Thursday, 3 January 2013

mashed sweet potatoes with pecan nuts

Happy New Year! I meant to share this recipe on the blog before the holidays but didn’t find the time to prepare and photograph it especially. I couldn't let another year pass without posting it, so before sitting down to enjoy a turkey meal on New Year's I used the opportunity to snap a photo. We first tasted this delicious side dish at Thanksgiving in Canada in 2009, which we got to celebrate that year for the first time with dear friends in the Icelandic Consulate in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I will never forget that night, what a feast we had! (I brought one side dish, Brussels sprouts, and I had made pecan pies for dessert). Since that night this has been served with our turkey every time because we absolutely love it. The recipe is called Sweet Potatoes Supreme but I don't know anything about its origin. The original recipe calls for 4 cups mashed sweet potatoes. I use 1200 grams and I have no idea if I'm using more or less, as I have never measured it in cups. I make the mashed sweet potatoes according to the original recipe but I have made considerable changes to the topping, which contained a lot of sugar and butter that needed to be melted. I see no reason to overwhelm the naturally sweet flavour of sweet potatoes with too much sugar; I simply don't get it when they are drowned in sugar or marshmallows or whatever. As I never cook with butter, I threw that out as well. Besides, there is plenty of fat in the pecan nuts.




  • 1200 g sweet potatoes (approx. 2.7 lb)
  • 2 tablespoons milk/soy milk or cream
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika


  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar or pure maple syrup
  • 1½-2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 130-150 g pecan nuts



  1. Peel the sweet potatoes. Quarter each of them by first cutting it in half and then the two parts in half lengthwise
  2. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil (you need just enough water to cover them). Add the sweet potatoes and cook until tender (takes about 20 minutes if each is quartered)
  3. Drain off the water and use a potato masher to mash the sweet potatoes in the saucepan. Add the milk, salt and paprika and combine
  4. Transfer the mashed sweet potatoes to an oven/serving dish (mine is rounded; diameter 23 cm/9 inches) and use a spatula to even it out


  1. In a small bowl, lightly mix the agave/maple syrup and the coconut oil with a spoon and spread it over the mashed sweet potatoes (if the coconut oil is solid, place the jar in a bowl of hot water before use)
  2. Cover with pecan nuts
  3. Warm in the oven for about 15-20 minutes (I set my oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6) and make sure that you don't burn the pecan nuts

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