Sweet potatoes are full of vitamins and minerals. When mashed, their natural consistency requires much less help from butter and milk or cream than white potatoes need.

With this recipe, there is no need to add syrup or topping, leaving room to have sugary foods for dessert. The natural sweetness of the vegetable intensifies in this cooking process.

While they are delicious and ready to eat straight from the oven, skin and all, removing them from their skin, mashing them, adding a few ingredients to enhance their flavor and serving them in a shallow bowl so the bright color shines through, make a festive addition to your holiday table.

What You Need:
*
3 medium to large sweet potatoes, often called yams or 4 small ones
* 1-2 pats of organic butter (the size of the small squares in a restaurant)
* 2 tablespoons whole organic milk
* ¼ teaspoon cinnamon or ground ginger (optional)
* A pinch of sea salt (1/8 teaspoon or less)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Scrub sweet potatoes under water, pat them dry and poke a few holes in the top with a fork.

Place them on a baking sheet and put them in the oven.

Bake until they are soft (stick a fork in it and it will feel mushy, the skin will start to loosen and you may also see the sweetness oozing out from the holes in the top).

When they are cool enough to touch, remove the skin and place the orange part in a bowl. Add the butter.

If you have a potato masher, use it; if not use a fork to start breaking up the sweet potatoes. If you like it chunkier, don’t mash too long but if you like it creamier, keep mashing. Once the butter has melted, add the milk to help with the mashing.
Add the remaining ingredients and mix to combine everything.

A faster method for cooking the sweet potatoes (or if it’s a hot day) is to peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into chunks; put them in a pot of water, bring it to the boil and then simmer until soft.
This should take about 20-30 minutes. I like the baking method better because it concentrates the sweetness in the potato rather than losing some of the flavor in the water.

Serves: 4 people

Randy Rabney is a trained chef, board certified holistic health coach, food lover and working parent. She is the founder of TheConsciousPlate.com. She is also the author of "Delicious For Life: Your Everyday Guide to Making Quick & Healthy Meals." She is a graduate of The Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts as well as The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, both in NYC. She has cooked in the kitchen of the Golden Door Spa in California and has taught classes in a variety of places, including Whole Foods Markets.

Nothing says Thanksgiving like the sweet-smelling aroma of a Thanksgiving dinner. From plump and juicy turkeys to delectable desserts, send us photos and videos of your Thanksgiving meals.