Posted By Julie on March 1, 2014
I have been working on learning to make friends with sweet potatoes at least for the past seven years, and I think I can finally safely say that I have completely conquered my distaste! In this quest, I have already posted recipes for purees, fries, pancakes, hashes, and mashes on the site, and even sweet potato pasta, cinnamon rolls, and ice cream; today I want to share a few interesting uses for shredded sweet potatoes. Most of the organic sweet potatoes we buy are much larger than one or two servings, so I frequently shred them up in the food processor and store them raw in the refrigerator for use over the course of several days.
First up is a breakfast hash: Shredded organic sweet potatoes sauteed with breakfast sausage, onions or leeks, and kale or whatever greens or other veggies I may want to throw in. This was originally based on a recipe that I can no longer track down, but it is totally flexible, and everyone in my family loves it for breakfast. I’l love to try it with other sorts of shredded root vegetables or squashes. To make it a one-pan meal, I crack eggs right on top, add a splash of water and cover the skillet until the eggs are set with runny yolks. Just make sure that your burner is not turned up too high or you will scorch the sweet potatoes and I can vouch for the fact that burned yams are not good eats. I often cook this for our breakfast in a 10″ cast iron skillet after frying up Nolan’s daily dose of bacon.
I didn’t photograph it, but another great egg and sweet potato brunch or dinner combination is this frittata from The Nourishing Gourmet.
Here is another non-recipe that takes advantage of the daily supply of fresh bacon grease: sweet potato haystacks. I have taken to making these haystacks as a quick snack to share with Theo. They are literally just shredded Garnet yams fried in bacon grease until nice and crunchy, and then salted like French fries, and they are totally addictive. I think I like them better than onion haystacks, and they are naturally gluten-free, of course! I do sometimes need to supplement the bacon grease to make sure they don’t stick to the cast iron, but that is no problem because I store extra in the fridge in a Le Creuset heart-shaped ramekin (and yes, the holistic nutritionist in me made that particular storage choice very deliberately!); we always buy high quality uncured bacon, so I have no qualms about cooking with the grease.
As I mentioned, I often share these haystacks with Theo, who absolutely adores them. They are crisp enough that he can eat them easily even though we are still waiting for that first tooth, and they are great practice for that pincer grasp because they tend to crumble into smaller and smaller bits as he eats. Of course, this means I have to share, but it is surprisingly hard to resist that sweet face, lol.
Now we get into a more interesting iteration of sweet potatoes. My father’s birthday is in February, and I bought him a book called Paleo Lunches and Breakfasts on the Go by Diana Rodgers because he and my mother are working on removing gluten from their diets. He works as a park ranger at Dinosaur National Monument on the Colorado/Utah border throughout the summer months and will need to make healthy sack lunches and quick breakfasts for himself, so this book should be a perfect tool for him. Before I presented it on his birthday, I ran through the book myself and took a lot of notes to make some of the recipes for my own family–it is full of great ideas for grain-free meals that could work on the go, at home, and for any time of day.
One that I earmarked to try ASAP was the sweet potato crepe, which is made with sweet potato flour and tapioca starch. I was so eager to give this a try that I didn’t even want to wait to track down sweet potato flour, so I decided to try making my own instead. I didn’t take any photos of this process, but it could hardly be easier: I just dehydrated some shredded sweet potato at 110F, a matter of hours, and then ground it into a flour in my Vitamix, a matter of seconds. The hardest part of making the crepes themselves was using a light enough touch while turning them; I tore several, but that was just an excuse to call them cook’s treats and eat them warm, slathered with Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter. I also ate several of them for lunch filled with leftover ground beef curry (a variant of this recipe from Whole New Mom).
Jeremy is usually not a big crepe-lover, but he showed some interest in trying out some of the crepes for breakfast the next morning, so I made a rather special Friday morning meal: cheese blintzes topped with cherry compote. The filling was just equal parts cottage cheese and cream cheese bound with a leftover egg white and sweetened with a few drops of cherry-vanilla stevia. I put a few tablespoons of filling inside each crepe, rolled them up like egg rolls, and pan-fried them on all sides in a little grassfed butter (ghee would have been a better choice here, but I don’t have any made at the moment). The cherry compote, which is perhaps Jeremy’s favorite sweet breakfast sauce, is just organic sour cherries cooked down with a little fresh squeezed orange juice and a splash of maple syrup. Not bad for a weekday breakfast, eh?
I have one more shredded sweet potato recipe to share with you, but unfortunately I didn’t capture photographic evidence of this one. (Next time I make it, I will try to remember to take a snapshot!) We have been enjoying the frozen wild fish from Costco, and always at least keep some salmon on hand. One night I was trying to figure out a creamy sort of side dish to go with baked cod fillets, and I came across this recipe for shredded sweet potatoes and cabbage. It was incredibly easy to put together and full of comforting flavors–of course, not much bacon actually made it into the dish because Nolan kept eating it as fast as I could fry it up, but I managed to hide a slice or two. Jeremy loved this recipe also, and actually thought it was a risotto because of the similar texture. I had hoped to have some leftovers to eat with eggs for breakfast the next morning, but we ended up scraping the pot clean!
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