Nana’s Kitchen: Candied Sweet Potatoes

Nana’s Kitchen: Candied Sweet Potatoes

Greetings, home cooks, welcome to Nana’s Kitchen,

We will explore, from now until the end of the year, recipes that would be good to prepare for your family dinners, parties, potlucks, and other food related events. The ingredients are not exotic and generally available from your local grocery store. Sometimes the tried and true recipes are the best with a few variations. 

This week the sweet potato makes an appearance. Baked, boiled, roasted, fried, in a casserole or mashed most everyone likes the sweet potato. It seems to take a prominent place on the dinner table at the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. 

In the U.S. the term yam and sweet potato are used interchangeably. But they are not the same. 

Yams grow in tropical and subtropical climates, primarily in South America, Africa, and the Caribbean. Yams can reach 2 – 3 feet long and weigh as much as 80 pounds. Real yams have a rough, brown, scaly skin. The flesh is white, dry, and starchy. The flavor is mild, earthy, and not too sweet. Eating raw yams is not advised as they can be mildly toxic. They must be cooked before eating. Apparently the word yam comes from the word “nyami “ meaning “to eat” in Fulani, one of the languages spoken in Guinea. 

On to the sweet potato…. It is an edible root. Interestingly they are from the morning glory family. They are native to the Americas, growing best in tropical and warm temperatures. Over 50% of the country’s sweet potatoes are grown in North Carolina. 

Sweet potatoes come in different colors including orange, white, yellow, and purple. They have a naturally sweet, creamy, moist texture. The sweet potato contains protein, calcium, iron, sodium, vitamin A, and beta-carotene. 

Candied Sweet Potatoes 

4 medium sweet potatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
4-5 cups mini marshmallows

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees.
Butter 9 x 13 baking dish.
Peel, slice or dice sweet potatoes.
Boil potatoes untill tender, drain.
Combine potatoes with the butter, sugar, pecans, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and maple syrup.
Mix well. Using fork or spoon.
Spread mixture in baking dish and bake until browned. About 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and sprinkle marshmallows over casserole.
Return to oven and bake until marshmallows are lightly browned and melted. About 5 minutes or so.
Do not allow to burn.
Serve hot and enjoy.

Yes, this is chunky in its presentation. The sweet potatoes are not fully mashed. Just mashed as much as you care to do when mixing the ingredients. The potatoes do cook down some more when in the oven.
Cutting the potatoes the same size before boiling makes for more even cooking.
This could be put in a smaller casserole dish if needed. 
This recipe serves 6-8 people. 
This is a gluten free recipe.
Is it possible not to eat some of the marshmallows while preparing this dish?

Gifts of Fall

We thank Thee, Father up above,
For all Thy autumn gifts of love.
You give us beauty unsurpassed-
Resplendent scenes of brilliance massed.

And to Thee this we also owe:
The ample harvest that we know;
But to Thee, Father, most of all,
We thank Thee for creating fall.

Paula Sampson – Ideals, Vol. 54, No. 5