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Volume III
November 30, 2012

Weekly Home / Cook'n & Eat'n

An Amazing Pie and Quick Bread from Yams and Sweet Potatoes!

By Alice Osborne

Because the health benefits of yams and sweet potatoes are numerous, because these vegetables are so very healthy, and because they are so easy to digest, it is important to try to incorporate these vegetables into your diet on a weekly basis.

As the name implies, most people find sweet potatoes to taste sweet, making them pleasant to eat. Yams, on the contrary, are hardly sweet and have an earthy taste. Sweet potatoes and yams are good sources of vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, copper, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, potassium and iron. All of these vitamins and minerals have nutritional benefits. With low fat and calories, paired with high vitamin content, these roots have been described as some of the world's healthiest foods.

They contain lots of beta carotene, so they're good cancer-fighters. They're loaded with anti-inflammatory agents, and have been shown to reduce the severity of symptoms associated with asthma. They make super baby food when cooked and pureed well, and they promote heart and muscle health.

Most folks put sweet potatoes and yams to work around holiday time - usually cooked, mashed, and covered with loads of mini marshmallows. But they are so much more versatile than this. They are a terrific substitute for pumpkin in pie, and when cooked and mashed, they can easily be put into breads, cookies, and custards. And I LOVE cooked sweet potatoes or yams in a smoothie with coconut milk, cinnamon, honey, and vanilla. Oh my, this is decadent. I suspect they have more uses than this as well.

Now here are a couple tried-and-true recipes our family loves. We get really excited when the seasonal yams and sweet potatoes show up - they not only say "Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinner!", they say yummy eating!

This crustless pie recipe is one of our favorites but I also use this filling in single crust pies, for making tarts, and when I make it without the crust I like to top it with the same topping I use for my fruit crisps (flour, butter, oats, brown sugar, and vanilla).

And you'll really like the recipe for quick bread - even better than pumpkin, I bet.

Sweet Potato Quick Bread

Even better than pumpkin bread!

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or combination of whole grain flours
2 teaspoons baking powder (aluminum free, such as Rumford's)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mace
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped dates or raisins
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 large eggs lightly beaten
1/2 cup applesauce
4 tablespoons coconut milk
1 cup cooked and mashed sweet potato
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Grease bottom of a loaf pan approximately 9- x 5- x 3-inches. Stir together flour, baking powder, salt and spices in mixing bowl; stir in the sugar, pecans, and raisins or dates. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, applesauce, milk, and mashed sweet potatoes; stir to blend well. Add wet mixture to the dry ingredients and mix with a large spoon just until the mixture is moistened. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 325 degrees for about 1 hour and 10 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan and continue cooling on wire rack.

Recipe formatted with the Cook'n Recipe Software from DVO Enterprises.

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Yam or Sweet Potato Crustless Pie

2 cups sweet potatoes or yams, mashed
3 eggs
1 tablespoon flour
2/3 cup real maple syrup
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 pinch sea salt
1 cup coconut milk

Beat eggs, then the sugar and flour. Add everything else and beat together. Grease a 9" pie pan with cooking spray, then pour the mixture in. Bake at 400 degrees F for 35 to 40 minutes. Top with sweetened whipped cream to serve.

Recipe formatted with the Cook'n Recipe Software from DVO Enterprises.

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