you. Behind their orange interior, sweet potatoes are chock full of nutrients from which you can easily benefit when prepared properly.

So what exactly makes Sweet Potatoes so nutritious?

Beta Carotene & Vitamin A: When eaten with the skin on*, a medium sweet potato has four times the recommended daily intake for beta carotene! Beta carotene is a precursor to vitamin A, meaning the body coverts it to vitamin A and it plays a vital role in vision, bone development and immune function. Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin, so be sure to eat your sweet potato with a little bit of fat, like a pat of butter, for maximum vitamin absorption.

VITAMIN C: Like citrus, sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin C, which helps fight infections, heal wounds and absorb iron. A medium sweet potato provides 35 percent of your daily recommended amount of vitamin C.

MANGANESE: Sweet potatoes are a good source of manganese, which helps maintain normal blood sugar levels and optimal thyroid function.  

FIBER: Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber, a nutrient that bulks up food, keeping you full longer. Fiber also keeps your bowels healthy and lowers cholesterol. A medium sweet potato baked in its skin has 4 grams of fiber, more than a packet of instant oatmeal.

COMPLEX CARBOHYDRATES: Sweet potatoes are made of complex carbohydrates (energy) that is released at a steady pace for a constant source of vitality, so no sugar highs or lows to worry about.

ANTIOXIDANTS: Sweet potatoes are high in antioxidant activity compared to other vegetables. Antioxidants help reduce your risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and cardio vascular disease.

LOW IN CALORIES: A medium sweet potato (2 inches in diameter and 5 inches in length) is only about 100 calories when baked in the skin, making sweet potatoes an ideal food for weight management. It’s the all-natural 100-calorie pack—managing your weight just got easier!

*Eating the sweet potato skin will lower the glycemic index and provide additional nutrients.

Twice Baked Maple Chipotle Sweet Potatoes with Goat Cheese and Pumpkin Seeds
Servings: 8  |  Pictured above.

6 large Sweet potatoes
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 heaping cup Plain Greek yogurt
½ cup Maple syrup
1-2 canned Chipotles in adobo sauce
1 tsp Ground cinnamon
¾ tsp Salt
4-6 Tbsps Crumbled goat cheese
¼ cup Toasted pumpkin seeds

Rinse and scrub sweet potatoes with a rough brush or veggie cleaner. Dry well. Coat sweet potatoes with a thin layer of olive oil. With a fork, prick sweet potatoes all over, about 6 times. Grilling instructions: Preheat grill and set burners on indirect medium heat. Place sweet potatoes in the center of the cooking grate; grill-roast until the skin is crisp and the inside is soft but the skin is still intact, about 1 hour. Remove from grill; set aside. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grilling alternative: Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake until tender but not mushy, about 1 hour. Let cool to lukewarm. Reduce heat to 350°F. To make the twice-baked potatoes: Choose the four potatoes with the most skin intact and cut them in half lengthwise. Leave a ½-inch margin of the potato intact, scoop out the sweet potato flesh with a spoon and place in the bowl of a food processor; reserve skins. Peel remaining two sweet potatoes and add flesh to the bowl; discard skins. To bowl add yogurt, maple syrup, chipotle, cinnamon and salt; puree until smooth (see note). Place mixture in a piping bag or spoon mixture into reserved shells; top with goat cheese. Place on a rack over a baking sheet; bake until filling is warmed through and cheese is melty and lightly browned, about 25 minutes. To serve, garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds.

Note: Mixture can be refrigerated for up to 2 days at this point. Follow remaining instructions and bake in oven until filling is warmed through, about 50 minutes.



Melba’s Sweet Potato Pancakes
Servings: 4   |   Recipe courtesy of Melba’s Restaurant, Harlem, NY

2 medium Sweet potatoes
1½ cups All-purpose flour
2 Tbsps Sugar
3 tsps Baking powder
1 tsp Cinnamon
½ tsp Nutmeg
½ tsp Salt
1½ cups Buttermilk, half & half or whole milk
2 large Eggs
2 tsps Butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350°F. Rub outside of sweet potatoes with oil. Wrap separately in foil; place in a baking pan. Bake 45 to 60 minutes or until fork tender. Remove and let cool. In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In separate bowl, combine milk, eggs and melted butter. Combine with dry mixture; whisk well. Peel baked sweet potatoes and mash with a fork. Fold ¾ of the mashed sweet potatoes into the batter. If needed, add additional milk as your batter should be thick, but easy to pour.

Heat a buttered pan over medium heat. Pour about ¼ cup of batter onto pan; cook until bubbles begin to form, about 3 to 4 minutes. Flip over and cook an additional 2 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve pancakes with remaining mashed sweet potato and maple syrup.


Sweet Potato Balls
Servings: 48

1 (24 oz) Almond bark (vanilla flavor)
1 pkg (10 oz) Sweetened coconut flakes
1 cup Chopped nuts
1 cup Mashed sweet potatoes
1½ cups Graham cracker crumbs
Melt almond bark in a double boiler. Add coconut, nuts, sweet potatoes and graham crackers; mix well. Butter hands and roll mixture into balls. Roll in chopped nuts if desired. Refrigerate until cool.

SweetPotatoes-5Curried Sweet Potato Apple Soup
Servings: 4

2 large (1 lb) Sweet
1 large (8 oz) Tart apple (such as Fuji, Honeycrisp
or Gala)
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1 large Onion, coarsely chopped (2 cups)
2 to 3 tsps Curry powder
1 can (14 or 14.5 oz) Vegetable broth
1¾ cups Unsweetened
apple juice
¾ tsp Salt
6 oz Plain low-fat yogurt
¾ cup Croutons, optional

Pierce sweet potatoes and apples with fork tines. Microwave sweet potatoes and apple on high until apple is very tender, about 6 to 7 minutes. Remove apple; set aside until cool enough to handle. Continue microwaving sweet potatoes on high until tender, about 4 to 5 minutes longer. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, in large saucepan over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and curry powder. Cook and stir until onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes. Transfer broth mixture to bowl of food processor; reserve saucepan. Halve sweet potatoes and apple. Remove apple core, scoop potato and apple pulp from skin. Add to processor. Add salt; whirl until very smooth, gradually adding apple juice through processor feed tube. Transfer mixture to reserved saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat; whisk in yogurt. Reheat just until hot (do not boil).
Serve topped with croutons, if desired.

Sweet Potato Waldorf Salad
Servings: 4   |   Recipe by Kathryn Jackson, Benson N.C.

1st Place Winner  - N.C. State Fair!

3 cups Grated sweet potatoes
½ cup Raisins
1 cup Celery, chopped
¼ cup Green onion, chopped
5 oz Baked ham, chopped
2 Tbsps Orange juice
Lettuce for garnish

Bring grated sweet potatoes to a boil in water cover and boil 1 minute only. Drain immediately. Place sweet potatoes in ice water. Let stand for five minutes. Drain well and pat dry with paper towels. Combine sweet potatoes, raisins, celery and onion. Stir in ham. In a separate bowl, mix together sour cream and orange juice. Toss with sweet potato mixture. Chill overnight & serve.



Roasted Sweet Potato Risotto  
Servings: 4

2 medium Sweet potatoes
¼ cup Olive oil, divided
4 cups Hot vegetable stock, divided
½ cup Onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp Garlic, minced
1½ cups Arborio rice (12 oz pkg)
¾ cup White wine
1 Tbsp Fresh rosemary
1½ tsp Thyme leaves
3 Tbsps Butter
2 Tbsps Grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp Salt
¾ tsp Black pepper

Preheat oven to 350°F. Peel sweet potatoes and cut in half. Cut half the sweet potatoes into ¼-inch diced and set aside. Cut the remaining sweet potatoes into 1-inch chunks; toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and roast until soft, about 30 minutes. Puree cooked sweet potatoes in a food processor with ¼ cup chicken stock; reserve. In a large saucepan, heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil; sauté onion and small, diced sweet potatoes over medium high heat.

Cook until softened but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and arborio rice and cook 2-3 minutes stirring frequently. Stir in wine. Cook, stirring until completely absorbed. In the same manner add hot stock, ½ cup at a time, stirring until each addition is completely absorbed and stock is used up. Add sweet potato puree, rosemary, thyme, butter and Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Fluffy Sweet Potato Bourbon Pie

Servings: 10   |   Recipe by Elizabeth Karmel for the NCSPC

2 lbs Sweet potatoes
5 Tbsps Unsalted butter, melted
3 large Eggs
¾ cup Heavy cream
2 Tbsps Best quality bourbon
1 generous tsp Pure vanilla extract
½ cup Dark brown sugar, packed
¼ cup Granulated white sugar
1 tsp Ground cinnamon
¼ tsp Freshly grated nutmeg
¼ tsp Ground ginger
¼ tsp Fine-ground sea salt
⅛ tsp Ground cloves
1 (10-inch) Store-bought graham cracker crust
Ginger whipped cream (recipe follows)
Toasted pecans, for garnish

Ginger Whipped Cream:
½ pint Heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsps Sugar
½ tsp Ground ginger

Preheat oven to 425°F. Wash and dry sweet potatoes. With a fork, prick the sweet potatoes all over about six times. Set sweet potatoes on a cookie sheet or baking pan. Roast until soft and you can see bits of sugar bubbling where you pricked the potato, about 1 hour. Reduce heat to 375°F. Cool, peel and measure out 2 generous cups of cooked sweet potato. Remove flesh to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the “s” blade; puree until smooth. While the motor is running, add the butter to soften the sweet potatoes. Add the eggs. You will notice that the sweet potatoes will start to take on a lighter, almost peachy color.

In a small bowl, combine the cream, bourbon and vanilla extract. Add the liquids as the machine is running. The mixture will look light and fluffy at this point. Scrape the sides and add the sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt and cloves. Puree to combine. The sugar and spices will darken the color a bit but the texture will remain very fluffy. Spoon the filling into the prepared crust and place on a cookie sheet. Bake until filling is set, about 40 minutes. To test, shake the pie; the center of the pie should jiggle slightly. If you aren’t sure, stick a toothpick or a butter knife in the center; if it comes out clean, the pie is done. Let cool and then chill thoroughly before serving. Serve with ginger whipped cream and toasted pecans.

Ginger whipped cream: In a mixing bowl, combine ½ pint heavy whipping cream, 2 tablespoons sugar and ½ teaspoon ground ginger. Using an electric mixer or a whisk, whip until cream is thick and stiff.

Sweet Potato Creamsicle Smoothie
Servings: 2

1 cup Frozen fat-free vanilla yogurt
½ cup Cold mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup Orange juice
½ tsp Vanilla extract

In blender container, combine yogurt, sweet potato, orange juice and vanilla.
Whirl until smooth.


Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries
with Blue Cheese Dressing  
Servings: 8

5 lbs Sweet potatoes (about 7),
cut into 1/2-inch matchsticks
⅓ cup Olive oil
½ cup Flour
1 Tbsp Salt

For the Blue Cheese Dressing:
1 cup Sour cream
½ cup Buttermilk
½ lb Blue cheese, divided
2 Tbsps Yellow onion, minced
1 Tbsp Fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Fresh garlic, minced
½ tsp Salt
¼ tsp Hot sauce

Preheat oven to 450º F. Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil; spray with nonstick cooking spray. In large bowl, combine sweet potatoes, oil, flour and salt; toss until well coated. In a single layer, spread sweet potatoes on foil without overcrowding. Bake until cooked and crisp, about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Repeat with remaining sweet potatoes. To make Blue Cheese Dressing: In a blender, place sour cream, buttermilk, half of the blue cheese, onion, lemon juice, Worcestershire, garlic, salt and hot sauce; whirl until smooth. Remove to bowl. Add remaining cheese; mix with spoon.