Friday, March 26, 2010

Sweet Style Sweet Potato Cups

I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to try making a sweet version of my sweet potato cups, and I couldn't have been more pleased with the results!!  These would be just delicious for breakfast (maybe served with sliced fruit on the side) or dessert, or even a mid-day snack with a cup of chai tea!  Very filling and satisfying!  Please enjoy my recipe for Sweet Style Sweet Potato Cups!

Sweet Style Sweet Potato Cups
serves: about 3-6 (depending on if you want one or two!)
prep time: about 10 minutes
cooking time: about 1 hour

3-4 sweet potatoes (enough to get 6 sweet potato cups)
1 Tablespoon coconut oil, melted
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
2 teaspoons cinnamon, ground
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

To prepare:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Peel the sweet potatoes, and cut into about 3 inch thick slices.  Hollow out the center of the slices with a paring knife or melon baller, so that you wind up with 6 sweet potato cups, with the bottom and sides being about 1/4-1/2 inch thick.    Rub the sweet potato cups with the melted coconut oil (you could substitute butter as well, but I prefer the coconut oil).  Place the cups into a baking dish and set in the preheated oven for about 50 minutes, or until fork tender.
2. A few minutes before the sweet potatoes are fully baked; combine the cranberries, cream cheese, walnuts, orange zest and cinnamon in a medium bowl.  Stir well to fully combine all ingredients.
3. Remove the sweet potato cups from the oven when fork tender, and stuff tightly with the cranberry/cream cheese filling. You want to get as much of the filling as possible into the cups, and mound the filling in the center on the top of each cup. Drizzle the filled cups with the maple syrup and return to the 350 degree oven.  Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, until the cream cheese is fully melted, and filling is heated through.
4. Serve and ENJOY immensely!!!!

Savory Sweet Potato Cups

Today I wanted to try yet another new concept in cooking.  I had a new idea hit me in the middle of the night, so I thought I would try it this morning, and am so excited to share the DELICIOUS results!  I wanted to think of an entirely new way to use sweet potatoes, and I thought of stuffing them!  But I didn't think they would hold up well to being treated like a "twice baked" stuffed potato, so I decided to cut the raw sweet potatoes into little "cups" to hold a variety of fillings!  And they worked magically!  My words of advice if you would like to try this new delightful way to eat sweet potatoes: Purchase the very large sweet potatoes so that you wind up with a good size cup to stuff!  My potatoes were about 3 1/2  inches thick, but were fairly short, so I was only able to get 6 "cups" out of 4 sweet potatoes.  I also used a paring knife to hollow out the center, but I think a melon baller might work perfectly for the job!  The following recipe is for my "Savory Sweet Potato cups", and I will post another entry about my "Sweet style Sweet Potato cups"!  I think that these Savory cups would be perfect for appetizers, or served with a salad for lunch, or even possibly served on a bed of wilted swiss chard cooked in extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic!  YUM!  I hope you enjoy!

Savory Sweet Potato Cups

Serves: 6 appetizers- or 3 for a meal
Prep time: about 15 minutes
Cooking time: about 1 hour

about 3-4 large sweet potatoes
3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
2 cups portabella mushrooms, finely chopped
1/2 cup sweet yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup green onions, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
optional: 1/2 cup crumbled crisply cooked bacon (applewood smoked would be best!)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. First peel the sweet potatoes, and cut into about 3 inch thick slices.  Hollow out the center of the sweet potato pieces, forming them into a cup.  You should wind up with 6 fairly uniform cups. The bottom and edges should be about 1/4- 1/2 inch thick.  Lightly rub the sweet potato cups with about 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.  Place into a baking dish, and set in the preheated oven for about 50 minutes, or until fork tender.
2. While the sweet potato cups are baking, chop up the mushrooms, onion, green onion, and garlic.  Add the remaining olive oil, about 2 tablespoons, to a large frying pan (10 inch or larger) about 15 minutes before the sweet potato cups are finished baking, and place over medium high heat.  Once the oil is hot, add in the mushrooms and chopped yellow onion.  Cook until golden brown, about 5-8 minutes, stirring often.  Add in the green onions, walnuts, sea salt, pepper and garlic, and continue to cook an additional 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the blue cheese.  You may also add in the bacon if you are using it!  I wanted to keep my recipe vegetarian, but I think the bacon would be delightful! 
3. Once the sweet potato cups are fork tender, remove from the oven, and stuff each cup with about 3 heaping tablespoons of the mushroom filling.  Make sure to pack it in tightly, so that you get as much of the delicious filling in as possible!  The cups will be slightly overfull, so just press the filling up into a mound in the center.
4.  Return the filled cups to the 350 degree oven for about 5-10 additional minutes, until the cheese is melted and aromatic.
5. Serve and ENJOY! :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Cucumber Raita

I made this delicious Cucumber Raita to go with my Gobi Masala Fritters!  It is so refreshing and bursting with flavor!  I think it would be delicious with a multitude of dishes, or simply used as a veggie dip or a as a spread on sandwiches.  It reminds me somewhat of Tzatziki, but with a slight twist...  I hope you give it a try!  I look forward to trying it with many new dishes!

Cucumber Raita

1 medium cucumber
1 lemon
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup cilantro, shredded
1 1/2 cups Plain yogurt (I used Greek style for extra thick raita!)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground peppercorn blend, to taste (I use a blend of red, green white and black peppercorns, with allspice)
1 teaspoon mild curry powder

1. Peel the cucumber, and chop finely.  Place into a medium size bowl.
2. Cut the lemon in half, and squeeze the juice into the bowl with the cucumber.  Add in the remaining ingredients, and stir well to combine.
3. Cover and place in refrigerator until ready to serve.
4. Serve chilled and enjoy!

A Walk on The Exotic Side!

I was inspired to try something new today, when I came across this recipe contest: The challenge?  Create a dish with Cauliflower- based off of any of the vegetable recipes listed on the Manjula's Kitchen website.  I chose to base my recipe on "Aloo Masala for Dosa", and to put a twist on it so that even my spice "snubbing" husband would enjoy it (He has a strong dislike for curry and strong flavored spices typically used in Indian cooking, even though I really enjoy them!)!  So I came up with my recipe: Gobi (Cauliflower) Masala Fritters with Cucumber Raita.  This came out so delicious, I had a plate of it for lunch and wow, the flavor was incredible and intense, but not too strong!  It was a very simple dish to make, and even my husband likes it!  So if you would like to try a simple dish at home with exotic Indian spices, give this a try! It is a vegetarian dish, and if you exclude the raita it is vegan!  But the raita is delicious, I just couldn't pass it up!

 Gobi Masala Fritters  

Serves: about 4
Prep time: about 5-10 minutes
Cook Time: about 8 minutes


4 cups Cauliflower, chopped into 2 inch pieces
2 teaspoons whole mustard seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons mild curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 whole roasted green chile, chopped
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper, ground (Cayenne)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Coconut oil for frying, about 1/2- 3/4 cup

1. Cook the cauliflower in about 1/3 cup of boiling water, covered, for about 5-7 minutes, until just softened.  Drain and make sure to remove all excess water.  Place into a medium size bowl.
2. Use a potato masher to mash the Cauliflower into tiny pieces, but not thoroughly mashed.
3. Place a large fry pan (10 inch or larger) over medium high heat.  Once pan is hot, add in the mustard seeds and lightly toast until they begin to crack.  Add in the curry powder and ground turmeric, toasting for an additional 30 seconds, until aromatic.  Pour into the bowl with the cauliflower, making sure to remove all the spices from the pan.  Return the pan to medium high heat, and add in the coconut oil to heat for frying (you want the oil to be 1/2- 1 inch deep).
4. Add the olive oil, green chile, flour, sea salt, red pepper, and cilantro to the cauliflower and spices, and stir well to fully combine.
5. Drop the Gobi Masala Fritter batter by heaping tablespoons into the hot coconut oil, using the back of the spoon to flatten into 1/4-1/2 inch thick, 3inch round fritters. Fry till golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from oil, and place on paper toweling to remove excess oil.
6. Serve with Cucumber Raita if desired, and ENJOY!

Please see the next post for the Cucumber Raita recipe!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Nut Milk Ice Cream is Delicious!

For today's post, I would like to talk about Nut Milk Ice cream!!!  This has become a favorite for my family, and is so simple and quick to make!  I bought a Cuisinart Ice Cream maker a couple months ago (with my prize winnings from a recipe contest for frosting!), and have been trying all sorts of delightful frozen treats!  From sorbets and frozen yogurt, to traditional ice cream, and now: Nut Milk Ice Cream!  I've found that a blend of Coconut milk and Almond milk seems to give the perfect level of "creaminess" with just a light note of coconut and almond flavor.  It does not compete with the flavor of the ice cream, it always seems to be just the perfect hint of nutty flavor.  I've used low-fat and full cream coconut milk, and the best texture seems to come from the higher fat milks.  It reminds me somewhat of gelato in texture and fullness of flavor!  The low fat coconut milk gives the finished frozen treat a slightly "Icy" texture, as it has less fat to really give that creamy texture; but I've found that adding just a bit to a fruit sorbet is a delicious way to incorporate just a touch of creaminess!  I have pictured a Chocolate version of Nut Milk ice cream in this post, but one of my favorite flavors has been my "Tropical Delight".  For the tropical flavor I added pureed mango and pineapple, a few chunks of the fruits as well, and a bit of shredded coconut, not to mention also adding in pineapple juice for sweetener instead of sugar (while eating it I could envision chopped bits of macadamia nuts as well!  Maybe next time!).  The result was a creamy, icy treat just bursting with tropical flavor!  But the Chocolate is a very simple and decadent way to enjoy this frozen treat! I used Dark Chocolate for the absolute richest flavor, and really, a little goes long way!  My sweet tooth is completely satisfied after about a 1/4 cup of this rich ice cream, and it's great knowing it's vegan and organic as well (I only purchase organic coconut milk, the almond milk is also organic, as well as the sugar and dark chocolate!).  Please give it a try, and enjoy the creamy goodness of Nut Milk Ice Cream!!

Chocolate Nut Milk Ice Cream:

3/4 cup Dark Chocolate chunks
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1 cup almond milk
1/3 cup sugar

Pour the Dark Chocolate chunks into a medium size microwave container.  Place in the microwave for 30 seconds on high power.  Stir completely to help melt the chocolate.  Continue to microwave in 15 second intervals until chocolate is completely melted, stirring thoroughly each time.  It should only take the first 30 seconds, and then one or two 15 second intervals.  Remove from microwave when fully melted, and add in the coconut milk and almond milk, whisking briskly to fully combine the ingredients.  Use a spoon to get all the chocolate from the bottom of the dish and stir well into the nut milk.  Add in the sugar and whisk until fully combined.  You can place this mixture, covered, into the fridge to freeze later, or pour immediately into your ice cream maker (follow the directions for your ice cream maker for the best results, whether it is a frozen bowl type, like mine, or the kind that you have to add ice and rock salt to, or a hand crank style!).  With my Cuisinart machine my ice cream is frozen into a "soft-serve" type treat in about 25 minutes.  I then scoop it into a freezer safe container, cover tightly, and freeze for about 2 hours to "ripen" (I prefer a more firmly frozen ice cream) before serving.  Try this out the next time you are ready for a frozen treat!  Some great additions would be to add in some cinnamon, or crushed almonds and a few chocolate chunks in the last 5 minutes of freezing in your ice cream maker!  Create your own favorite flavors, I'd love to hear what you wind up with!! ENJOY!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Healing Properties of Elderberries

It's time to take a step away from preparing food for the dining table, and to focus for a moment on an amazing little berry, the Elderberry!  These incredible berries are bursting with antioxidants, and have been shown to reduce the severity and duration of the common cold and flu, and boost the immune system.  If taken throughout the cold season on a daily basis (1 teaspoon a day in "syrup" form), you may even be able to ward off sickness before it even occurs! It is said to be an anti-inflammatory, so can also be used to ease the stiffness and pain of rheumatoid arthritis.  It may also aid in easing digestive disorders, as it can cause anti-inflammatory effects in the digestive system.  It is basically just a very good tonic for the cold, damp and dreary winter months.  I started making my own Elderberry syrup for cold season last year, after becoming tired of paying the high prices in the market for the pre-made variety. I have been able to find the dried berries, latin name: Sambucus Nigra (Common Black Elder berries) in a few different markets, from "The Herb Store", located in the Nob Hill district of Albuquerque, to the easily accessed Whole Foods Market (In the bulk herbs section, Frontier Herbs company). The berries are very small, and dark purple to black looking, and are actually quite affordable in price in the bulk sections of the markets. I add a combination of other spices that are warming and soothing, and also add great flavor and make this medicine an easy one to swallow!  I also use lemon and honey which is very soothing to the throat, and can help relieve coughing, sore throats, and bronchitis. This syrup can be taken in the amount of one teaspoon per day for an over-all health tonic, or if you do become sick you may take a teaspoon every hour or two for a few days to promote a speedy recovery!

A note of warning!  Raw Elderberries do contain traces of cyanide, but it is completely removed by cooking.  I do not suggest EVER consuming the berries or any other part of the Elder raw, so please make sure to cook thoroughly before consuming.

Elderberry Syrup 


2 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup Elderberries, dried (Sambucus Nigra)
1-2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
4 cinnamon sticks
10 cloves, whole
1 lemon
1 cup honey


1. In a small, non reactive pot, add the water, elderberries, ginger, cinnamon sticks, and cloves.  Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Cut the lemon into large pieces, and add to the pot.  Reduce heat to maintain a strong simmer, cover and allow to simmer about 20 minutes.  Stir occasionally (I like to use a wooden spoon for this, it is now stained bright purple from the berries, but I use it only for cooking berries), mashing the berries, lemon and ginger with the back of the spoon.
2. After simmering for 20-30 minutes, remove from the heat, and allow to rest, covered, for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, strain the contents of the pot through cheesecloth into a medium size bowl. You will wind up with a deep purple liquid in the bowl, and all the berries, cloves, ginger, lemon chunks and cinnamon sticks will be in the cheesecloth.  You may discard all this leftover product, we will only be using the liquid.  Allow to cool at room temperature for about an hour.
3. Add the cup of honey to the slightly cooled bowl of liquid, and stir to combine well.  Store covered, preferably in a glass jar, in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.  You may also freeze it in ice cube trays (and once frozen place into a zip-type storage bag) and defrost only what you need, when you need it, if you do not intend to take it daily.

I really hope that this will help someone out when they need it!  I did get sick this year, but I feel that this syrup really helped my immune system to bounce back from it all!  It was also very soothing, and really helped me to feel better while I was sick!  And it really does taste pretty great (for medicine!!!)!  Because it is tasty and looks appealing, make sure you do keep it out of the reach of children, and only administer under parental supervision. Please discuss the use of Elderberry Syrup with your child's health care provider prior to ever giving to a child.

The Natural world offers so many beneficial plants, not only for food, but also for our medicinal needs.  Elderberries are just one of the very great plants that can aid humankind in many ways!  I hope you will reap the benefits of Elderberries, for your health!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

More Scrumptious Adventures with Sweet Potatoes!!

I am now calling this time, "The Week of the Sweet Potatoes"! :)  I just can't stop myself from trying some new recipes with our favorite tubers!  I have so many on hand right now, and am busy trying to come up with some new and exciting ways to devour the delicious sweet potato!  I keep hearing about how delicious it is to combine sweet potatoes and peanuts, and after feeling very intrigued, finally decided to give it a try myself!  I've seen a plethora of sweet potato soup recipes that contain peanuts, but as my husband has a very specific dislike for soup, I had to find another creative way to try this combo.  We happen to be incredibly huge fans of Asian style noodle dishes, so the first thing I thought of was a Thai-style Peanut noodle dish with sweet potatoes!  YUMMY!  Following is the recipe I created this afternoon, and let me tell you, it is now our favorite way to eat Thai Peanut noodles!  The sweet potato almost acts like a noodle itself, and the flavor is in every bite, without it just tasting like sweet potato!  The peanuts are still front and center, but they definitely share the spotlight with the sweet potatoes.  I was very pleasantly surprised with this dish, and I think you will be too!  Give it a try, leave me a comment and let me know what you think of this exotic Sweet Potato ADVENTURE!

Scrumptious Thai-Style Sweet Potato Peanut Noodles


3 cups water
3 ounces rice noodles (dry, flat noodles)
1/2 cup all natural peanut butter (peanuts and salt), chunky style
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1-3 teaspoons hot chili sauce (I use Sriracha)
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 large sweet potato= about 3 cups, grated
2 teaspoons ginger, freshly grated
1 cup Napa cabbage, shredded
1 cup green onions, chopped
1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts, unsalted
1/3 cup water
1 small bunch cilantro
4 small limes


1. First bring the 3 cups of water to a boil in an 8 inch skillet. While it is coming to a boil, grate the sweet potato into shreds.  You should get about 3 cups of shredded sweet potato from a very large size sweet potato.  Use 2 smaller potatoes if needed, you just want to end up with about 3 cups. Set aside.
2. When the water is boiling, turn off the heat, add in the rice noodles, and submerge completely.  Set aside to soften while preparing the rest of the dish.
3. In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, honey, rice wine vinegar and chili sauce.  Add less chili sauce for mild, more for hot, taste as you go and add in small quantities so it doesn't get too spicy for you! Stir very well to thoroughly combine. Set aside.
4. In a large skillet (10- inch or larger), heat the cooking oil over high heat, and then add in the grated sweet potato.  Spread over the entire bottom of the pan so that it will cook evenly. While the sweet potatoes are cooking, about 5 minutes, grate the ginger, and shred the Napa cabbage.  Add the ginger and cabbage to the pan and continue to cook, stirring frequently.  You are basically stir-frying the vegetables together, and want to cook it fast and hot!  Cook for about 4 more minutes, until tender.
5. Chop the green onion and add to the pan, stirring well.  Add in the peanuts, and continue to cook about 1-2 minutes.
6. Finally add in the previously combined peanut sauce (you may have a little leftover if you don't want as much sauce, add as much as you'd like! I used all but about 3 tablespoons of the sauce, and served it on the side.) and the 1/3 cup of water, stirring well.
7. Drain the rice noodles and add to the pan.  Continue to cook about 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until the ingredients are fully combined.
8. Serve with plenty of chopped cilantro and lime wedges, squeezing the lime over the noodles as you eat.

Serves: about 4
Prep time: about 5 minutes
Cook time: about 15 minutes

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Sweet Potatoes Strike Back!

After arising this morning I found myself with an interesting challenge!  Snowed in yet again, (another big storm through the night), and low on breakfast supplies- I had to get creative!  After having Sweet potato salad for lunch, dinner, and a snack yesterday, I was ready to switch it up a little bit (even though it is FABULOUS!)!  All I could think of was a nice warm muffin fresh from the oven, with a steaming cup of chai tea.  I stood looking in the fridge willing eggs to appear, and then the light bulb flashed and I was pulling out the mixing bowl!  I happened to have 2 very overripe bananas, and I remembered hearing a while back that you can use mashed banana as an egg substitute!  So I thought I'd give it a try and see what happens!  And what could be more delicious than a Sweet Potato muffin?!  So the sweet potato salad from yesterday came out of the fridge, and the following recipe is the absolutely delicious, HEALTHY result!  After using whole wheat flour, unrefined mascobado sugar (Fair Trade from the Philippines), olive oil, 0 eggs, and that nutrient packed salad, I feel amazing!  These muffins are incredibly moist and flavorful, and I can see that we will be making these a lot!  My daughter ate an entire muffin by herself  (grinning and giggling the entire time) which is a new record, so I know it is a success as it made my little 15 month old so happy!  Try out these fabulous muffins if you can, I think you'll get just as hooked as we are!!

Simple Sensational Sweet Potato Muffins:


2 overripe bananas, = about 3/4 cup, mashed
1/2 cup almond milk
1/4 cup olive oil, mild
1 packed cup Simple Sensational Sweet Potato Salad, (see previous blog post)
1 cup Whole Wheat flour (I use High Altitude, Hungarian whole wheat flour)
1/2 cup unrefined mascobado golden brown sugar (nutrients and molasses intact!)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Very lightly oil a 6 cup muffin pan. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, mash the bananas until completely smooth.  Add in the almond milk, olive oil, and sweet potato salad, stirring well to combine.
3. Add in the flour, sugar, sea salt, baking powder and cinnamon, stirring just until fully combined.
4. Spoon into the prepared muffin cups, filling about 3/4 full.  I had enough batter left over to make about 3 more muffins.  You could use a 12 cup muffin pan and leave a few empty, but I just put the rest of the batter into the freezer (in a freezer zip-type bag) to mix into my next muffin batch.
5. Place into the preheated oven and bake for about 25 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center.
6. Remove from the oven and set on the counter to cool about 5 minutes. Then, using a clean and dry knife, run around the edge of each muffin to pop them out of the pan.  Set on a plate to cool a few more minutes, then ENJOY!

These muffins are a bit softer than the typical eggy, white flour, fatty muffin; but they held up great, had really amazing texture, and have such a depth of flavor!!  You could taste (and see!) the sweet potato in every bite, and the cranberries, apples, pineapple and sunflower seeds were a perfect compliment, not to mention the orange juice!  Try these out on your next chilly morning with a delicious cup of Chai!  My new favorite breakfast! :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Sensational Sweet Potato!

Ahhhh, the delights of Sweet Potatoes!  These beautiful orange-red gifts from nature pack a hearty punch of vitamins and minerals, not to mention fiber!  With large doses of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Beta-Carotene, Calcium, Potassium and a slew of other nutrients- you can be guaranteed a happy and healthy body and mind when you consume these beauties.  Oh, and did I mention how delightful they taste??  Roasted, Baked, Stewed, Mashed, and even Raw (yes, I said RAW!), they are delicious for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks!  My family eats sweet potatoes a few days a week as they are a favorite food for all of us.  I know when I feed my sweet little daughter Sweet Potatoes that they will do nothing but help her to grow strong, smart, and healthy (well, except for maybe America's favorite way to serve them: smothered in butter, brown sugar and roasted marshmallows!!)!  There is some confusion out there about sweet potatoes and yams- but here in America you will most likely never see a true yam in your local market.  You can find yams (which are toxic raw, but cooking removes the toxicity) in Asian and some other "Ethnic" markets. A true "yam" has a whiteish/grey or purple, to sometimes pinkish color, and is a very long and somewhat thin tuber, sometimes growing over 6 feet long! They are mostly grown in Africa, Asia, and South America. However, in your grocery store you are likely to see "Sweet Potatoes" right next to what are labeled as "Yams" in the produce department.  They are generally one and the same, just different varieties of sweet potatoes.  So even those large jumbo "yams" are actually sweet potatoes, as long as they have that beautiful yellow to orange-red flesh!  So try to fit more sweet potatoes into your daily diet, and enjoy the benefits and rewards!  I would like to share a recipe that I have been making for years, that really showcases the true flavor of the Sweet Potato!  It uses raw sweet potatoes, which not many people know you can eat, or know how delicious they really are raw, so I hope you will give it a try! It is also the quickest and easiest way to enjoy Sweet Potatoes, no waiting for them to cook, just enjoy the benefits and flavor as soon as you can put it together! Please enjoy, it is perfect for family get-togethers, potlucks, dinner with friends, packed in a lunch, or even for a delicious breakfast!  

Simple Sensational Sweet Potato Salad

2 large (jumbo) Sweet Potatoes
2 medium Granny Smith Apples
2 medium Oranges
1 cup dried, sweetened cranberries
3/4 cup roasted Sunflower "nuts" (kernels with the shells removed), lightly salted
1 cup crushed pineapple

1. Peel and grate the sweet potatoes and apples (remove the cores as well from the apples).  You can use a food processor to make this really quick, or you can also use a cheese grater (which is the method I use, it's quick, easy, and a lot easier to clean than the food processor!). Place into a large bowl.
2. Cut the oranges in half, and squeeze the juice over the grated sweet potatoes.  I like to use a citrus reamer to get all the juice out, and try to get as much of the pulp as possible into the salad.  Stir well.  The orange juice will keep the sweet potatoes and apples from oxidizing (turning brown), and keep their bright beautiful color. Not to mention it tastes great!
3. Add in the cranberries, sunflower nuts and crushed pineapple.  Stir well to combine.
4. You can serve immediately, or cover and place in the fridge to serve cold later, or just to make ahead of time for an event.  The flavor becomes more intense as it sits a while, and the orange juice has a chance to work it's "magic".
5. Enjoy the crisp, fresh, and light flavor of this salad!!

Prep time: about 10 minutes (or less if you grate the sweet potatoes and apples with a food processor).
Serves: about 8

Back in The Saddle

Well the sickness has come and gone, and health is returning with the Spring!  My blog has been sorely neglected, but it's time to jump back in the saddle!  I have made a vow to get at least 2 posts up a week now, and I will strive to meet that for you all!  I never did get a post up about Elderberry syrup, I was just not feeling well enough to get a good image to post, and have just not had any excess energy to expend. But, I think it would be very valuable information for you all, so I will be posting all about it later this week!  But for now, look later today for a post about Sweet potatoes, with a simple and delicious recipe to try!  It's great to be back in the saddle again! :)