Kick Up Your Side Dish With This Gourmet Mash
This Spicy Smoky Sweet Potato Mash is full of a variety of your favorite spices and vegan butter. A little bit of chili powder, smoked paprika, cinnamon, chipotle powder and lets not forget the salt. Cream it and mash it all up with some vegan butter and coconut milk or coconut cream. Perfect combination with the natural taste of sweet potatoes. This recipe is for 1 and a half pounds of sweet potatoes, but you can double or triple this recipe easily. This is a delicious side to complement a variety of main courses.
A Little History On Sweet Potatoes
So first of all lets not call this beautiful anti-inflammatory vegetables a potato. Let’s just say its in a similar shape of one. A sweet potato is actually a member of the morning glory family, also known as a tuber.
It is a native food of Central and South America going back to over 5,000 years. The earliest records of cultivating the sweet potato goes back to 750 BCE in Peru. Although, archaeologists have found with radio carbon dating that bits of sweet potatoes in Polynesia dated back to 1000 A.D. to 1100 A.D. These ancient samples are questioned to have originated in South America. Again, there are other studies showing that sweet potatoes unique genetic signature could have arrived in Polynesia some 100,000 years ago. It’s all questionable but interesting.
It is documented that the Native Americans were already growing sweet potatoes when Christopher Columbus arrived. He brought the sweet potato back to Spain and introduced this new food as food from the new world. It was cultivated and spread into Portugal, then introducing it to Africa in the 1600s via trade routes.
Today we have several states in the United States that grow sweet potatoes. Our National Sweet Potato Festival is held in Vardaman Mississippi being one of the top five producing counties in the United States. They claim to be the sweet potato capital of the world. They may be calling themselves the capital but they are in competition with the largest sweet potato being grown in Spain at 81 pounds and 9 ounces making a World Record.
Sweet potatoes are rated as the top 6th in being a world crop and 90% of them are grown in Asia. So I’m not sure Mississippi is the growing capital of the great sweet potato. China produces and consumes the largest amount of sweet potatoes. Although, there could be a big competition with Spain growing less but bigger sweet potatoes. Let’s see how the future runs for that.
How To Cook Sweet Potatoes For Sweet Potato Mash
First of all I try to pick out sweet potatoes that are of equal size or close to it. I do this because I boil them and want them to all cook around the same time. I always scrub them with a vegetable brush before hand. This is useful because I poke the sweet potatoes often to see if they are done cooking. I don’t want any dirt getting into the holes I’m poking. It is a different cooking time every time you boil them because of size variations. They will be cooked enough when poked deep with a fork, they are soft, then they are done. Should take 15 to 20 minutes, less if they are small sweet potatoes.
When they are done drain them and let them cool a little before pealing them. When the hot steam is done rolling off of them then thats when I peal them. I want them to be a little hot and to stay hot to serve them warm enough to melt the butter. If you need to keep them warm, put them back in the warm pot they were cooked in and cover with the lid.
How To Make Spicy Smoky Sweet Potatoes
After I peal my sweet potatoes I use my hand potato masher for the smaller batch of sweet potato mash. If I double or triple the batch I use my Hamilton Beach Food Processor. This food processor will make the mash very smooth and blend in the spices very well. Today I’m using the hand potato masher because it’s only 1 and half pounds of potatoes. It will be faster when the batch is this small.
After you mash add all the ingredients, mash them together some more. If it is too thick add a little more coconut milk. Taste the mash and see if you want more spice or salt. The spiciest spice in this recipe is the ground chipotle seasoning. A little goes a long way so only add a pinch at a time. If you have liquid and chipotle peppers in a can only add a half a teaspoon of liquid chipotle. Taste it and see if it needs any more spice to your liking.
Add the Spicy Smoky Sweet Potato Mash to a serving bowl and top with vegan butter, sprinkle smoked paprika and chopped parsley or sprinkle dried oregano on top.
I hope you like this recipe as much as we do. Enjoy!
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1 Medium pot with lid
1 Cutting knife
1 Set of measuring spoons
1 Potato hand masher or food processor
- 1 1/2 lbs Fresh Organic Sweet Potatoes
- 3 Tbsp Vegan Butter
- 2 Tbsp Coconut Milk or Coconut Cream or Oat Milk or Almond Unsweetened Milk, I use coconut milk or coconut cream
- 1/4 tsp Sea Salt, or more to taste
- 1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp Chili Powder
- 1/8 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1/8 tsp Ground Chipotle, or more depending on how spicy you like it
- 1 Tbsp Chopped Parsley or Dried Oregano, for top garnish, optional
- Smoked Paprika, sprinkled on top for garnish, optional
- 2 Tbsp Vegan Butter, on top, serve while hot to melt butter
Wash and scrub sweet potatoes. Put in a medium pot filling the water over the tops of sweet potatoes. Put on a burner on medium high heat. When it begins to boil turn down the heat to medium. Let cook until a fork poking deep into the sweet potato is soft to penetrate. Should take 15 to 20 minutes to cook depending on the size of the sweet potatoes. Could take less time so keep an eye on them.
After the sweet potatoes are done cooking let them cool enough to handle but still hot. Peal off the skins with a knife (should come off very easy) and put in a large bowl to either hand mash with a potato masher or put in a food processor.
Add all the ingredients and mash or mix well.
Serve in a medium serving bowl and top with vegan butter, sprinkled smoked paprika or optional chopped parsley or dried oregano (go easy on the oregano it is strong in taste) Depending on your main course serve oregano with Mexican or spicy dishes and parsley with other less intense dishes.
Keywords: Christmas, Dinner, Holiday, lunch, New Years Eve, sweet potato, Thanksgiving