Try this method of cooking sweet potatoes and you'll discover how subtly delicious they are. Here, they are glossed with an orange-maple glaze. Beta carotene and fibre are the sweet potato's secret weapons against heart disease.
1 kg orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced
6 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
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Preheat the oven to 230°C. Place the sweet potatoes and garlic in a medium saucepan. Add enough water to just cover the potatoes. Bring to the boil over medium heat and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
Drain and transfer the sweet potatoes and garlic to a medium bowl. Add pepper and 2 teaspoons oil. With a potato masher, mash the sweet potatoes and garlic until not quite smooth, with some texture remaining.
Transfer to a 18 x 33 cm baking dish. Combine the remaining 2 teaspoons oil, maple syrup and orange rind in a small saucepan and bring to the boil over low heat. Drizzle the mixture over the potatoes. Bake for 25 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. Serve. This recipe can be cooked ahead, covered and refrigerated. Reheat, covered, in a 130°C oven.
Sweet potatoes are a nutritional ‘super food’ because they're bursting with vitamins, minerals and fibre. So don't just think of them for Sunday lunch – find ways to get them into your diet on a regular basis. Sweet potatoes can be sliced and steamed, baked or mashed and they will still maintain their goodness.