One of my favorite root vegetable is the sweet potato. (FYI, my absolute favorite food/vegetable in the whole world is the beet, and I don’t care if everyone else thinks they taste like dirt). Basically, I love all vegetables, and I really like the ones that are vibrant and taste like intense sugar. So, here we are. Sweet potatoes are a luscious orange hue with an ambrosial flavor, and they remind me of cozy autumn evenings.
You’re probably thinking, “Hey, that’s mashed yams. Er… is that a sweet potato?” Basically, in the grocery stores, you will see long, red-skinned potatoes that are sweet potatoes. Some people call them yams, but actual yams look a lot different — they’re large, long root vegetables, brown-skinned, sort of dirty looking, and they have a white interior. In a nutshell, those so-called yams you enjoy on Thanksgiving are really sweet potatoes. Did that make any sense? Edit: you’re most likely not going to see a true yam at the store. And if you got a sweet potato with a white interior, I bet my money it is a lighter variety of sweet potato.
This recipe is a cinch — it is totally healthy, sweet, and decadent, and it’s because I let the sweet potato speak for itself. This recipe has zero seasoning whatsoever. Let the sweet potato go bare. It’s pretty dang delicious all by itself without any unnecessary distractions. This recipe is ready in 20 minutes. A 2-ingredient dish is pretty hard to pass on! You can use any kind of dairy you want (heavy cream, half and half, whole milk, etc.), and the dairy helps to make the dish creamy and rich. Surprisingly, you only need 1-2 tablespoons or so to make this mashed dish decadent since the vegetable is pretty amazing by itself. You can totally omit the dairy if you want to go vegan; use vegetable broth instead if you want to veganly fluffen up the consistency.
If you have a food mill or potato masher, by all means, use it. I could not find either in my kitchen, so I decided to use a whisk to make mashed sweet potatoes. Another alternative would be to use a fork, which works mighty well as a masher.
Here’s what you need:
3-4 sweet potatoes and a tad bit milk (or, half-n-half or heavy cream). Use vegetable broth instead for a vegan option. The milk adds rich body to this mash. Also, set a pot of water to a boil.
So the sweet potato sizes will vary, obviously. The left one can technically count as “two” potatoes.
Grab a veggie peeler and peel off all the skin. Discard the skin. Or, compost, if you prefer. (Go green)
Time for chopping. Cut some fat 1-inch slices out of the sweet potatoes.
Cut those slices again, like so.
And cube the potatoes! I want 1-inch-ish cubes. Cut the potatoes however you want, really. I just want you ending up with cubes that are roughly 1-inch all around. Aim to be consistent with the cube sizes.
That’s a lotta potatahs. Sweet.
In a pot of boiling of water, dump the cubed sweet potatoes in. No salt, nada. Cover the pot with a lid and allow to cook for about 10-15 minutes or so over medium-high heat. Make sure you use enough water so that there will be at least 2-3 inches of water above the potatoes when they are submerged.
Check the potatoes for doneness after about 13 minutes. Grab a thin knife and stab the potatoes. Does the knife slide in and out easily? Is it totally tender, cooked, and delish? If so… drain the potatoes!
Drain the potatoes well, then dump them into a large bowl. Start mashing away with a whisk. Up, down. Up, down. Mash, mash, mash. It’s pretty cool that you can do this with a whisk. Use a potato masher if you have one. Or, a potato ricer, food mill, etc.
Pour a few tablespoons of milk to the mash, and combine thoroughly. It’ll fluffen things up impressively.
Keep mashing away until you achieve the consistency you want. A whisk may or may not give you perfectly smooth potatoes, but you’re not too picky of an eater, are you? It shouldn’t matter. It’s delicious anyway.
Okay. Fine. If you want really smooth potatoes and don’t have a potato ricer, then use a fork and continue mashing those large chunks.
Mashed Sweet Potatoes in 20 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Prep: 7 minutes
Cook: 13 minutes
Yield: about 4 servings
Large pot of water
3-4 large sweet potatoes
1-2 tablespoons milk (substitutes: half and half or heavy cream)
Set a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Make sure you use enough water so that there will be at least 3 inches of water above the potatoes when they are submerged.
Using a vegetable peeler, remove the skins of the sweet potatoes and discard. Dice the potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Once water is boiling, add potatoes, and adjust heat to medium-high. Cover pot with lid and cook for about 10-15 minutes, or just until potatoes are soft, cooked, and tender. To test doneness, use a small paring knife or other thin knife and insert in potato; knife should slide in and out of potatoes very easily. Drain potatoes.
Add hot cooked potatoes to a large bowl. Using a whisk, start mashing the potatoes to break them up into small pieces. Continue technique until mashed potatoes start to become smooth with fewer large chunks. For even smoother mashed potatoes, use a fork to break up any chunks of potatoes. Add milk and combine with potatoes. Serve immediately.