For our very first food centered blog post I wanted to share a huge favorite from our house. This is a different take on mac and cheese, omitting flour and butter as the base and replacing them with sweet potato. This gives the dish a wonderful sweet creamy texture and some great added benefits like dietary fiber, vitamins A, B6, and C. The sweet potato also lends a fun orangey colour, which is great for switching kids over from the boxed version that often features a decidedly unhealthy colour additive of tartrazine.
For those on a gluten free diet, this makes for a quick easy meal when paired with your favorite gluten free pasta. On its own, the sauce is also fantastic served over steamed cauliflower or broccoli. This recipe makes a nice big batch of sauce so there will be plenty to stock up your fridge or freezer. For a smaller batch, just cut ingredients in ½’s or 1/3’s as desired. In this recipe we use a nice sharp white cheddar, but feel free to substitute your favorite cheese (or combos of cheese) in its place. Other great options might include Havarti, emmental, mozzarella, provolone, soft goat or sheeps milk cheeses etc. So have fun with it, we hope it will become a family favorite at your house too!
Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese
Yield – 10 cups finished sauce
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3 cm dice (about 8 cups total)
6 cups milk
3-4 cups shredded sharp cheddar (add more if you like your sauce extra cheesy)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Place sweet potatoes in a large pot and add milk, cover and simmer on medium low heat for 20 minutes, or very tender. Using a hand blender (regular blender or food processor will also work, just watch out for the hot liquid, it hurts!) blend until very smooth and creamy. Add black pepper and nutmeg to taste and stir through. Use sauce right away or chill airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days, or, portion and freeze airtight for up to 2 months.
To make the Mac and cheese
Boil one 375 g box of your favorite dry pasta or egg noodles, drain well, stir in two to three cups of heated sweet potato cheese sauce (depending on how saucy you like it) and serve!
PS - if you have a baby who is not quite ready for the chunkiness of the pasta, just throw the finished mac and cheese in the blender and buzz it up to their liking with a bit of extra milk or breast milk.