Mashed Yams Two Ways

Ever since my Certain Little Someone was a very little someone, he has looooooved sweet potatoes. When I first embarked on the adventure of solid foods with him, I tried rice cereal, like most other American moms. He didn’t like it. Once he took one taste, he pushed the spoon away and made crazy “Yuck!” faces. I tried the next day and the next day and the next, and by that time, he knew what was coming and I couldn’t even get one drop past his lips. Then I tried oatmeal and met with pretty much the same success, which is to say none at all.

And then! Then I had the brilliant idea to try sweet potatoes! Ah, sweet success! He gobbled an entire serving up in what seemed like 30 seconds. One year later, and he is still a huge fan of the orange root. He’d eat it at every meal if I let him. Thank goodness, sweet potatoes are easy to fix with allergen-free ingredients. Kids love them because they are naturally sweet to begin with, but they are also bland, so you can flavor them up any way you want.

I often roast the sweet potatoes or make sweet potato fries, but sometimes, it’s just easier to make mashed sweet potatoes. Or mashed yams, as I call them, which is much easier to say and just sounds better (even if it is somewhat inaccurate!). Thanks to the versatile nature of the sweet potato, I can make them sweet mashed yams, or spicy mashed yams just by altering the additional ingredients. This is such an easy, allergen-free food, I keep sweet potatoes on hand all the time.

The easiest way to cook the sweet potato is in the oven. Wash the sweet potato and pierce it through with a fork several times. Bake in a 375F oven for 45 minutes or until the flesh is soft when you poke it with a fork. Remove from oven and allow to cool until it is easy to handle. Cut the sweet potato in half and squeeze the flesh out of the peel into a bowl. Mash with a fork, and then decide which of the following types of mashed yam you would like to make:

Sweet Mashed Yams

To your mashed sweet potato, add some coconut oil or safe margarine and stir well until thoroughly combined. If the sweet potato is too cool to allow the oil to melt, heat it briefly in the microwave. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, and honey to taste, and mix well.

Spicy Mashed Yams

To the sweet potato, add olive oil and stir well until thoroughly combined. Add paprika, cumin and garlic powder or minced garlic to taste and stir well. If desired, add a dash of salt and freshly ground black pepper to enhance the flavor.

One large sweet potato will make about 4 servings. Add the oils and seasonings to taste.

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