One of my favorite food memories is my mother’s Thanksgiving sweet potatoes. She’d mix a stick of butter with plenty of brown sugar, get it hot and gooey and add a large can, juice and all, of cut up “yams.” It all got glossy and richly amber and was one of the ultra sweet treats we waited all year for.
Those days are gone forever. No one in my family wants the sugar overload.
Or the stick of butter.
We want the dish dairy-free.
Sweet potatoes are naturally sweet. You don’t need much sweetener to make them taste good. I’ve experimented with lots of different options and this year I’m adding date honey. It isn’t actually honey — just has honey’s consistency. Sometimes it’s sold as date molasses or silan.
Date honey has an intense flavor. Use just a small amount when you want to sweeten food. I pour a bit over plain yogurt for breakfast. I’ve added it to cake. Swirled some into the basting fluids for roasted chicken.
It’s perfect for sweet potatoes.
Coconut oil adds a bit more of a sweet taste and you don’t need much to enrich this dish — 2 to 3 tablespoons instead of much more butter.
Besides the fact that it isn’t overly sweet, the other virtue of this sweet potato casserole recipe is that it contains only four ingredients (plus salt). And you can make it 2-3 days ahead (keep it in the fridge).
Yes, you can add marshmallows on top for the last several minutes of baking.
Sweet Potatoes with Date Honey
- 6 medium sweet potatoes
- 2-3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/4 cup date honey
- 1/2 cup orange or tangerine juice
- salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Scrub the potatoes and prick each with the tines of a fork. Roast the potatoes for about one hour or until tender. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh into a bowl. Add the coconut oil, date honey, juice and salt to taste. Mix to blend the ingredients thoroughly.
Makes 8 servings