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These maple-baked sweet potatoes are perfect for celebrating Valentine’s Day!
If you love to cook for those you love, this is a fun way to show them what they mean to you! Delicious baked sweet potatoes, drizzled with maple syrup and baked to perfection.
Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are very nutritious. They have tons of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. 1 cup of baked sweet potato has 4 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, and a whopping 65% of your daily requirement of vitamin C as well as 50% of your daily requirement for manganese. Not a bad deal for one little cup of tubers!
The Difference Between Sweet Potatoes And Yams
Believe it or not, what you think are yams, are probably sweet potatoes. There are many different shapes and colors as well as varieties of sweet potatoes on the market. But none of them are yams.
Yams are actually pretty uncommon in most stores in the US. They are a starchy root that comes from Africa.
Yams and sweet potatoes can have a similar flavor, but they are vastly different and unrelated.
Healthy Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are only as healthy as you make them. If you make them with other whole-food ingredients, they remain pretty healthy. But if you melt marshmallows over them or put other not-so-healthy ingredients on them, it’s not hard to see how they could easily derail your eating plan. So keep your ingredients whole and healthy to fully enjoy the true benefits of the mighty sweet potato.
Should You Peel Sweet Potatoes?
Like white potatoes, the skins of sweet potatoes are totally edible. Peeling them or not comes down to your personal preference. The skins have a lot of fiber and nutrition, but make sure you wash them well. As with any potato, they grow in the dirt. Something you want to be sure you wash off before you sink your teeth in.
Should You Boil Sweet Potatoes Before Roasting?
This is not necessary and can actually be detrimental to the final taste and texture. So no, don’t bother. It’s not worth the effort.
What To Serve With Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes
These will pair nicely with other vegetables and a portion of protein. These are meant to be a side dish, so anything you would serve sweet potatoes with will go well here.
What Protein Goes Well With Sweet Potatoes?
The best proteins to serve with these potatoes are:
If maple syrup isn’t your thing, you can also use honey. Any liquid sweetener you are comfortable using will work well here. You can also omit the sweetener completely for a savory dish instead. In this case, I would also switch the cinnamon for something like nutmeg or even garlic powder.
Tips For Perfect Sweet Potatoes
- Keep your slices thin and even so they bake evenly.
- Use a towel or pot holder between your hand and the cookie cutter so you don’t hurt your hand. Those cookie cutters can be sharp!
- Because there can be such large variances in the size of sweet potatoes, your yield may be very different from mine. So this is one of those recipes you will have to “eyeball” a bit. I purchased 1 very large sweet potato. The trick is to look for sweet potatoes with lots of girth. A really, really fat one. The long skinny ones will make this harder to cut out. Mine was just under a pound. Once I sliced it and cut out the hearts, I weighed the hearts and found that I had 10½ ounces. This recipe reflects that measurement, so please adjust up or down depending on how much you end up with.
Can You Make These Maple Baked Sweet Potatoes Ahead Of Time?
If you want to prep these ahead of time, feel free. Simply do everything but bake them if you want to serve them warm and just-roasted. However, if you don’t mind simply reheating, you can certainly cook this completely, store it in the fridge and reheat it later. Instructions for doing so are below.
Roast Sweet Potato Cubes
If cutting these into hearts just isn’t for you, you can still make this by cutting the sweet potatoes in a small dice for roasted sweet potato cubes instead of hearts. This way, they will work perfectly for other occasions such as Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Maple Baked Sweet Potatoes Ingredients
1 large sweet potato – As close to 1 lb. as you can get. The bigger the potato, the better. Remember, you want girth more than length.
3 tbsp. unsalted butter – If you need this to be dairy-free, you can sub with vegan butter or use virgin coconut oil.
3 tbsp. pure maple syrup – Use the real stuff, not imitation syrup or pancake syrup. You can also substitute with honey.
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon – No sugar added.
1 pinch salt – This rounds out the sweetness. You need very little salt, but a little is good for flavor.
How to Make Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Peel and slice your sweet potato. I recommend no thicker than a ¼ inch. But more important than thickness is that all the pieces are uniform in thickness, otherwise they won’t all bake at the same rate.
In a pot, melt the butter and mix in the maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt.
Place the sweet potato hearts in the pot and stir to coat the hearts.
Pour the entire mixture into a small casserole dish and bake at 350 F. for approximately 30-40 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and tender.
Allow to cool a bit, salt as needed, and serve.
Storing Maple Baked Sweet Potatoes
Keep these in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for up to three days.
Reheating Maple Baked Sweet Potatoes
Reheat this either in the microwave or in the oven.
- Microwave – 1-2 minutes
- Oven – 350 F. for about 10-20 minutes, depending on your oven.
How To Serve Leftovers
These are great warmed up for breakfast with a side of eggs and bacon. You can also enjoy these over vanilla ice cream for dessert with a little extra syrup for flavor.
More Healthy Sweet Potato Recipes
Valentine’s Maple Baked Sweet Potatoes Recipe
Valentine’s Maple Baked Sweet Potatoes Recipe
- 1 large sweet potato
- 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp. pure maple syrup
- ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch salt (plus more to taste after baking)
- Peel and slice your sweet potato. I recommend no thicker than ¼ inch. But really, more important that thickness is that all the pieces are uniform in thickness, otherwise they won't all bake at the same rate.
- In a pot, melt the butter and mix in the maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt.
- Place the sweet potato hearts in the pot and stir to coat the hearts.
- Pour into a small casserole dish and bake at 350 F. for approximately 30-40 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and cooked through.
- Allow to cool a bit, salt as needed, and serve.
From the Gracious Pantry archives: Originally posted 2/7/14.