I am home now, but I started this post in a Starbucks in Columbus, Ga. Random, I know, but Toby was playing in the All-Armed Forces Rugby tournament at Ft. Benning. And in case you’re wondering, Ft. Benning is really nice. And really ginormous.
Anyway, this post is not about rugby. It’s about delicious sweet potatoes. With coconut milk. And macademia nuts. It’s like Thanksgiving in Hawaii.
Sweet potatoes and yams are not the same, although I’m not entirely sure how to tell the difference when buying them (other than the sign hanging above them). I prefer sweet potatoes — yams have a bit of a different consistency — but I don’t think any harm will befall you if you try this recipe with yams instead.
As I’m sure you recall, I love sweet potatoes, especially with marshmallow. This is a healthier — and much less sweet — version of sweet potato casserole. It still has plenty of fat (thanks to the coconut milk and macadamias), but that’s good fat. Allegedly.
If you can’t handle sweet potatoes that aren’t super sweet, you can add more maple syrup. Just promise you’ll at least taste it first.
Let me know what you think — and also if you want me to post more vegetables/healthy food (or more whatever). If you’re shy, you can email me at eatswimshop (at) gmail (dot) com instead of commenting below. I just want to hear from you!
And please remember to vote for my blog in the Baltimore Sun’s contest. You will have to register, but it’s free. Click here or on the pink Mobbies thing on the right. Thank you!
Coconut sweet potatoes (Adapted from 101 Cookbooks, serves 6)
2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (enough to make 3 cups mashed)
1/3 cup coconut milk (and maybe a little more)
2 inch piece fresh ginger (enough for 1 tablespoon grated)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1/3 cup unsweetened grated coconut
2 tablespoons olive oil or melted butter
1/3 cup toasted macadamia nuts, chopped (instructions for toasting below)
Poke sweet potatoes with a fork and bake in a 350 F oven until very soft (this will take an hour or more, depending on size of potatoes), then scrape the flesh out of the skins OR peel and cut sweet potatoes into pieces (try to make pieces roughly the same size), then place the pieces in a large pot of boiling water until you can easily insert a fork into the center of one of the pieces (about 15 minutes). Mash the sweet potato pieces with a fork.
Preheat the oven to 350 F, and make sure you have one of your oven racks in the upper third of the oven. Butter or oil a medium-sized casserole dish (or several small ramekins).
Blend the mashed sweet potatoes together with the coconut milk using a hand mixer, blender or food processor. Add additional coconut milk if the mixture seems to dense.
Grate the ginger and add 1 tablespoon of grated ginger to the sweet potatoes, along with maple syrup and salt. Stir and allow to sit for a few minutes. Taste the mixture and add more ginger, maple syrup or salt if you’d like.
Spread the sweet potato mixture evenly into the casserole dish and sprinkle with coconut. Drizzle with olive oil or butter. Bake until the coconut is golden and the sweet potatoes are warm, 30-40 minutes. Sprinkle with toasted macadamia nuts and serve immediately.
*To toast macadamia nuts: Place in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet in the 350 F oven for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until nuts begin to brown and smell nutty. OR Toast in dry skillet/frying pan over medium heat, stirring frequently.