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mashed sweet potatoes without dairy

Hi -- every recipe I'm finding for mashed sweet potatoes includes lots of dairy -- butter and/or cream and/or sour cream. Is there anything I can add to them to make them taste good that's not dairy? And should I roast or boil them first? Thanks!

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  1. Olive oil...I think baking works best.

    1. +1 for baking/roasting as it keeps the flesh fluffier, intensifies the flavor, and encourages delicious caramelization.

      as for what to add, that depends on what tastes "good" to you:
      - as berkleybabe said, some people use olive oil. other non-dairy fats that would work well are Earth Balance and coconut oil.
      - if your aim is to avoid dairy *and* lower the calorie count, use almond, hazelnut, cashew or soy milk.

      1. Mimiccreme (nut-based) is an excellent dairy cream substitute and Tofutti's Sour Supreme substitutes well for dairy sour cream.

        1. A good chicken broth will work nicely and give a buttery richness. I have been wanting to try coconut milk for a change, maybe with a bit of garlic and cilantro. I love to roast these in olive oil and sprinkle with balsamic and parm or asiago shreds, but prefer to steam or boil them for mashing. I'm a big fan--had some for lunch today, in fact!

          1. Just stock -- chicken or veg -- works for me. That and a little salt. If you're living large, add a little olive oil as berkleybabe says.

            1. thanks, everyone! And is keeping them warm in my oven's warming drawer the best bet, in case my timing is not *quite* right?

              3 Replies
                1. re: jessinEC

                  Your warming drawer should work great--I put a damp cloth over the pot under the lid and this helps keep them nice and moist. Works on regular potatoes and grains, too.

                  1. re: lexuschef

                    setting a small loaf pan filled with steaming water in the drawer or oven also does the trick.

                2. I personally find good ones need very few additions of any sort. Salt and nutmeg and/or cinnamon and I'm good to go. Sometimes a dab of butter. Save the loads of heavy dairy for special occasions.

                  1. I bake them whole - gets the flavor really intense. Then skin them and mash them.

                    Honestly, if you bake them first, you will not need to add much else. But for an extra treat you can add a bit of maple syrup, some ginger and a touch of smart balance & salt. Yummy.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: happybaker

                      My son used to eat baked sweet potatoes for breakfast on winter mornings. When he was in high school I left very early for work so I would put his (large) sweet potato in the oven to bake when I first got up. After I had gone to work he would get up and bust open the sweet potato and fill it with butter and brown sugar and have it with three or four glasses of cold milk. An unconventional breakfast but he liked it and it sent him to school full of hot nourishing food.

                      1. re: happybaker

                        Sorry, should have clarified above that I too bake them. Made hundreds of sweet potatoes over the years, never even considered boiling them.

                      2. Use some orange juice and the minced zest of the orange instead of dairy. My husband likes cinnamon added, I choose the savoury route and may opt for some red chile flakes instead. SPTT.
                        Edit: I missed the second part of your question. I roast the sweet potatoes because I think the sugars are more flavorful when they're slightly caramelized.

                        1. I have been doing them this way for years: boil sweet potatoes in their skins. Drain. Cool. Slip skins off. Mash them with a can of crushed pineapple (they mash more easily than white potatoes---if you don't have a potato masher just used a big spoon). You can now either freeze the sweet potatoes in dinner-size portions (I have kept them up to a year) or heat them in a casserole with marshmallows on top to brown, or just heat them in the microwave.

                          1. We use orange juice and a bit of Amaretto. Then whatever "warm" spices you prefer, like cinnamon and nutmeg, with some salt as well.

                            1. chipotle peppers in adobo add heat and smokiness without any fat. That is my favorite!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Barbara76137

                                Second! The pairing of the spice and smoke with the natural sweetness of the potatoes is a winner.

                              2. Some sweet potatoes don't any seasoning to taste good (e.g. Japanese yams). Ginger and brown sugar is also a good way of seasoning sweet potatoes - a liquid or fat is not absolutely necessary, depending on the texture that you want. The Ginger People make a sweet ginger spread that is good on sweet potatoes.

                                1. How about coconut milk? You could also add a spoonful of Thai curry paste or some "warm" spices (cinnamon, cayenne, ginger, cumin) for some interest.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                                    I've used coconut milk and separately, a combo of olive oil and almond milk. The coconut milk sweet potato mash is particularly good with fish and shellfish.

                                    1. re: amyzan

                                      +2 on coconut milk - i somehow left if off my list of milk alternatives.

                                  2. I like em baked and then mashed with just a lot of black pepper. It is a wonderful contrast with the sweet smoothness.

                                    1. Thanks, everyone! I made them last night -- roasted for about an hour, mashed with a little bit of maple syrup and sprinkle of salt. Kept them warm in the warmer drawer with a damp cloth on top. They tasted great at dinner -- and I turned the leftovers into muffins today. Yum.