Once upon a time, when dinner was served as jars of puree, sweet potatoes ranked as my little one’s favorite. These days, should a scoop of the bright orange veggie appear on her plate, all I get is “Nasty!”
I have no idea where this came from. She normally reserves this word for bugs, bad smells, and anything related to the diaper pail contents. The idea that the one vegetable she used to love above all others is now relegated to that level is a mystery on the same par as Area 51, Stonehenge, and the popularity of body piercings.
Rather than try and figure it out, I just try new recipes. Some of them are so simple that I wonder why I did not think of it before. Like Orange-Basil Sweet Potatoes. I found this dish at the Whole Foods hot bar. It sounded so good, and when I read the ingredients, it was just what it sounded like; sweet potatoes, orange juice, basil and some salt. Period. Sometimes the best recipes just are what they are. Even better if they are healthy. The betacarotene and Vitamin C here really offer a lot of good stuff without the dairy and butter that mashed potatoes have. This one goes well with spicy foods like a Barbecue chicken.
Orange-Basil Sweet Potatoes
Looking for these recipes? They will be included in my upcoming book co-authored with Ali of Cleaner Plate Club!
If you want more orange flavor, you can add 1/2 tsp. of orange flavor (natural) or orange zest to bump up the citrus. You can also serve it garnished with mandarin orange slices to help entice your toddler — if they still eat sweet potatoes. Chances are you won't hear "Nasty!" if you can get them to just try it.
I also created a nice Butternut Squash lasagne, which I will post after I experiment a bit more to reduce the fat.
An update to Taute Cuisine 2 (Apple-Cider-Sauce):
You can skip peeling the apples for this recipe. Omit the anise and just stick with the cinnamon and cardamom. User a stick blender at the end to incorporate the peels. From what I have read, most of the apple’s nutrition is just under the peel, so this variation will bump the fiber, nutrition and flavor of the applesauce. Both versions are good. The stick blender approach is quicker than a food mill, though you can use one of those. However, if you go with the stick blender in the hot applesauce, keep it immersed. Or else. Ouch.