These aren't just any ordinary sweet potatoes. They're candied sweet potatoes! A ThanksLiving dish inspired by my family's recipe, except made with all plant based ingredients. It's buttery, soft, and sweet.
Simply put, I love this recipe and for so many reasons. One is that it brings great nostalgia to me. My father's side of the family exposed a lot to American traditions. My grandmother would host Thanksgiving every year and I would witness her in the kitchen cooking up a storm. Her food was rich and comforting, and she wasn't known to be stingy on the butter. I realized after my first couple of Thanksgivings that lots of those dishes should would my grandmother, aunts and my mother would bring could actually be made vegan.
If the recipe called for animal meat, I subbed for plant based. If there was butter, then I subbed with plant based butter. You can imagine how excited I was to be able to enjoy nostalgic dishes again. Candied Sweet Potatoes was one of them! Which brings me to why else I love this dish. It's SUPER easy to make. Simple ingredients, simple steps, and before you know it, you have a hot side to add to the holiday dinner table.
Sweet potatoes are a staple veggie for the fall, so you'll often see them in Thanksgiving recipes and for good reason, they're in season. This means they're at the freshest and yummiest. So give it a try...sweeten up your holiday dinner with Vegan Candied Sweet Potatoes.
What's in it?
SWEET POTATOES: They can be traced back 750 BC in Peru and were often used by Indigenous people of North America. It's a mildly sweet root vegetable (not a potato!) that becomes incredibly soft when cooked. Spices can rich enhance its flavor. They're rich in vitamin A, C and maganese.
ORANGE JUICE: Used for moisture and flavoring for the sweet potatoes. It offers lots of vitamin C and is super good for the immune system.
MAPLE SYRUP: A natural sweetener to add even more sweetness to the sweet potatoes. I like to use this as an alternative when a recipe calls for sugar.
CINNAMON: It adds a sweet woody flavor and is a staple flavor for autumn dishes. Found from the inner bark of various trees, usually in Sri Lanka, India, and Myanmar. Has antioxidant, antibiotic and anti inflammatory properties.
CLOVES: A flower bud found in Indonesia that has an incredibly strong flavor and aroma. You'll discover it has a combination of being sweet, warm, bitter, and astringent all at the same time. Like cinnamon, it is a staple autumn (and winter) spice that adds a depth to the flavor of the sweet potatoes.
SALT: Adding just a pinch of salt to sweet dishes or desserts is known to enhance the flavor.
Vegan Candied Yams
Equipment Needed: sauce pan, baking pan, cutting knife, wooden spoon, aluminum foil
4 sweet potatoes, peeled and halved
3/4 stick of vegan butter
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup water
5 stick cinnamon sticks
16 cloves (2 per sweet potato)
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 450 degrees fahrenheit.
In a saucepan, bring orange juice, maple syrup, butter, water, 5 sticks of cinnamon bark, and salt to a boil. Reduce sauce by 1/2.
Arrange halved sweet potatoes in a baking pan, face down.
Pour sauce over the sweet potatoes and cover pan with aluminum foil.
Bake for 45 minutes. Remove, add 2 cloves per sweet potatoes, raise over temperature to 450 degrees, keep uncovered, and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
If you would like to add some color or texture to the top of the sweet potatoes, you can put them under the broiler for 1 minute on high.
Enjoy with a main dish like vegan turkey, stuffing, and mac & cheese. Kali Oreksi (Good Appetite in Greek)!