Madrona Nutrition and Fitness: Recipe and Nutrition Guide

Madrona Nutrition and Fitness:
Guide to Wellness through Holistic Diet
and Lifestyle

Rachel Fiske
Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant,
Certified Personal Trainer

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Amazing Coconut Macadamia Yam Mash

Hello all! Well this recipe is a little late considering Thanksgiving has come and gone (along with our tighter-fitting clothes...we'll simply retire you until Spring), but I made this dish for the occasion and it would be great for Christmas, Hanukkah, or any night Monday-Sunday. Its absolutely delicious, and a nice change from 1) standard mashed potato dish which, if you have inflammation and particularly joint pain, you should stay away from (as well as all other nightshade vegetables), or 2) typical sweet potato dish with marshmallows and whatever other crap is generally included. 

As always, a brief lesson the endless benefits of yams. Yams are a great source of potassium, which is crucial for controlling blood pressure. Also, they are full of vitamin B6, which is linked to decreased risk of heart attack and stroke. Yams are additionally good for blood sugar regulation, as they are a complex carbohydrate which release sugar into the blood at a slow and steady pace. This mixed with its high fiber content make us satiated, and therefore, help with weight control. Yams are also very high in vitamin C (27% of our daily value in one cup of cubed yam), B vitamins, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus. 

Also included in this recipe are macadamia nuts, which are chalked full of of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and heart healthy monounsaturated fats. The recipe also includes coconut, which I previously wrote an entire blog on because its just that good...but includes among other things incredibly healthy short and medium chain fatty acids (that are great to cook with because they don't go rancid at high temperatures), provide us with energy that is not stored as fat (it can actually help us lose weight), and is rich in lauric acid which protects and boosts the immune system.

So now that we're all excited...try out this recipe!

Coconut Macadamia Nut Sweet Potato Mash

Source: Heidi Swanson (6 servings)

2 ½ lbs. orange-fleshed sweet potatoes
⅓ cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 tablespoon maple syrup
½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
⅓ cup raw, unsweetened grated coconut
2 tablespoons melted butter or coconut oil
⅓ cup toasted macadamia nuts, chopped
Preheat your oven to 350F degrees, a rack in the upper third. Butter or oil 6 ramekins or a single medium-sized casserole dish.

Wrap each sweet potato in foil, pierce numerous times with the tines of a fork and place in the oven for somewhere between an hour and an hour and a half, until each is baked through. Times vary greatly depending on the size of your sweet potatoes - in the end you should be able to cut through the center flesh as if it were soft butter.

Remove the potatoes from the oven, let them cool for a few minutes, and cut each sweet potato in half. Scrape the flesh into a medium mixing bowl. You should have about three cups of sweet potatoes.

In a large bowl mash the sweet potatoes with the coconut milk. If my sweet potatoes are on the fibrous side, l take a hand blender to them for a minute or so (alternately you could use a food processor). Stir in the ginger, maple syrup and salt. Let it sit for a few minutes, stir again and taste - adjust the seasoning if you need to - this is your chance to get the right amount of salt and ginger in the sweet potatoes before they go in the oven.

Spoon the sweet potato mixture into individual baking dishes (or single larger baking dish), sprinkle with coconut, drizzle with olive oil and bake uncovered until warm and the coconut golden roughly 30 - 40 minutes.

Remove and sprinkle with the toasted macadamia nuts

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