oat and sweet potato porridge

oat sweet potato porridge

This past week was a lot of crazy things but it ended with a great surprise. I received an email informing me that I was included in the Top 10 Healthy Food Bloggers of 2014 by the wonderful and very kind folks at Better Homes and Garden. I won't lie, I was blown away and completely ecstatic to be included among these talented and inspiring bloggers. Though, I'm not in the running for the final awards, please do stop by their site and vote for some of the amazing food bloggers in this and other categories. 

sweet potato

I should have titled this post as "out with the milk". You see, I ran out of milk this week, no dairy or nut or any other type of milk at home for my morning oats. When it comes to eating my breakfast oats, I need something other than water in it. I usually add some milk, a dash of vanilla and a little fruit to my oatmeal but I was out of options. Desperation led to making a sweet potato based porridge that at first I was unsure about sharing but once I tasted it, I knew I should. Plus, I think my trainer  might be pleased with this one, since she keeps asking me to increase my sweet potato intake.

golden raisins

I flavored the sweet potato puree with freshly ground green cardamom seeds but as I've mentioned in the recipe, cinnamon works great too! So if you don't have or don't like either spice, feel free to swap or leave them out completely. If you do leave them out then I recommend increasing the vanilla extract to 1 teaspoon. I didn't make this very sweet because personally, I am not a big fan of very sugary breakfasts but do go generous with the raisins, they provide little bursts of sweet surprises with every spoonful you taste that will make you smile. 

oat and sweet potato porridge

oat and sweet potato porridge

yields: 4-6 servings

ingredients

1 lb sweet potatoes, washed, peeled and diced
4 cups water + 2 cups
3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon, green cardamom seeds, freshly ground / 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, freshly ground
1/4 teaspoon madagascar bourbon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
3 tablespoons honey (you can increase if you like it sweeter)
1/4 cup golden raisins (you can be a little generous here)

1. Place the sweet potatoes with the 4 cups of water in a large stock pot. Bring to boil on a medium-high flame and then reduce to medium-low, cover with a lid and cook for about 20 - 25 minutes until completely tender. Remove the stockpot from the stove and using an immersion blender or blender puree the sweet potatoes with its liquid until completely smooth. Keep aside until ready to use. The puree should be thick and velvety in texture. (You can cook it a little longer if it is not thick enough.)
2. Bring the oats and remaining two cups of water in a large saucepan on a medium-high flame to a boil. Reduce the flame to a medium-low and then cook for about 20 minutes until the oats are completely soft and tender. Stir occasionally, to make sure the oats do not stick to the pan. 
3. Add the cooked oats, cardamom, vanilla, salt and honey to the sweet potatoes puree in a large saucepan. Heat the contents of the saucepan on a medium-high flame until it begins to boil with constant stirring. Taste and adjust the sweetness if desired. Fold in the raisins, remove from stove and serve warm.

sweet potato ice cream

Sweet potato ice cream

My grandmother used nutmeg quite a bit, whenever she made desserts with sweet potatoes. I've picked up this habit and it's a wonderful habit to have acquired. Come to think of it, I have a feeling she might have even laced some of her potato dishes with nutmeg. So here I am, following in her footsteps in a cooler direction.

Roasted sweet potato

I'm hosting a dinner this weekend and needed a dessert, instead of opting for a cake, I've decided to go with a fall-themed ice cream and the idea of nutmeg and sweet potatoes was hard to resist. This is one easy ice cream without the need for adding thickeners since the sweet potato has enough starch to do the job. The best part is you get to inhale the scents of caramelization while that sweet potato cooks in the oven. 

Oven roasted sweet potato

Just remember to cool that sweet potato before you go to handle it, it also makes peeling the skin of much easier, the skin separates from the pulp naturally. You will probably get a lot more puree than you need to use for this ice cream. I usually save the rest in an air tight container, refrigerate for later use. 

Nutmeg

You don't have to do this, it is completely optional but I like to drizzle a little honey over the ice cream just before serving, since honey as you know, is one of my many true loves!

Sweet potato ice cream with nutmeg

sweet potato ice cream

yields: 6-8 servings

ingredients

1 large sweet potato
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly ground
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon honey
extra honey for serving

1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Wash and scrub the skin of the sweet potato and prick it a couple of times with the prongs of a fork. Place the sweet potato on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 45 minutes or until the center of the sweet potato is tender. Remove from oven and keep aside to cool. 
2. Once the sweet potato is cool enough to handle, peel and discard the outer skin. Transfer the pulp to a food processor and puree until smooth. 
3. In a large thick bottom saucepan, add the sugar, nutmeg, milk, heavy cream, and honey and bring it to a boil on a medium flame. Remove the saucepan from the stove and gently whisk in 1 cup of the pureed sweet potato and whisk to mix. Place the saucepan back on the stove on a medium low flame and cook with constant stirring. Bring the mixture to a boil once again, reduce the flame to low and cook with constant stirring for 2 minutes. The mixture will thicken like a custard. Remove the saucepan from the stove and transfer the contents to a clean 1 gallon ziploc bag, seal and place in an ice-water bath for 30 minutes. 
4. After chilling, pour the ice cream base into the frozen canister of your ice cream make. Churn until the ice cream no longer sticks to the sides of the canister and it does not freeze anymore, this should take about 30 minutes (Alternatively, follow the instructions on your ice cream maker).
5. Layer the frozen ice cream into a freezer-safe storage container with an airtight lid Cover the surface with a sheet of parchment paper and press firmly against the surface to remove any trapped air bubbles.  Place the lid on the container and freeze until firm or at least 4 hours before serving. You can drizzle some extra honey over each scoop before serving.