There’s a fine line I walk as a cook. I don’t want to take people too far out of their comfort zones, yet I want to energize their taste buds with delightful takes on old favorites. So it goes here. There are about 1,000 ways to prepare sweet potatoes, and mashing them is top of the list, but a simple twist takes these taters over the top, and that’s the ginger (a notable anti-inflammatory) and the lime. Like a pair of piccolos, these two provide unexpected high notes of tartness and spice that play off the sweet potatoes’ bass heartiness. If you’re craving something sweet, this mash hits the mark; the fiber in the potatoes acts as a great insulin regulator, letting their sugars metabolize and feed the brain slowly and consistently.
Makes 4 servings
1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
Classic Magic Mineral Broth or Old-Fashioned Chicken Stock or, store-bought organic stock, or water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or ghee
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon Grade B maple syrup
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro or mint, for garnish
Put the sweet potatoes and 1/4 teaspoon of salt into a pot and add enough broth or other liquid to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain the potatoes in a colander, reserving the cooking water, and return them to the pot. Add the butter, ginger, maple syrup, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, lime juice, and 2 to 3 tablespoons of the cooking liquid. Use a potato masher or electric hand mixer to mash the potatoes, adding more cooking liquid until you reach the desired consistency. Taste; you may want to add another pinch of salt or a squeeze of lime. Sprinkle with cilantro or mint and serve immediately.
VARIATIONS: Swap out the lime juice for orange juice and add a shaving of nutmeg. Garnish with mint or parsley rather than cilantro.
If you are avoiding dairy, substitute 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil or 1 1/2 tablespoons of coconut oil for the 2 tablespoons of butter.
COOK’S NOTE: Here’s a quick way to grate ginger. Cut the ginger so the yellow flesh is exposed, then run it across your Microplane. The ginger will collect on the underside, so give the grater a good tap and voilà—the ginger will release. You can also use this technique for grating garlic—just make sure to keep your fingertips from the grater edges.
Reprinted with permission from The Healthy Mind Cookbook © 2015 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.