Dangerous Compassions

how I changed my mind about sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a favorite food of mine.  But long ago, they were a yuckie confusing holiday anomaly.  Please consider my tale of change and delicious nourishment.


Sweet potatoes were a nasty overly-sweet dessert Mom made on Thanksgiving.  Or no–we were supposed to see them as a regular food, on the table not after the meal, but as a regular side dish.  But she’s the only family member who ate them.

She opened up a can of sweet potatoes, and put them in a dish with brown sugar, and marshmallows on top, then baked that in the oven.  Ack!  No way!

But she also did the science experiment thing where she used toothpics to suspend one in a jar of water, for me and my brother.  Then we watched roots grow and the beautiful shiny green heart-shaped leaves.  It was a treat.  I feel grateful she showed me plant magic.  Thanks, Mama.

modern love

Then I grew up.  I learned sweet potatoes are a legit food.  You can buy them at the store, whole and gorgeous.  Dark reddish ones, tan ones.  Purple ones!  Huge ones–small ones.

I had this recipe I used to make–black beans with sweet potatoes.  My ex loved that.  Really, black beans don’t do much for me.  They’re my least-favorite bean.  But the sweet potatoes in there were the treat.

sweet innovation

Yesterday morning when I made rice in the crock pot / rice cooker, I added some sweet potato and three cloves of garlic with the water and salt.  Wow, perfect.  It cooked just right!  I want to do that all the time!  I added butter when I ate it. Amazing.


Then I did the same but topped the rice and sweet potato mixture with fresh pesto straight out of my blender.  Wow, that was amazing too.  Pesto is my joy.

Also the other day I sauteed diced sweet potato in olive oil, then added some kale from the garden, a clove of garlic minced nonchalantly, and salt.  Wow, that was a treat too.  Look at this.


I had these vegan pumpkin chocolate chip cookies I used to make.  They called for canned pumpkin, but sometimes I didn’t have any.  I tried a cooked sweet potato in place of the pumpkin, and it worked great.

Also I had these vegan sweet potato biscuits I used to make.  Wow, they’re the best biscuits ever.

Recently I ate mashed sweet potatoes with butter, salt, and cream.  They were amazing.  And so easy!  My sweet potatoes mashed with almost no effort.  I had no idea.


The moral of the story is–sweet potatoes are gold.  Fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, carby goodness.  I hope I can see in the dark now, better than a big-eyed carrot-loving  park playground, sweet sculpture bunny.

playground sculpture

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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