Mashed Sweet Potatoes

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Thanksgiving is coming! Thanksgiving is coming! We are T-minus 11 days away from my favorite holiday of the year! I purchased my gigantic 20 lb. turkey yesterday morning (fondly named him Henry); he is waiting for the big day in the freezer downstairs. You name your turkey tooright? For the past several weeks I’ve been stocking up on Thanksgiving casserole staples at the grocery store and hoarding them in my pantry. I simply cannot wait!

For most people the perfectly moist and juicy turkey is the star of the Thanksgiving spread, but I actually prefer to load up on all the sides! Typically we have mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and mashed sweet potatoes. Lots of carb-loading on Thanksgiving day to help prepare for the marathon of Black Friday shopping. Ha! Mashed sweet potatoes are one of my favorite holiday sides; I actually make them all winter long to serve with grilled chicken or fish.

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I consider my mashed sweet potatoes one of the healthier side dishes because, get this, they have NO butter or oil whatsoever! Say what?? Mashed potatoes without butter? The truth is, sweet potatoes are super creamy on their own and don’t need the extra fat to be creamy, dreamy, and luscious. I season the sweet potatoes with a splash of low-fat milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg for a festive feel. A sprinkle of ground ginger would also be superb! After the seasonings are added all you need is a couple minutes of mashing and smashing with a potato masher (or electric mixer) to create the best sweet potatoes ever! To hide these beautiful sweet potatoes under a layer of marshmallows would be blasphemous!

Ingredients (~6 servings; recipe can be very easily doubled)

  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 c. low-fat milk
  • 1/3 c. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg (or freshly grated if you have it)
  • pinch salt
  • chopped pecans, for garnish (optional)

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Wash and peel the sweet potatoes.

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Potato peeling happens to be my most hated kitchen chore; elicit help if necessary.

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Cut the potatoes in half.

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Cut each half into half again.

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Then into half one last time.

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And finally into a large dice. Throw all the diced sweet potatoes into a large pot. Cover the potatoes by one inch with cold water. It’s important to start with cold water because it will help the potatoes cook evenly.

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Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the sweet potato pieces are pierced very easily with a knife. Drain potatoes and place in a large mixing bowl.

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Add the milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

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Mash with a potato masher until desired consistency; I like really creamy and smooth mashed potatoes. Taste for seasoning and adjust based on your preferences.

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Transfer to a pretty serving bowl and garnish with chopped pecans, if using. Sure to be new family favorite; enjoy! :)

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