I know I may be venturing into sensitive territory here, but I can’t seem to find a consensus on what to call this dish. Candied Yams or Candied Sweet Potatoes? While I know that yams and sweet potatoes are technically very different foods, it seems that Mother Nature has decided to make them so similar as to be indistinguishable to the average palette. I know my Dad would disagree with that sentiment (mom is a Southerner and dad is a Yankee through and through, so you can imagine how interesting our Thanksgiving fare must have been!), but regardless of what your grocery store calls them (yams or sweet potatoes), this dish works either way.
My late grandma always made candied yams for the holidays (using sweet potatoes) and they were a huge hit with us grandkids. It’s no wonder, they’re loaded with sugar and toasted marshmallows! I thought I would share this recipe for no other reason than to demonstrate how easy it is to convert favorite family recipes to be allergen friendly.
The following recipe is naturally gluten-free, which I believe is the best way to go for mixed family gatherings: it’s safer, it’s easier and no one has to feel left out. Besides, who doesn’t enjoy being able to nibble off of someone else’s plate every once in awhile? I never realized just how much I enjoy doing that until I couldn’t do it anymore (as evidenced by how I kept sneaking bites of Shirley’s (of Gluten Free Easily) pumpkin chocolate chip cookie at The Flying Apron back in 2010…and I had JUST met her for the first time, LOL!).
Candied Sweet Potatoes
4 large Sweet Potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4″ thick circles
2/3 cup Brown Sugar **For Cane Sugar-Free: use an equal amount of coconut sugar, maple syrup, honey or agave nectar
1/2 cup Orange Juice, preferably fresh squeezed
1 – 2 Oranges, sliced into rings
1/4 cup Water
1/4 cup Butter **For Casein/Dairy-Free: use your favorite vegan alternative, ghee, coconut oil or you can even make some homemade dairy/corn/soy-free butter
Miniature Marshmallows **For Corn-Free: make your own corn-free, egg-free marshmallows
Preheat oven to 350° F.
1). Boil sweet potato slices just until fork tender, about 10 minutes. Drain.
2). In a small bowl, combine brown sugar (or alternative), water and orange juice, mix well to make an orange-flavored syrup, set aside.
3). Squeeze some of the juice from the orange slices onto the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish, reserve the slices.
4). Layer the sweet potato and orange slices in the baking dish. Top with orange syrup, dot with butter and cover baking dish with aluminum foil.
5). Bake for 50 minutes then remove foil and top sweet potatoes with miniature marshmallows. Return to oven, uncovered for about 10 minutes, or until marshmallows are toasty brown.
More Allergy-Friendly Sweet Potato Recipes
Traditional Sweet Potato Casserole from Cooking Light (egg-free)
Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Cashew Cream from The Daily Dietribe
Sweet Potato Casserole from Celiac Family (dairy-free)
Sweet Potato Casserole from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
Allergy-Friendly Sweet Potato Pie from Cybele Pascal
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