March 29, 2012

Cinnamon Sugar Skillet Sweet Potatoes

Lately, I've really had a thing for sweet potatoes. When I was a kid, I hated them with a passion. The main reason I didn't like them was because they were mushy & overly sweet. I love dessert, but just can't get into the candied or casseroled sweet potatoes that everyone seems to love.

Then I discovered sweet potato fries. Delicious! Those were followed by roasted sweet potatoes, and it went downhill from there. Now I can't get enough of them!

This recipe has cinnamon sugar, but the sweetness is balanced out by a touch of sea salt & pieces of onion. The cinnamon sugar infuses the potatoes with that homey scent & flavor that cinnamon gives, plus it helps to caramelize the potatoes.

I love how the inside of the sweet potato has such a unique pattern. They're very hard, but once cooked, they have such a smooth consistency. They're also super healthy.

 One medium sweet potato has just over 100 calories & tons of Vitamin A, plus beta carotene, Vitamin C, manganese & more. Details can be found here.

I'm always looking for quicker methods to make my favorite foods, so when I stumbled on Jessica's recipe for Sweet Potato Home Fries, I was intrigued. While the potatoes don't cook quite the same as when roasted in the oven, this is a much faster way to achieve very similar results.

Creamy pieces of sweet potato in 15 minutes vs. 50 minutes? I'll take it!

This fun foodie item was my inspiration for the flavoring. It's not over the top sweet & it gives the perfect hint of cinnamon. Plus it's way more fun to use than regular cinnamon sugar. However, if you'd like to make your own mixture, combine 1 T sugar with 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon. I usually use a full teaspoon of cinnamon, so feel free to adjust to your own tastes.

While you could cook this in any shallow pan, I prefer to use a cast-iron skillet because then small amounts of iron seep into the food as it cooks. Iron is super important in our diets & this is an easy way to sneak it in with minimal effort.

From skillet to mouth. Why did I bother with the bowl? It just wastes time.

Cinnamon Skillet Sweet Potatoes
Serves 2-4

2 tsp. virgin coconut oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2" cubes
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon sugar mixture (or use about 10 grinds from the Trader Joe's jar shown above)
ground cinnamon, optional garnish

Heat a cast-iron skillet on medium heat. Add coconut oil. Once melted, add chopped onion. Saute briefly, about 2 minutes, then add sweet potato cubes. Stir to combine, then spread evenly in skillet & allow to cook without stirring for about 5 minutes. Sweet potatoes should brown lightly before you stir them. Once browned, stir & cook another 5-8 minutes or until cooked through. Season with sea salt & cinnamon sugar. Remove from heat & serve. Garnish with additional cinnamon if desired.


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