Monday, December 17, 2012

Sweet Potato Pie - A Southern Soul Food

Sweet potatoes are harvested in early Fall in just about all the Southern States in the good old USA!  And hubby and I are usually first in line at the produce stand of our favorite little family-owned farm as we head home from weekend beach trips.   They keep well, much like a regular potato if you store them in a cool, dry place so we use them for cooking all winter - and we use them in several ways.  Nothing beats just a plain sweet potato, baked until tender, split open with a slice of butter - served on a dinner plate as a vegetable.  Some people use cinnamon and sugar, but if you pick the right variety, you don't need to alter the taste.  We prefer the Red Jewel variety because of it's soft moist flesh and candy sweet taste.  Yum!   We also use them for pies - much like a pumpkin pie, but smoother and creamier.  And then there's the notoriously famous sweet potato casserole, with a crunchy pecan topping.  My daughter makes a humdinger of a casserole for Thanksgiving dinner each year.

If you look in a recipe book, you'll find many recipes for sweet potato pie, but they all contain the basic ingredients of cooked potatoes, milk, eggs and butter.  Some add spices like nutmeg or cinnamon.  My family just prefers vanilla extract instead of the other spices.  Hubby thinks that I make the best - I think it's because of my "secret ingredient".  I'll share it with you, but ssshhh - don't tell him. 

Here's the slice he enjoyed tonight along with a cup of coffee.  It's good with milk too.

And above is the pie - just after I took it out of the oven tonight.  Elf-vira (one of my original Elves on the Shelves) was patiently waiting for it.  She likes to hang around the kitchen while I bake at Christmas (smile). 

The "sweet" part of the sweet potato is that it is healthy. Cooked sweet potatoes taste much sweeter than white potatoes and normally when one food tastes sweeter than another, it's because it contains more sugar, which can make our blood sugar less stable. With sweet versus regular potatoes, it's just the opposite. Sweet potatoes don't seem to place our blood sugar at risk like regular white potatoes do - probably because they are about twice as high in dietary fiber as ordinary white baking potatoes, and the doubled fiber slows down digestion and the release of sugar. That's why you'll find sweet potatoes included in high fiber diets and diets that restrict your carbs - like the South Beach and Atkin's diets.

They're also loaded with minerals and antioxidants.  Here's a table listing the percentages:

Profile of Concentrated Nutrients: Sweet Potato (serving size = 1 small)
Vitamin A 43644.0 IU262.249.5Excellent
Vitamin C49.2 mg28.45.4Very good
Manganese0.52 mg26.04.9Good
Copper0.26 mg13.02.5Good
Dietary fiber3.14 g12.62.4Good
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)0.25 mg12.52.4Good
Potassium306.05 mg8.71.7Good
Iron1.46 mg8.11.5Good

And here's my recipe!  The secret ingredient is 1/2 box of Instant Vanilla Pudding.  This makes it creamier and makes a nice clean slice when slicing it.  I also use half Splenda and half sugar since we try to limit our sugar intake.  Sometimes I make my own pie crust, but most times I simply use the ready made pie crusts in aluminum tins.  This is also a very easy cleanup since I don't use a mixing bowl - I only use the blender.  This recipe makes TWO pies.

Our favorite Sweet Potato Pie recipe
4 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes (peel, cut into slices and cook in water until tender - then drain and mash lightly with a fork)
1 large can Pet milk
1 stick of butter – slightly melted
½ pkg of instant vanilla pudding
2 tsp vanilla flavoring
2 eggs
1 cup of sugar (or ½ cup Splenda and ½ cup sugar)

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix all ingredients together in blender putting cooked potatoes in last.  Blend until mushy liquid consistency.  Pour into two unbaked pie shells.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Try this Southern delight sometime.  I think you'll like it!


  1. Sweet potato is quite an exotic ingredient over here and I've yet to really get to grips with it - this looks really good though!

  2. Love that cute little elf!! This does sound like a very tasty recipe. We can get sweet potato over here, but they're not so popular as the ordinary white potato.

  3. Forgot to say - love your Christmassy header photo!


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