Sweet Potatoes – Forget the cans!

Oh, I’m no stranger to canned sweet potatoes when it comes to Thanksgiving fare.  Works just fine!  A couple years ago, though, I decided to start using fresh ones… especially when I realized how easy it was to do.  Tomorrow, I will be making a reduced sugar sweet potato souffle.  With that in mind, I prepped my sweet potatoes today.

Sweet Potatoe Puree.  More orange stuff !

Sweet Potato Puree. More orange stuff!

I purchased 5 medium to large sweet potatoes.  I scrubbed them clean under running water with a vegetable scrubber then dried them off with a paper towel and tossed them on a foil lined cookie sheet.  I did pull off some obvious strands, but I didn’t fool with cutting off the “woody” bits and all this.  I take care of that later.  Meanwhile, the oven was preheating to 350 degrees.  Once I had them all clean, into the oven they went.

Ready to be baked!

Ready to be baked!

I let them bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes until I could slide a knife easily into the center.  While this was sufficient, I think next time I will bake them to that point + 15 more minutes.

Next, I took them out of the oven and moved them to a plate where they cooled down until I could comfortably maneuver them in my bare hands.  Then, one at a time, I cut a little bit off each end and sliced them in half vertically (the long way).

Isn't that just lovely?

Isn't that just lovely?

What you do from here depends on the recipe in which you intend to use them. At this point, if you so desire, you could simply serve up a half to each guest for a perfectly sufficient side dish.  Cut a shallow criss-cross into each half, then pinch them up a bit like you would with a regular potato… or mash slightly in the jacket with a fork… and top with a little butter or margarine and some cinnamon & Splenda / Truvia / sweetener of your choice.

If you wish to use them in a casserole or souffle, go ahead and slide them out of their jackets.  When cooked sufficiently, the flesh should basically slide right out when you gently squeeze the skin.  From there, cut each half into 6 or so cubes and place into a medium to large bowl.  If you plan to use these in a basic casserole, just trim off any bits that look inedible as you’re cutting the cubes and you’re now good to go.

If you have a souffle in mind, or any recipe calling for mashed or pureed sweet potatoes, start mashing a bit with a big fork.  As you mash, inedible pieces will become apparent and can be picked out.  At this point you could add a little milk or butter, beat them with a hand mixer, and serve mashed sweet potatoes.  Nothing like a good slab of nut meal or panko crusted chicken served atop mashed & peppered sweet potatoes.   I plan to use these in a souffle, so I pressed on…

I started to process them a little at a time in a small food processor which didn’t work too well.  I don’t have a full size food processor which would probably work very well.  I put all my cubes in a regular blender, added just a couple tablespoons of water, and began to pulse and scrape.  This didn’t work too well, either.  In fact, I tried several settings to no avail.  I should have had faith, you see, for I finally said !%#$ it… set my crappy cheap blender to the timed “ice crush” setting… and went to check my email.  When I came back, I had near perfect puree.  I had been trying too hard!  I think it would have been perfect had I left them in the oven for that extra 15 minutes.  In any case, here is what I wound up with…

Just over 5.7 cups.

Just over 5.7 cups.

My souffle recipe only calls for 3 cups of sweet potato, so I will have about 2.7 cups to play with in something else.  Anyone got ideas??  The average sweet potato pie calls for about 2 cups, so I am thinking about toying with a reduced sugar pie recipe that would use a nut meal based crust.  I have hazelnut meal in the cabinet I think I could mash nicely into a crust with some butter and Splenda.  Another option might be sweet potato custard, but I think that might be pretty similar to the souffle.  The souffle recipe is probably more like custard than real souffle anyway.

I think I would estimate about 1 cup puree per average sized potato when buying them at the store.  I overestimated, though I have learned over time that this is much better than underestimating.  Duh.

So, you can prepare your own sweet potatoes in a number of ways.  One year I boiled them.  Just make sure you get them really tender before you slip the skin out of the jacket, and you’ll be ok.  It really is easy.  And now you will know what you are working with…  some fresh, clean sweet potatoes with no added sugar nor unfamiliar preservatives.  Splendid!

Stay tuned for the reduced sugar Sweet Potato Souffle!


  1. Delicious. I’ve really never used canned yams, I guess i was spoiled with Mom’s cooking. Fresh cooked yams are the best. Ever!

    I use leftover yams for sweet potato pancakes. Delicious with a touch of butter and maple syrup!

  2. Dear Lord – I love me so sweet potatoes! These look fabulous, Miss Vicky!

  3. Thanks y’all. TJ never even thought about a little sugar free pancake syrup on top. :) YUM.

  4. So I JUST got into sweet potato’s Nicole has always loved them, but I have never cared for them. However I just made them off a recipe I got on Allrecipes and it was to die for. Sweet potato, peeled, cubed. Place in a bag with olive oil and Lipton soup mix (I am gonna try it with just water and olive oil spray next time) mix it up and bake them. OMG the sweet with the onion/salty SO good. Highly recommended! I’ve also made mashed potato’s half white and half sweet that is also a very good twist

  5. That’s similar to the recipe on the Lipton Soup box which uses regular potatoes. I love to make it with red or new potatoes. Better than french fries, in my opinion. I need to send you a recipe I have booked mark for roasted root veggies. Amazing how sweet they can become with a little olive oil and the oven. Thanks. :)


  1. […] fashion a much healthier sweet potato souffle recipe with which I could try again using my leftover sweet potato puree.  I will reveal the recipe tomorrow.  Suffice it to say, I came up with a nice alternative to […]

  2. […]  We started this journey with some homemade sweet potato puree.   Then we ventured onward to make this sweet potato souffle recipe.  Here are the photos of the […]

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