This morning I was trying to decide what to feed a big group of guys and decided on making my own version as a side dish. Oh my. Mmmm.
It is basically a variation of a sweet potato casserole that lots of people have on Thanksgiving. But I usually think those are too sweet (more of a dessert). Plus, they are loaded with butter and don’t usually have coconut or macadamia nuts! I wanted something relatively healthy with some new flavors added. A little tweaking and I have found it. We will be making this again and again.
Macadamia Nut and Coconut Crusted Sweet Potatoes
6 large sweet potatoes
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup milk or cream (I used 2% milk)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut (you could use unsweetened but i have found it hard to acquire. If you use unsweetened i would increase the maple syrup to 1/2 cup)
2/3 cup toasted chopped macadamia nuts
Cook your sweet potatoes until very tender. I have found that the best way to do this is in my crock pot. I wrap each sweet potato in foil and pile them in my crockpot, turn on high and cook for about 3 hours. they are perfect every time and I don’t have to turn my oven on, which I love. You can do it in your oven if you wish (350 for about 1 1/2 hours), or even your microwave (12-15 minutes).
Remove the inside flesh from each sweet potato and put in a large bowl. Add the maple syrup, milk/cream, cinnamon, and salt. Use a hand mixer to combine it all. Now, I like mine a little chunky with some texture. If you like yours perfectly smooth you can do this in a food processor. Taste it at this point and see if you would like any more salt. I don’t like things very salty but some of you might like a little additional. Spread this into an 8×11 baking dish or scoop into individual ramekins. Top with shredded coconut and then drizzle with olive oil. I used my olive oil sprayer and misted the top.
Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, until the coconut is nicely browned. Remove and sprinkle your toasted macadamia nuts on top. Serve.