Sweet potato was one of Nora’s favorite first foods, and sweet potato purée was one of the last things she’d let me feed her when she started rejecting purées. I’ve tried homemade sweet potato “fries” (just sprayed with olive oil and baked), but she wasn’t a huge fan, so she hasn’t really had them in a while.
With winter upon us, however, and our CSA on hiatus until the spring, I am running out of “creative” veggies, so I picked up a sweet potato at the store and decided to experiment a little. Feeling inspired, I made a dish loosely based on what my mom has always made for Thanksgiving dinner: sweet potatoes roasted with honey and pecans. However, honey and nuts are on the no-no list until one year, and Nora hasn’t had them yet, so I mixed it up a little bit. I omitted the pecans, added a sprinkle of cinnamon, and rather than honey, I used just a drizzle of molasses (which happens to be a great source of iron).
She dug into them at dinner last night, so I think it’s safe to say I’ll be making more of these in the future.
Fortunately, one large sweet potato made plenty to go with several dinners, so I have more in the freezer. Bonus!
Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon and Molasses
1 large sweet potato
2 Tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
generous sprinkle of cinnamon
1 Tbsp molasses
Preheat the oven to 400°. Scrub the sweet potato and pierce it several times with a fork. Place it directly on the rack, with a sheet of foil on the rack below it, just to catch any drips. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the sweet potato seems to have shrunk a little bit inside the skin and is a little oozy.* Remove it from the oven and let it cool a bit. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°.
Once the sweet potato is cooled, remove the skin using your hands (it should slip off easily). Cut the flesh into 1/2-inch to 1-inch chunks and arrange in a baking dish. Sprinkle the butter pieces over the sweet potato, then sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle with molasses.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, stirring and tossing a couple of times, until butter is melted and the sweet potatoes are very tender.
* Yes, that is a technical term.