Move over, Kabocha, it seems as though there is a new man in town (but don’t worry, I will always love you.)
Say hello to Mr. Sweet Potatoes (or actually, Mr. Jewel Yam), a sweet root vegetable after my heart. Just look at those natural sugars oozing onto the baking pan!
Good thing I used a mini cookie sheet or I do not think my family would have been quite as amused. Nothing says “I Love You” more than sparing your family from the scent of sweet potato sap burning on the bottom of the oven. You’re welcome.
I have cooked numerous sweet potatoes before, but they have never turned out quite like this. After seeing many of Heather’s lucious-looking sweet potatoes, I decided to try her method last night. I simply washed my ‘tater, pricked it with a fork a few times, and baked in a 425*F oven for about 45-50 minutes.
Trust me, folks, 25 degrees (as opposed to the 400*F I usually use) makes ALL the difference. My sweet potato came out of the oven pipping hot and oozing with sweetness. The texture was so soft that it nearly melted in my mouth. Naturally the addition of coconut butter launched this meal to pure bliss status (especially because lots of nooch for my veggies was also involved).
While my sweet potato was baking, I actually made some cookies for the group of middle school girls that I mentor, too. Honestly I would choose an ooey gooey sweet potato like this (or some kabocha!) over a cookie any day, but I am pretty sure 7th grade girls would not necessarily agree. On my first meeting, I went all out by making two different kinds of cupcakes.
The girls loved the surprise of a piece of cookie dough in the bottom of my chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes with chocolate frosting.
And they could not even tell the difference between my Newman O’s cupcakes with fluffy white buttercream icing and Oreo’s. I was so glad that they welcomed vegan treats without any reservations.
Today I decided to veganize a traditional treat for them: chocolate chip cookies. However, these are not like grandma used to make. Oh no, my friends, these take chocolate chip cookies to a whole new level. I have used Diana’s recipe for chocolate chip cookie dough balls (substituting Earth Balance for butter and 1 TBS ground flax seed + 3 TBS water for the egg) too many times to count, every batch turing out wonderfully.
My group was half-full today because of special mid-term testing, but they still managed to finish all the cookies. The girls even told me how much they enjoyed them, which really made me smile. The way they do things is so adorable. Sometimes I have a hard time believing I was that young, but that was only 4 years ago!
All in all, I had a great time with my girls and enjoyed sharing my treats with them. Although our topic today was suppossed to be dating, boys, and relationships, we touched on the idea of healthy eating thanks to my cookies. One of my girls said that she was trying not to eat sweets for a year (she decided to start today but accidently forgot when she took a few cookies haha). While cookies and sweets are not exactly health food, I reassured my girls that everything is fine in moderation. It is important to enjoy the sweetness of life and not worry about things like that. Our next topic is body image so I definitely see more talk of this in the future.
Question time: What is your favorite food with natural sweetness? And what is your dessert of choice?
Have a sweet day!