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Cooking with Crevolyn: Slow cooking some sweet potatoes
Layer vegetable with brown sugar, raisins and apple pie filling
1112SweetPotato6
Crevolyn Wiley uses a slow cooker to make a sweet potato dish for her family. It includes the vegetable along with apple pie filling, golden raisins, brown sugar and butter. Once the dish is finished, it is topped with toasted, chopped pecans. Sweet potatoes are high in antioxidants; vitamins such as A, B-6 and C; and potassium, iron and dietary fiber. - photo by CHELSEY ABERCROMBIE

SLOW COOKER SWEET POTATOES

3 1/2 to 4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks

1 (20-ounce) can apple pie filling

1/2 cup golden raisins

2/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into small pieces

1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Lightly spray a large slow cooker with cooking spray.

Layer sweet potatoes, pie filling, raisins, brown sugar and butter. Cover and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours or high heat 3-4 hours. Stir halfway through cooking.

Sprinkle with pecans before serving.

Source: Crevolyn Wiley

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and we all know the celebration is not complete until the sweet potatoes are on the table.

Our family loves sweet potatoes in all forms throughout the year. We eat them in casseroles, pies, tarts, breads, fried pies, as well as roasted, baked (and twice-baked — seriously good) and sweet potato fries.

Have you ever met a more versatile vegetable? I think not.  

My father-in-law, Johnnie, was a firm believer in the sweet potato in its purest form. For lunch some days, he would go to the produce department and pick one out of a box in the back. But don’t be fooled; he didn’t bake the potato. He peeled it and ate it raw.

He always told us, “Sweet potatoes are the perfect food.”

Sweet potatoes are high in antioxidants and vitamins A, B-6 and C as well as potassium, iron and dietary fiber. They contain no saturated fats or cholesterol. They are low in calories. Well, that is until you add butter, honey, cinnamon and brown sugar.  Not that I would know but some might. Just kidding, I definitely know. 

Our neighbors in North Carolina are the leading producers of sweet potatoes. They produce so many they’ve named it the official  state vegetable.

Georgia is also considered a great place to grow sweet potatoes as we have long, hot summers, allowing for a long growing season. This makes the sweet potato a good vegetable to add to your own home garden. 

One of my favorite and easiest ways to prepare sweet potatoes is roasting them.

It’s simple: peel and cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes; lay out on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, honey, a couple of shakes of cinnamon and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees. And there you have a perfect side dish for just about any meal.

For some reason, our family loves sweet potatoes with pork. They just seem like the perfect pair to us; add a little slaw and black-eyed peas and we’ve got a meal.

The recipe is a personal favorite. The first time I took it to a family gathering, everyone could not stop talking about it. I mean, we thought it was good, but wow, I had no idea it would be such a hit.

Through the years, I have adjusted the amount of sugar, butter and raisins. On occasion, I’ll add honey and dried cranberries to the mix. So just like the sweet potato itself, this recipe is versatile.   

Crevolyn Wiley is a Gainesville resident with her first published cookbook “Cooking with Crevolyn” available at J&J Foods. She can be contacted at crevolyn.wiley@jandjfoods.com.

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