Naturally sweet potatoes

The sweet potatoes of your past holiday meals have probably been rich with butter and brown sugar…possibly topped with beautifully golden-brown, toasted mini marshmallows or a flour-laden maple crumble, maybe containing a little cream or some candied pecans. You’re not alone if the dish is a favorite, because it’s basically a dessert! But sweet potatoes are naturally sweet and though a standard, traditional sweet potato casserole is certainly a treat, all the processed sugar it typically contains outshines all that is good about sweet potatoes.

Trim those calories!

You can still conjure up memories of holidays past by serving a sweet potato-centric side at your dinner, but you can trim the calories and much of the fat from this traditional dish by cutting out nearly everything but the sweet potato! This nearly naked recipe allows the sweet potato itself to shine. All you need to make this dish is fresh sweet potatoes (of course!), a little bit of water to boil, salt, paprika, coconut oil, and some Parmesan cheese. No sugary stuff needed!

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Less is definitely more

Not only will this dish blow away your taste buds with major flavor, but you’ll be astounded at the major health benefits of the star of this dish. The sweet potato helps boost the immune system, maintain water balance in the body, and facilitate digestion. They have also been helpful in curing stomach ulcers, providing relief from arthritis and even help to treat some cancers.

Parmesan cheese is known for a rich and nutty flavor, and it’s surprisingly good in both sweet and savory dishes. A one ounce serving of Parmesan contains nearly 35% of your recommended daily dose of calcium, which helps promote bone health. Paprika is loaded with vitamins like A, E, B6 and iron and has been known to aid in lowering blood pressure.

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Boiled and Smashed Sweet Potatoes (serves 6)

3 long, wide sweet potatoes, ends trimmed, cleaned but unpeeled

3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

4 teaspoons minced garlic

½ tablespoon paprika

Pink Himalayan sea salt, to taste

Ground black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese (preferably from wedge)

Directions

  1. Set your oven to high heat broil.
  2. Slice the sweet potatoes into rounds (approximately 1 inch in width).
  3. Place the sweet potato rounds into a large saucepan or dutch oven and cover generously with water.
  4. Bring the water to a gentle rolling boil, add a dash of salt and cook uncovered until fork tender – approximately 20 minutes – then drain.
  5. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with aluminum foil and grease with one tablespoon of melted coconut oil.
  6. Place sweet potato rounds so they aren’t touching. Using a potato masher (or serving fork), gently smash each round.img_0940.jpg
  7. To the remaining two tablespoons of coconut oil, add the minced garlic and paprika. Mix until well incorporated.
  8. Gently brush each round with the mixture and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, to taste.
  9. Broil 10-15 minutes (will depend on thickness of disks).
  10. Remove from oven and sprinkle each disk with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Recipe Notes

  • For a more savory taste, substitute the coconut oil with butter of your choice.
  • For a little spice, add one ½ teaspoon of chili powder to the coconut oil, paprika and garlic mixture.
  • For less salt, forego the Parmesan cheese or sub it for a cheese of your choice.
  • For added protein, top the rounds with chopped pecan pieces after you smuch them, then top everything with the coconut oil mixture.

 

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