In honor of the holiday this week, I am sharing one of the recipes from our decadent Thanksgiving dinner class. These sweet potatoes are a little healthier than the usual version served at our family's feast. No marshmallows, butter or brown sugar. The natural sweetness in the applesauce takes care everything, the coconut oil (or butter if you so desire) adds a bit of luxury, and you won't be able to recall what used to top these sweet root vegetables because it was always meant to be cinnamon candied pecans and walnuts.
They may look a little different, but they're still what my grandmother always called them, 'practically dessert'.
apple and currant sweet potatoes with candied pecans
2 - 3 large sweet potatoes
1 cup applesauce, at room temperature or warm
3 - 4 Tablespoons coconut oil or butter, softened
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 cup currants or other dried fruit
1/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped
1 cup pecans and/or walnuts, roughly chopped
3 – 4 Tablespoons maple syrup
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
a drop or two of vanilla extract
Wash and pierce potatoes with a fork. Wrap in parchment paper, then a bit of foil and roast in 375 degree oven for 40 - 50 minutes or more, until soft. Test done-ness by pressing the sides of the wrapped potato, if it is soft, they are done. Unwrap the potatoes and allow to cool.
Combine the applesauce, coconut oil/butter, nutmeg, currants and pecans together.
When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel and slice or mash. Combine with the applesauce mixture and spoon into baking dish. Cover and bake 20 – 25 minutes or until heated through.
While they are baking, bring the maple syrup and cinnamon to a boil over medium low heat. Let it boil for a minute or two, then remove from heat. Add the pecans, vanilla and salt, stirring well. After the potatoes are heated through, uncover, spoon the candied pecans on top and return to the oven for 5 – 10 minutes.
You can make this with delicata, kabocha, or buttercup squash.
You can use any type of dried fruit, cranberries, golden raisins, dried bing cherries, etc.
Feel free to use different types of nuts; walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds work well.
p.s. here is Melissa's recipe for winter veggie salad with fennel and ground mustard.