These whipped maple syrup sweet potatoes are the ultimate way to eat yams! I first learned of this dish one day when I went shopping with my father. He insisted we stop at this popular restaurant so I could duplicate these for the holidays. He described them as “the side dish you can also eat as a dessert.” WHAT? Could they be so good that I would give up my favorite part of the meal…dessert? And, I will admit, yes they are!
I sampled and savored each bite trying to figure out each and every ingredient. I kept track of each flavor I tasted on the dinner napkin. When I went to the supermarket to get what all I thought I needed, I became stumped. Do I need yams or sweet potatoes? I asked the store employee who could only shrug her shoulders saying “you got me lady.” She had no clue, so I had to google it before I bought the wrong item.
Although yams and sweet potatoes are both angiosperms (flowering plants), they are not related botanically. Yams are a monocot (a plant having one embryonic seed leaf) and from the Dioscoreaceae or Yam family. Sweet Potatoes, often called “yams”, are a dicot (a plant having two embryonic seed leaves) and are from the Convolvulacea or morning glory family.
So, that sweet, orange-colored root vegetable that you love so dearly is actually a sweet potato. Yes, all so-called “yams” are in fact sweet potatoes. Most people think that long, red-skinned sweet potatoes are yams, but they really are just one of many varieties of sweet potatoes.
RECIPE FOR WHIPPED MAPLE SYRUP SWEET POTATOES
- 3 pounds red garnet sweet potatoes or yams
- 2 tablespoons maple-flavored syrup
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Ground cinnamon or nutmeg
- Additional maple-flavored syrup, if desired
- Chopped roasted pecans, if desired
- Heat oven to 350°F.
- Pierce sweet potatoes with fork.
- Place potatoes in square pan, 9x9x2 inches.
- Cover and bake about 1 hour 15 minutes or until potatoes can be easily pierced with a knife.
- Slip off skins.
- Beat potatoes with electric mixer on medium speed until no lumps remain.
- Add 2 tablespoons syrup, the butter, salt and desired amount of cinnamon.
- Continue beating until potatoes are light and fluffy.
- Drizzle with additional syrup.
- Top with roasted pecans.