Canned “yams” smothered in marshmallows—the mention of the dish sends a chill up my spine. They were a staple of my childhood Thanksgivings and for years I was convinced that I hated sweet potatoes. I know many Americans especially Midwesterners who share this experience, and consequently despise the sweet potato rejecting it in all forms.
But this dish with its complex sweet, spicy, and nutty flavor and creamy, crunchy texture convinced me to re-examine my opinion of the orange tuber. In fact, I have insisted on cooking these for family and friends on a single-woman crusade to change the minds of the many Midwesterners who share a sad and checkered past with those “candied yams.” Just like Sam-I-Am I feel such joy when their eyes open wide in surprise and delight to at last discover that “They do! They do like sweet potatoes. And they would eat them on a boat. And they would eat them with a goat…”
- 2 lbs. sweet potatoes
- 3 T neutral oil, canola or grapeseed
- 1 t salt
- 2 t chilli powder
- 1 T honey
- 1 T sesame seeds
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into even 1-inch cubes.
- In a bowl, toss all the ingredients together until the potatoes are evenly coated with oil and spices.
- Lay potatoes on a cookie sheet in a single layer and roast for 15 minutes.
- Turn the potatoes and roast another 15 minutes or until done.
- Serve immediately.
Cooking with Kids:
Have the kids mix and measure. I also have the kids peel the potatoes…supervised of course.