I am in a great mood today! The sun is shining, I had a fantastic dinner with a great friend last night (review to come on Friday!), had a great workout this am and increase my back squat by 10 pounds, and had a nice chat with the mama bear as I got ready for work. Let’s do this, Tuesday!
I was originally inspired for this recipe from one that my mom had found. It looked and sounded amazing, but it had sugar and a ton of butter in it, and almost twice as many pears and juice as I have here. I was excited to make this my own, lowering the sugar content and adding some shredded coconut and coconut oil. I love adding shredded coconut and coconut oil to sweet potato dishes – it’s a great healthy fat and I really don’t taste the coconut.
And then there’s the cardamom. Oh cardamom. I have such fond memories of this flavor. My grandparents used to make this incredible bread that had cardamom in it with an amazing butter and sugar crumble on top. Oh it was awesome. It was one of my favorite treats. Definitely miss that bread. They would make us 2 or 3 loaves of it over the holidays that we could throw in the freezer when we were in college. It was the best. They’re the best. Always making rolls that make me drool at family dinners. You can’t just have one of those things, which is why I haven’t had one in years. Life’s tough, friends. Anyways. Now, I love adding cardamom to anything that I think will complement well – brings back those sweet memories.
This is great for a big dinner as a side, but I also made this and portioned it out for my breakfasts for a week – delish!
Sweet potato and Pear Mash
3 lb. Sweet Potatoes (approx. 4 medium-large sweet potatoes)
2 large firm, but ripe Bartlett pears (with an extra for a garnish)
1/2 c pear nectar/pure juice
1/4 c and 2 tbsp. coconut oil
1.5 c shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom
First, bake sweet potatoes:
- Prick sweet potatoes three or four times and put directly on rack with a pan or aluminum foil on a lower rack with oven off.
- Turn oven to 425 degrees and set timer for 45 minutes. At the end of 45 minutes, turn off oven and leave sweet potatoes in for another 30 minutes. Don’t open the oven door!
When sweet potato have about ten minutes left, start preparing the rest of the dish:
- De-core pears and cut into bite size chunks. Add to a small pan over medium high heat with pear nectar and stir occasionally until pear is very tender and almost completely pureed. About 10 minutes. Set aside and stir until pureed – smash with a fork or spoon if necessary.
- Once sweet potatoes are done, put the oven back at 400 degrees.
- When sweet potatoes are cool enough to touch, tear off skins and add to a large bowl. Mash the sweet potatoes with a potato masher or a hand mixer.
- Add the shredded coconut, coconut oil, cinnamon and cardamom to the mashed sweet potatoes and stir well or mix with a hand mixer.
- Pour mixture into a 2 quart casserole dish (or a 7x11x2 pan) and bake at 400 for twenty minutes.
- Add a few slices of pears on top for a garnish if you like!
Note: This can also be made ahead of time and put in the fridge, covered, then baked right before serving if you need.