Are you a sweet potato lover like me? The holiday season is one of my favorite times of the year because sweet potatoes are in abundance and always seem to find a welcome spot on the dinner table. Unfortunately, many people mistakenly believe that these tasty root vegetables can only be, well…tasty, if they are downed in butter and doused in sugar of various forms (granulated sugar, maple syrup, brown sugar, honey, molasses, marshmallows, etc.). Well, I’m here today to prove this myth wrong! Sweet potatoes are high in vitamins A and C as well as a good source of dietary fiber; plus they’re naturally delicious without all that extra sugar and butter. This recipe for Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon Pecan Crunch is a great example of how you can enjoy this nutritious vegetable without turning it into something that is so decadent it’s darn near a dessert! This lightened up dish is just as delicious and worthy of being on the holiday menu as the all-too-famous puffed marshmallow -topped sweet potato casserole. Vibrant orange chunks of sweet potato are tossed together with spicy cinnamon and ginger and a touch of brown sugar, then sprinkled with ruby red dried cranberries. After roasting for 30 minutes, the dish is finished off with a crunchy pecan-pie-inspired topping that will leave your guests wanting more. If you’re ready for a new sweet potato recipe that highlights all the wonderful flavors of the holiday season, this is it!
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon Pecan Crunch
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar, divided
2 Tbsp. orange juice
2 Tsp. Vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided
1 tsp. ground ginger, divided
½ tsp. salt
3 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
½ cup dried cranberries
3 Tbsp. butter, cut up, divided
¼ cup all purpose flour
½ cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix 1/4 cup of the brown sugar, orange juice, vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon each of the cinnamon and ginger, and salt in large bowl. Add sweet potatoes; toss to coat well. Spoon into 13x9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with cranberries. Dot with 1 tablespoon of the butter. Cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix flour, remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar and remaining 1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon and ginger in medium bowl. Cut in remaining 2 tablespoons butter with a fork until coarse crumbs form. Stir in pecans. Remove sweet potatoes from oven and stir gently. Sprinkle evenly with pecan topping.
- Bake, uncovered, 25 to 30 minutes longer or until sweet potatoes are tender and topping is lightly browned.
Yield: 8 servings Per Serving*: Calories 280, Total Fat 9g (Saturated 3g, Trans 0g), Cholesterol 10mg, Sodium 230mg, Total Carbohydrate 46g (Dietary Fiber 4g, Sugars 26g), Protein 3g, Vitamin A 400%, Vitamin C 35%, Calcium 6%, Iron 6%
*Nutritional values are an approximation. Actual nutritional values may vary due to preparation techniques, variations related to suppliers, regional and seasonal differences, or rounding.
Leah Anderson is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with Festival Foods and is certified by the state of WI.