Friday, March 9, 2012

Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Recently I found myself with another giant sweet potato from my neighbors to prepare.  I wanted sweet potatoes with some steak I was making.  I was broiling the steaks, so cooking sweet potatoes in the oven as I did with my honey-roasted sweet potatoes and balsamic vinaigrette oven-baked sweet potatoes fries wasn't an option.  I have also made sweet potato bread and rosemary sweet potato biscuits, but I had been eating bread with my French onion soup and garlic bread with spaghetti so I wasn't in the mood for bread.  Then a great idea came to me.  How about mashed sweet potatoes?

I have never made mashed sweet potatoes before, or even had them for that matter.  But it sounded pretty good.  I did some searching on the internet and found approximately 1 zillion recipes for mashed sweet potatoes.  As I often do, I basically picked various things I liked from the different recipes I found and came up with my own version.  One recipe I saw had maple in it.  I knew I was keeping that idea!  Some had cinnamon in the mashed potatoes, but I decided I would leave that as a garnish in case I decided I didn't want it.  Most recipes called for adding milk, but I opted for using the water I boiled the potatoes in.  It worked out really well because the sweet potato is naturally a little silkier than a traditional Russet potato.  Plus by reusing that water, you reclaim some of the nutrients that are lost in boiling the potatoes.

The final result was sweet potatoes that were silky, smooth, slightly sweet, and totally delicious.  It was really hard to stop eating these.  And they even made really good leftovers.  I reheated some in the microwave the next day and while my dish was heating, I sneaked a spoonful of the cold stuff.  Even the cold potatoes were yummy!  And best of all, these were so easy to make!  They mashed up so nicely, I didn't even have to use a potato masher.  I just used the wooden spoon I had used to stir the potatoes while they were boiling.

There are only a few steps to making these potatoes.  Start by boiling your sweet potatoes.  Cutting them into small chunks reduces the time it takes them to soften.
Drain the water, but reserve a bit of it for using later.  
Do the mash.  The sweet potato mash.  Add back some of the water until you get the consistency you want.  I actually added back a little more water than I should have.  If you make them too runny, add in a little flour to thicken them again.  No one will know!
Add some maple syrup, margarine, and salt.  I used 2 tablespoons of margarine, 3 tablespoons of maple syrup, and 1/2 tsp of salt, but you can adjust according to your taste.  Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon if you wish!
I can safely say I liked these more than regular mashed potatoes, even my delicious (and light) garlic mashed potatoes!  This made a pretty big batch of mashed potatoes.  We ate some of the leftovers, but couldn't eat them all.  So stay tuned because I have a great recipe coming soon for using leftover mashed sweet potatoes!

Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes
2 large sweet potatoes, washed, peeled, and cubed
2 Tbsp margarine
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp light maple flavored pancake syrup
Bring large pot of water to a boil.  Add sweet potatoes and boil for 20-30 minutes, until sweet potatoes are tender.
Drain sweet potatoes, retaining about 1/2 cup of the water.  Mash potatoes with potato masher or fork.  Add 1/4 cup water, salt, margarine, and syrup.  Stir to combine.  Add additional water if needed until desired consistency is reached.

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