Sweet Potatoes, Butternut Squash with Pecans and Maple Syrup

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A side dish of sweet potatoes provides your family with a host of nutritional benefits such as vitamins, carbohydrates and fiber. If a plain sweet potato doesn’t excite your palate, consider combining your sweet potatoes with other vegetables, nuts and dried fruit. However you choose to serve these flavor-rich vegetables, you’re guaranteed a heart-healthy addition to any meal.

Did you know though that, despite its name, the sweet potato really doesn’t belong to the same family as the potato, not even close. Potatoes are tubers and sweet potatoes are roots!  In some places, the darker colored sweet potatoes have been mistakenly called yams. (Yams are often whitish to purplish color, depending on the variety. They have a distinct earthy taste, hardy texture and are hardly sweet.)

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There are many varieties of sweet potatoes with flesh ranging from white, yellow, orange and purple. Even the shapes and sizes range from being short and blocky to long and thin.  But all of them provide excellent nutritional benefits!  Sweet potatoes, especially the deeper-colored ones, are extremely rich in carotenes (precursor of vitamin A). They are also an excellent source of vitamins C, B2, B6, E and biotin (B7).  In the minerals department, they provide good amounts of manganese, folate (folic acid), copper and iron. It also has pantothenic acid and is rich in dietary fiber.

When buying sweet potatoes, go for the darker variety if available. The darker it is the higher the carotene content.  Choose sweet potatoes that are firm and not wrinkled. Avoid those that has a green discoloration that indicates the presence of a toxic substance called solanine.  Store sweet potatoes in the open, in a cool, dark and well-ventilated place, not wrapped up in plastic bags, and not in the refrigerator. They can keep up to ten days.

We love sweet potatoes!  I have cooked so many dishes with sweet potatoes including waffles, baked fries, pancakes, soups you name it:)  My daughter actually came up with the idea for this particular dish.  Besides sweet potatoes we also added butternut squash, dried fruit, Vidalia onions and of course her favorite Maple Syrup!  While this recipe does seem to be on the sweet side, since you are also going to be adding garlic, sat and pepper…these ingredients will give necessary spices and balance to this dish.

Sources:

1.  Sweet Potato Nutritional Benefits.  http://www.livestrong.com/article/238175-sweet-potato-nutrition-benefits/#ixzz2YqG530NI.  Retrieved July 12, 2013
2.  Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes.  http://juicing-for-health.com/basic-nutrition/healing-vegetables/health-benefits-of-sweet-potato.html.  Retrieved July 12, 2013
3.  Sweet Potatoes Photo.  http://mytempleofnature.blogspot.com/2010/10/swooning-for-sweet-potatoes.html.  Retrieved July 12, 2013.

 

Ingredients:

1 Large Sweet Potatoes
1/2 of Large Butternut Squash
1/2 of Large Vidalia Onion
1-2 Cloves of Garlic
Salt & Pepper to Taste
1 Teaspoon of Dried Parsley
1/2 Cup of Diced Pecans
1/2 Cup of White Grape Raisins
2 Table Spoons of Dried Cranberries
1/4 of a cup of Maple Syrup
1/2 Stick of Butter (can be replaced with vegetable oil)
 
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How to make Butternut Squash, Sweet Potatoes with Pecans and Maple Syrup:

1.  Peel your sweet potato and butternut squash.  Dice up both vegetables in cube shape forms.

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2.  Use your nut grinder to finely chop your pecans.  You can also use walnuts. almonds or any other nuts of your choice.

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3.  Dice up 1/2 of Vidalia Onion and finely chop 1-2 cloves of fresh garlic.

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4.   Slightly cook your onions on a pan so they would brown a bit.

5.  Prepare your baking dish, line it up with foil and add your vegetables along with chopped garlic and your spices including salt and pepper.

6.  Then add your cooked onions and 1/2 stick of cut up butter (or 2-3 table spoons of vegetable oil to the dish).

7.  Mix everything well, cover the baking dish with foil and put it to bake in the oven for about 25-35 minutes at 350F.

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8.  When your dish is ready, add your pecan nuts, followed by dried cranberries, white grape raisins and mix in 1/4 cup of Maple Syrup.

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9.  Finally sprinkle with some dried (or fresh) parsley and more salt/pepper to taste.

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Your dish is now ready!  You can serve this dish by itself or as a side dish with a piece of turkey or a duck.  Enjoy!

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Love,

Natalie

Sweet Potatoes, Butternut Squash with pecans and Maple Syrup
 
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Sweet Potatoes, Butternut Squash, Onions with pecans, Raisins, Dried cranberries and Maple Syrup.
Author:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 1 Large Sweet Potatoes
  • ½ of Large Butternut Squash
  • ½ of Large Vidalia Onion
  • 1-2 Cloves of Garlic
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • 1 Teaspoon of Dried Parsley
  • ½ Cup of Diced Pecans
  • ½ Cup of White Grape Raisins
  • 2 Table Spoons of Dried Cranberries
  • ¼ of a cup of Maple Syrup
  • ½ Stick of Butter (can be replaced with vegetable oil)
Instructions
  1. Peel your sweet potato and butternut squash. Dice up both vegetables in cube shape form.
  2. Use your nut grinder to finely chop your pecans. You can also use walnuts. almonds or any other nuts of your choice.
  3. Dice up ½ of Vidalia Onion and finely chop 1-2 cloves of fresh garlic.
  4. Slightly cook your onions on a pan so they would brown a bit.
  5. Prepare your baking dish, line it up with foil and add your vegetables along with chopped garlic and your spices including salt and pepper.
  6. Then add your cooked onions and ½ stick of cut up butter (or 2-3 table spoons of vegetable oil to the dish).
  7. Mix everything well, cover the baking dish with foil and put it to bake in the oven for about 25-35 minutes at 350F.
  8. When your dish is ready, add your pecan nuts, followed by dried cranberries, white grape raisins and mix in ¼ cup of Maple Syrup.
  9. Finally sprinkle with some dried (or fresh) parsley and more salt/pepper to taste
  10. Your dish is now ready! You can serve this dish by itself or as a side dish with a piece of turkey or a duck. Enjoy!

 

Copyright © 2013 Flavor Shades