5 Sweet Potato Recipes – How to Bake and Puree Sweet Potatoes
Grandma’s famous sweet potato casserole, Aunt Mable’s sweet potato pie…how can you recreate these amazing sweet potato recipes for the holiday season? To do this, you need to know a little bit about how to pick and bake a sweet potato.
This starchy, sweet-tasting root vegetable has become a fall favorite as a side dish and dessert for good reason. In addition to making incredibly tasty sweet potato recipes, one baked, medium-sized sweet potato contains more than 400% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin A, more than 35% of vitamin C, plus many other vitamins and minerals like calcium, potassium, fiber and iron.
What’s the Difference Between a Yam and a Sweet Potato?
Many people confuse the two root vegetables, but they aren’t even related. Here’s how to tell them apart.
Yam – Starchy and drier than a sweet potato, yams are cylindrical shaped with blackish or brown, bark-like skin and white, purple or reddish flesh. Yams aren’t often carried in grocery stores but are sold in international or specialty markets. Many grocery stores that carry “yams” are actually selling a variety of sweet potatoes.
Sweet Potato – Sweet potatoes have an elongated shape and taper at both ends. Depending on the variety, a sweet potatoes flesh can be white, yellow, orange or even orange-red. There are two major types and each one cooks differently:
- Firm and sweet with a golden skin and paler flesh. These remain firm and a bit waxy after cooking.
- Soft and sweet with a copper skin and orange flesh. These become creamy, fluffy and moist. This variety is often mistaken for a yam but is the one you want to buy for baking. If you purchase the firm ones, be sure to add more cream, butter or oil to sweeten.
How to Prepare Sweet Potato Purée
Many sweet potato recipes will require you to puree the sweet potatoes before adding them to the recipe. Here are some basic instructions for making a sweet potato puree:
- Cut 2 pounds of peeled and rinsed sweet potatoes into 1.5 inch cubes.
- Place in a pot and cover with water.
- Bring to a boil, cover pan and turn to a low simmer.
- Cook potatoes until fork tender, about 12 minutes.
- Drain water and keep potatoes in pot to keep them hot.
- Add 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter.
- Add 1/4 cup any type of milk and mash until smooth.
- Using a firm whisk, mix in a small amount of milk to bring to desired consistency and fluffiness.
- If desired, add herbs (cilantro for Mexican style or parsley for an herbal salty-ness). Cinnamon and ginger can also be added.
How to Bake a Sweet Potato
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Wash sweet potatoes well and pat dry.
- Poke holes in the sweet potatoes with a fork.
- For a soft-skinned potato, wrap in foil. For a crispy skin potato, leave unwrapped.
- Put potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.
Here are some of our most scrumptious sweet potato recipes that would make even Grandma proud.
Sweet Potato Pie – Sweetalk Community Member Donna McGee Frank shares her Homemade Sweet Potato Pie – a family favorite.Sweet Potato Casserole – Take all the yum of a traditional sweet potato casserole, then add dried cranberry and pineapple for a bright spin on a holiday favorite.Sweet Potato Pound Cake – This soft, sweet pound cake is delicious for breakfast, brunch or dessert. The delicate orange glaze makes this bread absolutely sing, with a slightly sweet, slightly tart finish.Sweet Potato Cheesecake with Bourbon Whipped Cream – A combination of two classic desserts, this creamy and indulgent Sweet Potato Cheesecake is topped with a boozy Bourbon Whipped Cream and a crunchy pecan praline crumble.Sweet Potato Cream Cheese Bundt Cake – Looking for an impressive cake you can serve for breakfast or dessert? This rich, moist, sweet potato spiced cake is swirled with sweet, maple flavored cream cheese and topped with a maple praline frosting. Watch Jessica at The Novice Chef whip up this cake here.