Maple Bacon Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Another big hit at our Easter dinner was this dish. Mapley sweet with baconey saltiness. It was amazing. Scott is still talking about it almost two weeks later! I definitely will be making this one again!
Did you know that sweet potatoes (the oranges ones, as used in this recipe) are extremely high in beta-carotene? That’s why they’re orange! While often thought of for its connection to vitamin A, beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant that can help protect your cells from free radicals and oxidative stress. A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that sweet potatoes have very strong anti-inflammatory properties, and sweet potato extract was shown to reduce nerve and brain tissue inflammation throughout the body. Who knew sweet potatoes were such a health food!?
Please note that while beta-carotene is often thought of as synonomous with vitamin A, this is not the case. Beta-carotene is a precursor to vitamin A. The body must convert beta-carotene to retinol (vitamin A) in order for the body to be able to use it and the conversion ratio is at least 6:1 (you need six units of beta-carotene to create one unit of retinol). For those of us with autoimmune issues, thyroid issues, and digestive issues, that conversion process is significantly compromised to the point where it may not be occuring at any meaningful level. The best way to ensure adequate intake of vitamin A is to ensure that foods high in retinol, such as offal or fermented cod liver oil, are incorporated into your diet on a regular basis. But don’t let that take away from the other great benefits of consumming sweet potatoes!
Steaming or baking the sweet potato creates the greatest level of bioavailability (the ability of a nutrient to be used by the body) of all the delicious nutrients found in a sweet potato. It is best to avoid boiling your sweet potatoes as this destroys the nutrients. Because beta-carotene is fat-soluble, you will get the most benefit from your sweet potatoes by eating them with a healthy serving of fat or oil.
After following my “secret” steps for perfect bacon, I had a pound of delicious strips crisped to perfection. It took some serious self control not to eat the whole bunch right off the pan myself. I used the fat from the bacon to add an extra dimension of flavour to the Prosciutto-Wrapped Broccolini and what was left over went right into the sweet potatoes, along with a healthy helping of coconut oil for good measure!
This is mashed sweet potatoes kicked up a notch (or two)! I hope you love it as much as we did!
- 8 cups chopped sweet potato
- 1 pound of bacon
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 3-4 tablespoons bacon fat/duck fat/coconut oil
- salt to taste (will depend on the saltiness of your bacon)
- cinnamon to taste
- Steam the sweet potato until soft. Puree in food processor.
- Bake bacon following these steps. Reserve the fat. Chop/crumble bacon. Add bacon, maple syrup, fat/oil, salt, and cinnamon to sweet potatoes in food processor and blitz once or twice to mix.
- Transfer to an oven-safe serving dish and bake for 15-20 minutes at 325F (I did this in conjunction with baking the ham). This step is optional, but the baking helps the flavours to meld and brings out the natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes.
- Serve and enjoy!
This recipe was featured on Allergy Free Wednesday!