Crock-Pot Sweet Potatoes with Maple Cinnamon Butter

Crock Pot Sweet Potatoes with Maple Cinnamon Butter : This easy method for making sweet potatoes it fail proof and produces moist potatoes. Top it with a delicious maple cinnamon butter for an especially great side dish!Friends, as I soak in the newborn days, I am thrilled to bring to you some guest posts from fellow bloggers. One of the topics I suggested was to share some of their favorite slow cooker/Crock-Pot recipes. It really was a rather selfish request because, as a mother of a newborn, I knew I’d be using mine a lot more in upcoming days! And really, these type of recipes work well for anyone!

Today Dena shares one of hers. This easy of easiest ways to make sweet potatoes wins me over at once, but the sweet maple cinnamon butter certainly makes the recipes irresistible! I can’t wait to try it. See other slow cooker recipes here: Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes, Slow Cooker Pot Roast (Cook Once, Eat Thrice), Shawarma Whole Chicken in the Crock-Pot  – Kimi 

By Dena, from Back To The Book Nutrition

Warning: Your life is about to get much easier. I’ve discovered yet another simple favorite that can be made in the Crock Pot: Sweet Potatoes! (Did you know you can also make creamy homemade yogurt in the slow cooker?)

This method can be used with russet or other potatoes as well, though cooking times may vary a bit depending on the type of potato (more time for russets or less time for reds, whites, and golds).

Sweet potatoes are simple enough to bake in the oven, but I hate that they occupy the oven for an entire hour right when I’m usually needing it to cook another part of the dinner (Rosemary and Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin, anyone?).

Well, I’ve got a very simple solution, and it uses far less energy, to boot! Toss your washed spuds into the crock pot with a splash of water a few hours before dinner time, then go about the rest of your afternoon enjoying the warm, sweet aroma of sweet potatoes filling your home.
It’s nice – really nice.

You know what else is really nice? Maple Cinnamon Butter.

It’s a delightfully creamy blend of three of my very favorite ingredients. It’s the perfect finishing touch for these sweet potatoes, but is also great for slathering on toast, stirring into oatmeal or other hot cereals, and adding to your coffee (I don’t drink butter coffee myself but I just don’t see how “maple cinnamon butter coffee” wouldn’t be an improvement on the original!).

Crock Pot Sweet Potatoes with Maple Cinnamon Butter : This easy method for making sweet potatoes it fail proof and produces moist potatoes. Top it with a delicious maple cinnamon butter for an especially great side dish!

 

Crock-Pot Sweet Potatoes with Maple Cinnamon Butter
 
 
Ingredients
  • 6-8 medium sweet potatoes, washed (no need to dry)
Instructions
  1. Place sweet potatoes in Crock Pot. Add ¼ cup water. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 5-6 hours.
  2. I like to use a pastry brush to brush a bit of the water from the crock pot on all sides of the potatoes just before serving. If you're planning on keeping the cooked potatoes warm in the slow cooker for a while before serving them, you may want to occasionally open the lid and give them all a good water brushing to keep their skins nice and soft.
  3. Recipe Notes:
  4. I used a newer, 6 quart Crock-Pot for this recipe. I've noticed that it cooks much more quickly than my older, 4½ qt Crock Pot. If you have a smaller, and/or older version, you may need to extend the cooking time a bit.

Maple Cinnamon Butter
 
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup pastured butter (I use salted), softened
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • ⅛ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/16 tsp (a few drops) pure vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Whisk all ingredients together vigorously until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately or chill for a few hours in the fridge if preferred.
  2. Recipe Notes:
  3. This recipe makes just enough for 6-8 sweet potatoes. If you'd like to have extra for other uses (which I highly recommend!), you may want to double the batch. This recipe was adapted from Whole Foods' Maple Cinnamon Butter.

Dena Norton Profile Pic - Copy (244x250)

Dena Norton is a registered dietitian (RD) turned stay at home mom. She and her husband, Rick, have two precious children, ages 5 and 2. She recently released the 2nd edition of her e-book entitled, Nutrition By The Book, and blogs at Back To The Book Nutrition,where she inspires others to enjoy and worship God through nutrition and health. Subscribe to Dena’s blog or join her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Nori and Sesame Sprinkles

Nori and Sesame Sprinkles - These are delicious sprinkled on rice, on quinoa, salads, and roasted vegetables.

Gently pan toasted and sweetened with coconut sugar, this is one of our favorite ways to get a serving of seaweed in! You can serve it with rice (a traditional way to enjoy it), quinoa, or top green salads, roasted vegetables, cucumber salads, and a lot more too with it. We sometimes enjoy it by the spoonful. In fact, the above batch was eaten with spoons by my daughters earlier today!

In my last post, I shared why it was recommended to me to add seaweed to my diet (and 4 reasons you may want to as well). This has been one of the most enjoyable and easiest ways for sure! It’s based on the product(Amazon links are affiliate) SeaSprinkles, which we love. However, as you may imagine, it is quite a bit cheaper to make your own version, so I do that now most of the time.

Many of you asked about sharing resources for buying seaweed from the Atlantic Ocean (because of concerns about radiation). Buying seaweed from Maine is one great option, and there are many small companies out there. I’d love to hear resources from you to include in the next post!

If you are unable to find nori flakes, you can simply flake nori pieces (or cut them into small pieces). I bought my nori flakes in bulk (it’s no longer available from the company I purchased it from, otherwise I’d link to them), but there are some items on Amazon, including these  nori flakes that the company says they test for all heavy metals, contaminants, and radiation.

Nori and Sesame Sprinkles
 
 
Ingredients
  • Avocado oil (or oil of choice)
  • ⅔ cup nori flakes
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat (if using cast iron, use medium), add enough oil to lightly oil the pan.
  2. Add the nori flakes and sesame seeds to the pan, and stir continually for 2-4 minutes, until the nori and sesame seeds are lightly toasted (make sure you don't burn them!).
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the coconut sugar. Let cool and serve, or store in an air-tight container.

 

Cranberry Walnut Goat Cheese Ball

Cranberry Walnut Goat Cheese Ball (perfect for Christmas and the New Year!)

Tangy, with crunchy walnuts, savory shallots, and sweet cranberries, this goat cheese ball is perfect for the holidays! It is easy to whip together, can be made days in advance (or even frozen) and makes a lovely addition to a cheese platter or to serve along side celery sticks or rich whole grain crackers. Or give it as a food gift (or hostess gift.)

Personally, I am putting together some snack-y hors d’oeuvre to have out for Christmas day/afternoon when we are together as an extended family. Smoked salmon ( #affiliate link  here is a lovely example), this cheese ball, and my favorite liver pate (served with home pickled onions) with some gluten free and regular crackers will make a special but nourishing addition to the usual holiday fun.

Freezing cheese balls

I have never tried freezing a cheese ball before, but Martha Stewart says you can freeze cheese balls for up to a month, which is perfect for my plans of pre-making as much of the food as I can. This cheese ball is now nestled in my freezer well wrapped, waiting for Christmas cheer and magic to happen. But I admit, it may be a little smaller after we all had a few samples of it. ;-)

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Notes on Ingredients

You can use raw, soaked and dehydrated or toasted walnuts. To toast, stir constantly in a cast iron pan over medium heat until the nuts are starting to brown.

I love these Organic Apple Sweetened Cranberries (affiliate link) for projects like this one.

Cranberry Walnut Goat Cheese Ball - A delicious appetizer, party food, or food gift!

Cranberry Walnut Goat Cheese Ball
 
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Tangy, with crunchy walnuts, savory shallots, and sweet cranberries, this goat cheese ball is perfect for the holidays! It is easy to whip together, can be made days in advance (or even frozen) and makes a lovely addition to a cheese platter or to serve along side celery sticks or crackers! Or give it as a food gift (or hostess gift.)
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces of chévre goat cheese (look for the soft goat cheese logs)
  • 1-2 tablespoons fat of choice (such as avocado oil, home rendered fats, etc).
  • ¼ cup chopped shallots
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped walnuts
  • ⅓ cup dried, sweetened cranberries (I used fruit juice sweetened), roughly chopped
  • ¼-1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Instructions
  1. In a small pan, over medium heat saute the shallots in fat/oil of choice until softened and starting to brown (about five to seven minutes). Make sure you stir almost constantly to prevent burning.
  2. In a medium bowl, using a hand mixer, mix the goat cheese with the cooked shallots, ⅓ cup walnuts, and cranberries.
  3. Using a spatula, scoop into a rough ball, and then use your hands to pat into a ball. Cover the surface with the extra chopped walnuts.
  4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 3 days. Or freeze up to one month, well wrapped.
  5. Serve with crackers, crudités, cucumber slices, or celery sticks!

 

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes (Dairy Free Tested!)

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes (the dairy free version tastes wonderful as well!). One less dish on the stove is a win!

These creamy mashed potatoes are so easy to make, and take one thing off of your stovetop! Plus, dairy free friends, be glad, they worked so well when made without cream of milk. This Thanksgiving, I am trying to make as much as I can beforehand so that I am not running around like crazy finishing five dishes all at once. For example, my Grain Free Caramel Apple Tart is going to be made the day before Thanksgiving.

One of the dishes often made at the last minute are the mashed potatoes, so I was so excited when I saw this method of making slow cooker mashed potatoes. I knew I had to make a test run of it to see how it went (I especially wanted to do a test run as I was adapting the recipe to be dairy-free!).

The technique is simple: You cook cubed potatoes in broth, garlic and seasonings for 3-4 hours, and then you mash them with melted butter and milk of choice (I used coconut milk, and no one even noticed the coconut flavor, even my coconut hater of the family). Then it can keep warm for even hours in the slow cooker. Because I used my roasted “Hearth” broth (so good!), and then these potatoes are slow roasted  (since they aren’t boiled) the mashed potatoes had a lovely roast-y flavor.

One thing that I noted was that the color was perfect when first mashed, but after being kept warm for 3-4 hours after mashing it, it started to turn slightly brownish, so for Thanksgiving, I am planning on not leaving it for hours on warm, but mashing it closer to when we serve it. I cooked mine on hot at first, so it cooked fairly quickly (at 3 hours they were well cooked), but if you wanted to cook them more slowly, you could certainly try it on low for longer.

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes (the dairy free version is delicious as well!). One less dish on the stove is a win!

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Note on Ingredients

If you’d like to use coconut milk, make sure you use full fat. If you’d like to use another dairy-free option, I’d recommend homemade almond “cream” (a thicker almond milk).

Simple Almond Cream Recipe

Let 1 cup of almonds soak for 1-8 hours in warm water with a couple pinches of salt. Rinse, and then blend in a high power blender with 2 cups of filtered water. Pour through cheesecloth or a nut milk bag, and squeeze gently to remove all of the liquid. This makes a very rich almond milk, perfect for savory and sweet dishes

We tolerate butter just fine, so I use butter. Those only a little sensitive can often tolerate ghee fine. But for truly dairy free mashed potatoes, I have been surprised at how lovely a very mild olive oil tastes in mashed potatoes. I mention that in this stove top dairy free mashed potato recipe.

What potatoes to use? There is a lot of debate on this issue. I tested this recipe with russet, but some love Yukon for mashed potatoes as well.

Tools

I definitely recommend using a potato masher (such as this one) to get the right texture. This is the large and inexpensive slow cooker I use.

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes (Dairy free tested!)
 
Author:
 
Makes enough for 8-10 servings
Ingredients
  • 5 pounds russet potatoes, or potatoes of choice, peeled
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced (optional)
  • 1½ cups broth of choice (such as Hearth broth, or chicken broth)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • ½ cup melted butter or ⅓ cup mild olive oil (plus extra for oiling slow cooker)
  • ½ cup canned full fat coconut milk, homemade almond milk (see above), or whole milk, cream
  • Extra milk or broth for thinning down as needed.
Instructions
  1. Oil the sides of the slow cooker. Cube the potatoes into ½- 1 inch pieces (uniformly). Place in slow cooker, and add the garlic cloves, if using, and the broth of choice. Salt with about 1 teaspoon unrefined salt, and a generous sprinkle of pepper.
  2. Cover, and put slow cooker on low, and cook for 3-4 hours, or until the potatoes are soft.
  3. If there are any potatoes on the side that browned at all, you can remove with a spoon, if desired, for a very smooth texture. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes to desired texture (smooth or slightly chunky).
  4. Heat the butter and liquid of choice, and mix thoroughly into the mashed potatoes. If you want them thinned out at all, simply add more to taste/texture desired.
  5. Now keep the potatoes on "keep warm". I tested this for about 3½ hours on "keep warm". The texture near the end of that time started to get a little dry, so I would recommend adding a little more hot liquid before serving if you do. It also will start to turn a little less white as time goes on, so personally, I plan on keeping on "warm" just until serving, but not keeping it on warm for hours.