Growing up we always had big holiday dinners. All of the extended family on my dad’s side would gather at my grandparents house for Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve for a very traditional meal. Turkey, Honey Baked Ham, rolls, mashed potatoes with gravy, stuffing (well, “dressing” since it was never inside the turkey), creamed corn, candied yams, pumpkin pie, and hot apple cider were always on the table, accompanied by the traditional sweet pickle and olive plate. Even as an omnivorous child, however, I never quiet enjoyed the meat dishes, unless they were drowned in gravy (or my case, ranch dressing). I was all about the carbs.
GIVE ME ALL THE CARBS.
Still, despite my picky palate, I remember eating leftovers for every meal for days on end after each holiday dinner. The mashed potatoes and stuffing never lasted long (my FAVES), and my brother ate the lions share of the Honey Baked Ham. The one item that always went to waste by the end of the week was the candied yams. After the sticky-sweet marshmallow layer was gone off of the top, they lost their appeal and became a slimy, congealed mass after a few days of neglect in the fridge.
Not appetizing at all.
Looking back and knowing what I know now about the benefits of beta carotene-laden orange vegetables like yams, I would have given them more of a chance! So this year, instead of drowning the vegetables in sugar, I decided to stuff them with naturally sweet peanut butter, raisins, coconut flakes, crunchy granola, walnuts, and a sprinkle of cinnamon for good measure. The slices of apple on the side are refreshing and help balance the deeper flavors of the sweet potato. If you have yet to try this combo, this is your chance! Thank me later.
My kids LOVED these sweet potatoes for dinner. With so many fun toppings and the natural sweetness of all of the ingredients, it almost felt like breakfast! It was almost reminiscent of those candied yams from my childhood, no marshmallows required. However, if you find vegan marshmallows and want to toss some on top, I won’t judge!
If you bake up a few extra sweet potatoes this would make a great quick and filling breakfast on a weekday morning. Even better, if you bake up a bunch of sweet potatoes on your meal prep day, making this dish for dinner will take all of 5 minutes! Feel free to switch out the toppings and nut butters for any that suit your fancy. Bringing a tray full of these to your next holiday dinner will make a lovely presentation and guarantee you something plant-based and meal-worthy if your family isn’t hip to your veggie-loving ways.
Granola Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- 4 sweet potatoes
- 2 apples (Honey Crisp and Pink Lady are my favorites)
- Toppings: oil free granola, natural peanut butter (thinned with water or almond milk if needed for drizzling), raw walnuts, raisins, unsweetened shredded coconut, etc.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Wash the sweet potatoes well. Pierce each potato several times with a fork and place on a baking tray.
- Bake the potatoes for 45-65 minutes, depending on their size, until they are easily pierced with a fork.
- When the potatoes are finished, slice each potato in half. Sprinkle each half of potato with cinnamon (this would be the time to add marshmallows and then put them under the broiler for 3-5 minutes…but you didn’t hear that from me!).
- Drizzle the potatoes with peanut butter and then top with coconut, granola, walnuts, raisins, and sliced apples. Serve immediately. Serves 4 as a meal or 8 as a side dish.
What is your favorite holiday dish? Share in the comments below!