Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Quick Mashed Sweet Potatoes

This is one of the easiest side dishes I have ever made. One night a few weeks ago I needed something super quick for dinner. I picked up a roasted chicken from the Food Lion Deli (yep! They are gluten free!), but I wasn't sure what to make to go with it.

I finally decided on a spinach salad and mashed sweet potatoes. Ever since we had the 30 Days Gluten Free Quick & Easy Meals series I've been looking for fast and easy ways to make meals and side dishes. Shirley's microwave meatloaf reminded me that I don't use that appliance nearly often enough. Especially in the summer.
I know there is some debate on how safe it is to use a microwave. Opponents say that the radio waves (microwaves) used to cook the food changes the molecular structure of the food itself and therefore makes it unhealthy for our bodies to process. There are also many arguments stating that nutrients in natural foods are lost/destroyed by the microwave cooking process. (However, keep in mind that heating any food will kill some of the nutrients regardless.)
I'm not a scientist or a nutritionist so I can't really give an opinion one way or the other on the safety of microwave cooking. But during these hot summer months I will admit that I find the microwave a useful cooking tool both in energy efficiency and saving my kitchen from the heat generated from our regular electric oven. 
At any rate, I made these super easy mashed sweet potatoes in the microwave. It was quick and made a delicious side dish for our roasted chicken. No matter how you choose to cook your sweet potatoes, acorn squash, butternut squash, pumpkins, etc... enjoy them as a wonderful & healthy side dish!

Quick Mashed Sweet Potatoes
a simple side dish technique
free of gluten, dairy, and soy
for 2 servings

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled & cubed
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon salt

Place cubed sweet potatoes into a glass bowl. Fill bowl with enough water to cover sweet potatoes by 1". Cook on medium heat for 5-10 minutes until cubed sweet potatoes are fork tender. Pour through a colander to drain water. Pour sweet potatoes back into your glass bowl and mash with a fork or a potato masher. Stir in coconut oil, cinnamon, honey, and salt. Serve immediately.

Carries Notes:

  • If you are in the anti-microwaving camp simply cook the cubed sweet potatoes in simmering water until they are fork tender.
  • You can use ghee or butter if you do not have coconut oil available.
  • Agave, molasses, or regular ol' brown sugar would also be delicious on these sweet potatoes if you don't want to use honey.
  • Our favorite addition to the mashed sweet potatoes is adding toasted chopped pecans to the top just before serving! 

* This post is also shared with "A Gluten Free Holiday" hosted by Diane of The WHOLE Gang on 12/2/2010. 
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