Saturday, December 20, 2008

Spiced Sweet Potatoes with Apples

In the south, where I'm from, sweet potatoes show up one way during the holidays: beneath a layer of bruleed marshmallows and swimming in butter. It's a wonderful tradition, but sometimes it's nice to take a fresher approach to sweet potatoes.

In this recipe we combine them with another fruit of the fall harvest: apples. Pick your favorite seasonal apples to go in this side dish. Sweet Gala apples work just as well as tart Granny Smiths, though their attributes do change the dish. Feel free to follow you bliss on this easy side dish that takes care of itself in the oven.

Notice I leave the peels on the sweet potatoes and apples. Keeps the nutrients in the dish and adds some fiber.

Both honey and agave nectar have a lower glycemic index rating than sugar, so the touch of sweetness that is added is safe for most people, including diabetics.

Turmeric, cinnamon, ginger and cayenne pepper all have wonderful health benefits for people battling diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and cancer. Learn more at the World's Healthiest Foods Website.

Spiced Sweet Potatoes with Apples
4 sweet potatoes, scrubbed and diced
4 apples, scrubbed and diced
1/2 curried pecan pieces (pecans toasted with curry powder)
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2" piece ginger, peeled and grated
2 Tbsp. unbleached sugar, honey or agave nectar
salt and pepper
(Butter is optional in this dish. It adds richness, but it also adds fat and calories.)

Combine all of the ingredient is a roasting pan or large baking dish.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then turn the pan.

Cook for another 10 minutes and test for doneness by piercing a piece of sweet potato. It should give easily and not be crunchy, however, you do not want to cook this dish to mush. The sweet potatoes and apples should retain their textures and flavors.

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