Friday, October 30, 2009

Whipped Sweet Potatoes With Cashew Cream

I love sweet potatoes. They're one of my favorite foods, and lucky for me, they also happen to be really good for you. I used to eat a lot of multi-grain bread (I miss you, Vermont Bread!), so when I started eating gluten-free, I didn't have an affordable alternative. The gluten-free bread was a) expensive, b) white rice based, and c) a little bit flavorless. I'm sure there are a lot of great options out there, but I wasn't excited about paying so much for bread. What to do? Sweet potatoes to the rescue! I was already a sweet potato lover, but they have become my go-to carb of choice. Need something easy for breakfast? Mashed sweet potatoes with nuts and dried fruit! Need a healthy lunch? Chicken and green beans with a side of baked sweet potato! Need a healthy dinner? Well, you get the idea. They're delicious any way you make them, but my favorite way - and the simplest - is simply to bake them until they start to caramelize, and then put them in the fridge. They make an easy grab-and-go snack because they taste just as good cold as they do hot from the oven.

Despite the tasty simplicity of a baked sweet potato, I decided to try something a little different with Thanksgiving around the corner. These Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Cashew Cream are a perfect filling for a sweet potato pie, or make a great breakfast or dessert on their own. I've tried them hot from the oven and cold from the fridge, and I can't decide which way I like them better. I'll let you be the judge!

Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Cashew Cream

1 3/4 cups pureed sweet potatoes (about 4-5 medium sweet potatoes)
1 1/4 cups raw cashews, soaked in water overnight
2 dates
1 Tbsp. agave nectar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
small pinch allspice
small pinch ground ginger
6 Tbsp. water
1/4 cup pecan pieces
1/4 cup dried cranberries

  1. Pierce the sweet potatoes with a fork a few times (leave the skins on), and bake in the oven at 400 degrees until the pierced spots start to ooze and caramelize (40-60 minutes depending on your oven). Take out and puree them in a food processor. (If you don't have a food processor, you can use a potato masher). Take out of the food processor and set aside in a mixing bowl.
  2. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees.
  3. Put the raw cashews in the food processor and begin to blend them. Slowly add the dates, agave nectar, spices and water. Continue to blend until completely smooth. Spoon into the mixing bowl with the sweet potato and stir the two together until evenly mixed.
  4. Spoon evenly into a greased 7 x 7 x 2 in. baking dish.*
  5. Sprinkle the top with the pecan pieces and dried cranberries.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
Serve hot from the oven or chill in the fridge. Serves 4.

* A slightly bigger or smaller baking dish would work fine. These would also be great baked in individual souffle dishes.
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Stop by Friday Foodie Fix, where the secret ingredient is...yep you guessed it! Sweet potatoes! Then head over to Finer Things Friday and see what's cooking over there.


Lauren said...

First off - Stunning photo! Second - YUM! This looks fantastic =D.

Jes said...

This sounds amazing with the cashew cream!

Diane-The WHOLE Gang said...

Oh this does sound good. With the cashews do they absorb a lot of water? Do you add the water for soaking like you would a bean or is there a different ratio? I'm guessing you drain the cashews before blending them. Can you tell I've never done this before but really want to give it a try. I love the idea of the individual dishes. I think I'll add this into my Thanksgiving menu.

Amy @ Finer Things said...

This actually sounds delicious, but I really can't stand sweet potatoes. ;) Maybe I just haven't found a recipe I like yet! The texture just doesn't do it for me...

Iris said...

I probably should have been more clear with my directions... Diane, I put the cashews in a glass container of water overnight (with a top on) and then I drain the water before using them. You could probably make this with a little more water in the cashews for more of a pudding consistency/less pie consistency.

Iris said...

Lauren and Jes- Thanks!

Amy- Your comment made me laugh! It would sounds great...IF you liked sweet potatoes.

Linda said...

That sounds really delicious. It would be great for Thanksgiving.

Ellen said...

Oh Iris, I am SO all over this. It sounds delicious! I'm definitely adding this not only to my Thanksgiving menu but to my weekly menu!!!! Thank you! I love the cashew topping - it's perfect. Cashews ARE amazing, aren't they???


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