Sweet potatoes are a beloved vegetable here in the South, where they star in everything from sweet potato pie to sweet potato fries. They are in the same family as morning glories, and grow best in warm climates. They are only distantly related to the white baking potato. They are also distinct from the species Dioscorea which is a genuine yam (source).
Sweet potatoes have been named the most efficient staple food to produce, yielding the most nutrition per acre of land (source). They provide simple starches (carbohydrates) as all root crops do, but they also are rich in dietary fiber, of which nearly 95% of Americans do not eat enough! (source 1 and source 2)
Dietary fiber is so important for gut health, lowering your risk of colon cancers, and maintaining a healthy weight. Fiber helps you feel full, decreases risk of diverticulitis and IBS, helps stabilize blood sugar, and lowers cholesterol levels. The American Dietetic Association recommends 20-35 grams per day, but the majority of people don’t even come close to that. And a truly healthy diet would actually be more like 70-90 grams per day!
The good news is, adding more plant foods into foods you already eat is a super simple way to increase your fiber intake painlessly. Adding sweet potatoes into delicious, flaky biscuits sneaks all kinds of fiber, vitamins, and beta carotene into your breakfast or dinner side dish, and brings a fun vibrant orange color to the table.
Baking your own biscuits may seem scary, but the process is very simple. It does take some time, about 3 hours total start to finish, which makes it a good weekend or day off project. But you can scale up to make a huge batch, and freeze the extras! It would be a great way to introduce kids to the kitchen as well.
Based loosely on this recipe (doubled) from Genius Kitchen. Makes approximately 22 biscuits.
This recipe is designed to be vegan, but you can easily use dairy milk, and/or butter instead of coconut oil, if that’s what you have.
- 1 1/2 cups baked mashed sweet potato (about 2 medium sized sweet potatoes)
- 2/3 cup soymilk or almond milk
- 2-3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp baking powder
- 3 cups flour
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 8 tbsp coconut oil
- 2ish tsp salt
Step 1: Either roast your sweet potatoes at 350 for 45 minutes wrapped in foil, or microwave for 10-12 minutes wrapped in a wet paper towel. The skin should peel right off, leaving you with soft, cooked sweet potato flesh.
Step 2: In a bowl, combine the mashed sweet potato, the milk, and the apple cider vinegar. Mix together to combine.
Step 3: In a different bowl, mix your dry ingredients: flour, salt, sugar, baking powder.
Step 4: Add the coconut oil, a little colder than room temperature. Use a fork, mixer, or potato masher to mix the coconut oil into the dry ingredients.
You should end up with a crumb-like texture.
Step 5: Add the wet potato mash into the dry ingredients, and mix just well enough to combine. You don’t want to over-mix. Refrigerate for about 30-60 minutes.
Step 6: Spread flour over a solid surface, this is where you will roll and cut your dough. Take it out of the refrigerator, and cut it into four equally sized pieces.
Step 7: Press the dough flat with your hands, then use a rolling pin to roll it out to about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. They puff up a little while baking, but not much. Then use a glass or cookie cutter to cut the dough into rounds.
You can re-roll the dough and cut it again up to about 3 times. Then it becomes harder to work with.
Step 8: Bake on a foil-lined pan or glass pan at 425 for 8-10 minutes, until they begin to brown on the top. I rotated the pans between the top and bottom rack at 5 minutes.
Let cool on a wire rack, or just tear into them with your bare hands!
Delicious with jelly, butter, or honey, or just plain right out of the oven. They are just a tiny bit sweet on their own, and can easily compliment savory meals like chili as well.