One of my favorite foods of all time is pumpkin pie. My Dad still actually makes me pumpkin pies for my birthday. It’s a savory but sweet treat that is not your usual confection. Over the years I have ended up with mounds and mounds of pumpkin puree in my freezer. If the farm stand gives me a 10lb squash, who am I to turn it away? Well folks, currently I am actually out of homemade pumpkin puree. So I’ve been reaching to sweet potatoes. You can roast a butternut squash or of course reach for a tin of pumpkin puree, but sweet potatoes are wicked packed with nutrients. Often underestimated, sweet potatoes are one of the worlds most nutrient dense foods. High levels of vitamins A, C, B6, B3 and B5, potassium and even fiber. I could go on forever about how great sweet potatoes are for you. Carrots? Well they aren’t half bad either, both orange veggies are packed with beta carotene, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory qualities. But did you know that many of the worlds vegetables need fat to be properly absorbed? Consuming 3 to 5 grams of fat with your veggies helps to up the ante, in the case of orange veg it helps you to absorb even more beta carotene goodness. Just one tablespoon of good butter, coconut oil or even bacon grease per serving will serve you well. (This does not mean margarine) This is especially true for growing children, children especially need fat in their diets. For brain and tissue development, for hormone health too. Without fat these vital nutrients are not absorbed.
If I have roasted sweet potatoes I toss them into my pumpkin pies. Recently I’ve started adding carrots to the mix as well. Mixing half carrots, half sweet potatoes lowers the carbohydrate intake. Now of course all carbs are not created equal. As I mentioned sweet potatoes are not just any starch, they are a fierce low GI competitor. They don’t peak your sugar, they aren’t empty calories but for me? Well I’m pretty slow moving. I’m not very active, and I don’t need lots of carbs because I’m fairly sedentary. I’m finding that fueling my body in an ideal manor helps me to feel less groggy and weighed down. Simple tricks like mixing carrots with sweet potatoes make my calories work for me, not against me. This custard is satisfying and sweetened to taste, best yet I don’t have to bully my kids into eating the crust “that Momma slaved to make home made.” (I hate pie crust its my arch nemesis.) Thanksgiving by the bite, this treat is anytime food at its best.
I have been making this on a regular basis as a side dish/dessert. You can do a three way of goodness with pumpkin-carrots-sweet potatoes, or just keep it an intimate two-some. Mix in pineapple, bacon, pecans, raisins or whatever for a bit of crunch and variety. My kids prefer it as-is, plain Jane. Just the custard.
- 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
- 3-4 tablespoons butter (or coconut oil/butter)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4-6 eggs (4 Jumbo/Large, plus 2 yolks)
- 1/2 cup coconut milk, heavy cream (or even orange juice)
- 2-4 tablespoons honey, or other sweetener of choice (optional)
- 2-3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves or allspice
- -zest from one orange
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place sweet potatoes and carrots into a 2-3 quart baking dish, dot with butter and sprinkle with salt. Cover and bake 40-45 minutes or until everything is entirely softened. Once tender place into a food processor bowl. (allow to cool enough so that you won’t have a blow out of sweet potato lava) Turn processor on and add coconut milk or cream. Add eggs and egg yolks one at a time. Add cinnamon, cloves, orange zest and sweetener of choice. (Mix in pecans, raisins or whatever if you would like.)
Butter your baking dish (you can use the same one) and pour custard into the pan. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until golden brown and set.
The other side- For a rich, decadence Add 2-3 egg yolks, use up to 1 cup of coconut milk, whole milk or heavy cream. You can add up to 1/2 cup of sweetener or sugar to your own taste. My regular pumpkin and sweet potato pie recipes usually has about 1/2 cup of sugar to just 2 cups of puree.
Let’s Go Light- You want at least 4 whole eggs, and 3-4 tablespoons of butter otherwise it will be mealy and smooshy. Sweetener and cream are entirely optional. I’ve made this with as little as 2 tablespoons of honey and just a little bit of orange juice instead of cream. It is yummy.