Sweet Potatoes in Orange Cups

Sweet Potatoes in Orange Cups

  • By Cate Whittington
  • /
  • November 2015-Vol.1 No.11
  • /

by Cate Whittington

As Americans celebrate Thanksgiving Day with family and friends, sweet potatoes are a frequent offering to their communal tables.

Did you know that sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) are not really potatoes at all? They are members of the morning glory family. While there are numerous varieties of sweet potatoes, most fall easily within two simple categories: firm (golden skin and pale flesh) and soft (copper skin and orange flesh).

The soft, orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are often mislabeled as yams in our grocery stores, but these two tuberous root vegetables are actually quite distinct from each other. Yams, native to Africa and Asia, are members of the lily family. Their bark-like skin is nearly black, their flesh ranges in color from white to purple, and their size varies from the size of a small potato to more than five feet long!

The following recipe uses the common orange-fleshed sweet potato, high in potassium and Vitamin A. Served in individual orange skins, these ‘cups’ may be prepared a day or two in advance. They add a splash of delightful color to any Thanksgiving buffet.

This recipe is easily multiplied and tweaked. As sweet potatoes and orange juice both have their own distinctive sweetness, I prefer to omit additional sugars. But, depending upon your sweet tooth, you may want to add a little brown sugar or a traditional favorite—marshmallow topping.

Sweet Potatoes in Orange Cups

Bake sweet potatoes in 400-degree oven for 50-60 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut oranges in half and scoop out the pulp. Reserve the pulp for juicing.

Slice open the baked sweet potatoes, scoop out the contents, and mash in a large bowl. To every two medium sweet potatoes, add:

1⁄2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons butter
1⁄4 teaspoon each of cinnamon, allspice, and ginger; pinch of salt

Fill empty orange shells with the mashed potato mixture and serve warm.

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