Candied Yams: Yum or Yuck?

There are two types of people in this world, those who like marshmallows on their sweet potatoes and those who would rather be stuck seated next to crazy drunk Aunt Margaret for three hours than be forced to eat said side. In my humble opinion, marshmallows should not be allowed within a 2-foot radius of sweet potatoes, or any otherwise savory dish. It’s just not right. S’mores? Sure. But please keep them away from my vegetables.

So in honor of my aversion, following are some alternative approaches to the mighty yam. (And for your Thanksgiving tuber trivia (you can wow ‘em over cocktails with this one): In America, although the terms have become interchangeable, we have sweet potatoes, not yams–the two are not related botanically.)

How about you? Do you pass on the candied sweet potatoes, or ask to please pass them your way, stat? I know many people who love the sweet goop piled high on theirs (and they’re still my friends). Vote in the poll at the end of the recipes and leave a comment about how you like yours.

Next, four thankfully-marshmallow-free recipes: Sweet Potato Gratin With Coconut Milk and Chipotle Chile, Spicy Sweet Potaotes, Lip Smackin’ Sweet Potato Casserole, and Golden Potato Root Mash.

Sweet Potato Gratin With Coconut Milk and Chipotle Chile

3 pounds sweet potatoes (about six medium), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch rounds
One 15-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, seeded and minced
1 tbs. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. salt
1 tbs. maple syrup
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, coconut milk, chipotle chile, lime juice, salt, maple syrup and garlic. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish (8 x 11-inch Pyrex is ideal).

3. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake 45 minutes to one hour, until the sweet potatoes are just tender. Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes, or until the tops are browned.

Recipe excerpted from The Healthy Hedonist Holidays by Myra Kornfeld (Simon & Schuster, 2007), via Experience Life

Spicy Sweet Potatoes

2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
3/4 cup Greek-style yogurt or 1/2 cup soy yogurt (for a vegan version)
1/2 to 1 cup nonfat milk (or soymilk for a vegan version)
Juice of 1/2 lime
Chipotle powder, to taste
Sea salt, to taste
Pink peppercorns, ground, to taste
A few sprigs of fresh cilantro and a honey drizzle, for garnish (optional)

1. Boil sweet potato cubes for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender. Drain and place sweet potatoes in food processor.

2. Add Greek-style yogurt and 1/2 cup milk and process until smooth. Check consistency and add more milk if you like, then add lime juice, and chipotle powder, sea salt, and ground pink peppercorns, to taste.

3. Transfer puree to a serving bowl and garnish with fresh cilantro sprigs and a drizzle of honey, if desired.

Recipe by Sabrina Model-Carlberg (aka The Tomato Tart)

Lip Smackin’ (and Naughty) Sweet Potato Casserole

3 cups sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cream
Two eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup butter, melted
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/16 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 cup chopped pecans

Combine all ingredients and put in a greased casserole dish. Sprinkle evenly with topping and bake at 350° F for 30 minutes.

Recipe by Rebecca Brown, DivineCaroline

Golden Potato Root Mash

3 cups scrubbed, diced white potatoes
1 cup peeled, diced sweet potato or yam
1 carrot, scrubbed and diced
1 small turnip, scrubbed and diced
1/2 rutabaga, peeled and diced
1 parsnip, scrubbed and diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium white or yellow onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 shallot, minced
1/2 to 1 cup milk, half-and-half, or soymilk
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Place white and sweet potatoes, carrot, turnip, rutabaga, and parsnip in a large pot of boiling salted water and cook until very tender, around 30 to 40 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat and add onion, cooking around 10 to 15 minutes until it begins to brown and caramelize. Add garlic and shallot and continue cooking a few minutes until fragrant and softened.

3. Drain the potato mixture, return it to the pot, and smash with a potato masher, adding milk gradually until it reaches the desired consistency. Stir in the sautéed onion mixture with oil, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot.

A Care2 Timeless Favorite by Cait Johnson

Love This? Never Miss Another Story.


LMj Sunshine

Yum, thank you for sharing.

LMj Sunshine

Yum, thank you for sharing.

LMj Sunshine

Yum, thank you for sharing.

LMj Sunshine

Yum, thank you for sharing.

Michele Wilkinson

I don't like sweet potatoes. I like potatoes to taste of potatoes...not sweet.

Lika S.
Lika S.3 years ago

I like sweet potatoes... Deep fried in tempura, baked with butter & cinnamon sugar, or as a casserole, but I like with the pecans roasted. Skip the flour. But the occasional marshmallow isn't going to hurt anyone as long as you're not partaking all year around.

Elisabeth T.
Elisabeth T.3 years ago

Thanks for the wonderful recipes...

Mara C.
Mara Comitas3 years ago

I like sweet potatos any way they are prepared...especially with a bit of brown sugar & butter,

rosa M.
rosa M.4 years ago

Yummy to yams and yuck to marshmellows.
I love my yams roasted with rosemary, thyme, parsley, Olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. I'll pass on the marshmellows and refined sugars some people cook with their yams.

Ellie Damann
.4 years ago

marshmallows are yummy not yams