VEGGIE FAKE OUT! Kitty's Sweet Potato Mash

There are a few healthy foods in this world that my husband actually enjoys. They are, in no particular order: sushi, yogurt, and bananas. He came to me with the love of yogurt and bananas. The sushi, on the other hand, is a food affinity that has developed as a result of careful and purposeful manipulation negotiation. I reasoned with my husband, “If you love tuna salad sandwiches, doesn’t it make sense that you might possibly enjoy the taste of freshly prepared raw tuna?” To both our surprise, he did, and we have happily been enjoying sushi 2-3 times a week ever since.

A similar negotiation occurred a few years ago regarding sweet potatoes….

While in Atlanta, my husband brought me to one of his most favorite places on the planet, a little run-down shack known as the Ace BBQ Barn. While spying the candied yams behind the greasy glass, a plot begin to unfold itself in my mind:

Kitty: So, have you ever eaten candied yams?

Husband: Yuck. No.

Kitty: Why yuck?

Husband: Cause they are sweet potatoes, aren’t they?

Kitty: Well, hardly, I mean, you can barely even tell it’s sweet potato after they are through mixing them with brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, cream, topping them with’s practically a dessert. You like dessert, don’t you?

Husband: Yeah…yeah I do.

And the rest was history…my husband started out with candied yams, and then slowly, gradually, I just left out the candied part. We now enjoy sweet potatoes at least once a week in various forms – roasted, baked, and sometimes, mashed.

But here is the best part: when you mash something, and it is a certain color, you can sometimes add other things that are about the same color, resulting in a finicky husband who hates veggies eating a delicious mash of sweet potatoes, carrots, and butternut squash.



Kitty’s Sweet Potato Mash (serves 4 as a side)

3 orange-fleshed sweet potatoes (sometimes sold as yams), peeled and cubed

1 large carrot, peeled and sliced

1 cup pre-cubed butternut squash

1/2 cup half & half

1/2 cup lowfat milk

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

salt & pepper to taste


  1. In a large microwave safe bowl, add a small amount of water, along with the sweet potatoes, carrot, and squash. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, pierced with a fork to release steam, and set microwave on high for 3 minutes or more, depending on your microwave. Veggies should be easily mashed with a fork when done.
  2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan on stove, gently heat milk and half & half, along with butter, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
  3. Add veggies to saucepan, and mash with a potato masher until desired consistency.

This side dish is the perfect accompaniment to this All-American meal…breaded pork chops (my husband’s hands-down favorite dinner). You may notice the green peas on the plate. Shockingly, my husband will eat them, but that’s a story for a different day.


As far as the nutritional value of the sweet potato mash, this recipe is nothing short of an antioxidant powerhouse. The orange-colored family of root veggies are known to be loaded with vitamins A and C, which are great anti-inflamatories and fighters of heart disease. Carrots are the richest source of carotenoids around, which help to fight many cancers, and are loaded with vision loving beta-carotene.

On our official veggie fake out broccoli scale, I give this recipe 8 out of 10 heads of broccoli.



3 comments to VEGGIE FAKE OUT! Kitty's Sweet Potato Mash

  • Stacey

    Hi! I’m a new visitor. Love your site — it’s just what I needed. See, my family eats 99.9% of the foods served them. We are “recreational eaters” and each of us has only 2-3 foods we dislike. HOWEVER, my grown stepson came to live with us recently, and… well… yep. He hates veggies (except corn). He wants to eat them though, and has admitted that he is happy to eat them if he can’t see them (there are some I hide that I don’t mention to him, though, because the icky factor is just to strong for him). And some things make no sense at all. For instance, he won’t eat peaches because of the skin. But, if you peel them, he still won’t eat them. (stacey throws her hands in the air)

    Anyway. I make something very similar to this (although I don’t think stepson will eat them, no matter what).

    Try these variations:

    1. Sub evaporated canned milk for the milk and half&half. It’s rich and creamy like half&half, with more nutritional oomph than milk since it’s concentrated.

    2. Sub cinnamon for nutmeg. Or use both. Makes it taste more like pumpkin pie.

    3. Whip in an egg 😉 — beat the whole mixture with a mixer over low heat. This works without the egg, too! You can pour it into a casserole and brown the top in the oven. Decadent texture.

    4. Add a little brown sugar or honey — just a touch to enhance the sweetness of the other veggies.

  • […] I can’t wait to try — like her trick of sneaking butternut squash and carrots into mashed sweet potatoes. She’s got all kinds of techniques for dealing with a picky eater who turns his nose up at […]

  • Thank you for that!! I hope that my picky eater gilrfriend will like your recipes!

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