15-Minute Vanilla Mashed Sweet Potatoes

I love mashed potatoes, but consider them somewhat of an indulgence these days.  For those of you trying to cut back on calories and carbs this time of year, by substituting sweet potatoes for white ones, you save a bundle.  As a point of reference, Weight Watchers assigns 6 points to a cup of mashed white potatoes, but only 4 points for the same amount of sweet potatoes.  Better yet, sweet potatoes are high in dietary fiber and vitamins, plus have calcium and protein, making them a healthier choice at dinnertime.  What’s best?   They are delicious!

For those of you who are short on time, here is a super-fast way to make delicious mashed sweet potatoes in less than half the time of a traditional recipe.  I add a hint of pure vanilla extract to my potatoes to give them even more flavor, which also makes them a hit with the kids.  By using the microwave to soften the potatoes instead of boiling or baking, you save on time and dirty pans.  The only trick is to be sure you prick the whole potatoes all over with a fork to allow for steam to escape.  If you forget the fork, you’ll end up with a sweet potato explosion!

Try these as a side dish to poultry, pork or beef along with a green salad or other vegetable dish for a healthy balanced meal that’s yummy AND easy on your waistline!

15 -Minute Vanilla Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Serves 4

2 lbs sweet potatoes, scrubbed and pierced in several places with a fork

2 tablespoons unsalted butter (or less if desired), at room temperature or softened

1/4 cup milk (I used skim)

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

salt to taste

Place the potatoes in a single layer on a large, microwave-proof dish.

Microwave about five minutes, then turn potatoes.  Microwave an additional 5 minutes, or until potatoes are softened (time varies depending on microwave power).

Remove from microwave and allow to cool enough to handle (or use a potholder).

Cut each potato in half crosswise, and using a spoon, scoop out softened potatoes and place in a large bowl.  Discard skins.

Add butter, milk, and vanilla to bowl.  Use an electric mixer to whip ingredients together until smooth (you can do this by hand if you like a chunkier texture).  Season to taste with salt.  Serve hot.

Click here for more information about Tracy’s Connecticut cooking classes, or to read her The Secret Ingredient Blog.

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