Given Michelle Obama’s ongoing message about healthy eating, it’s no surprise that the first family prefers sweet potatoes without marshmallows - and without even an extra tablespoon of sugar. The first lady has described her family as sweet potato lovers. This fall, she harvested the potatoes from the White House Kitchen Garden, sometimes with the help of children from the Bancroft and Kimball elementary schools in Washington. At the harvest, after the potatoes were loaded into a wheelbarrow, one boy pointed to an especially large sweet potato and said, “Whoever likes that must have a big mouth!’’ The garden is under wraps for the winter, but this sweet potato recipe is a warming winter side dish. Flavor comes from a subtle mix of spices, including cinnamon, cumin, chili powder, and cloves, plus citrus juices and a bit of butter. It’s healthy, and fits nicely with stewy dishes of beef and chicken or a bowl of vegetables and legumes. CLARA SILVERSTEIN
|3||medium sweet potatoes|
|2||tablespoons butter, cut up|
|1/8||teaspoon ground cinnamon|
|1/8||teaspoon ground cumin|
|1/8||teaspoon chili powder|
|Pinch of ground cloves|
|1/4||cup orange juice|
|1||tablespoon lemon juice|
|Salt, to taste|
1. Set the oven at 425 degrees.
2. Wash and dry the potatoes. Wrap each one in foil and set them in a baking dish. Bake the potatoes for 1 hour or until they are tender when pierced with a skewer. Unwrap and leave until cool enough to handle.
3. Halve the potatoes and scoop the flesh into the bowl of an electric mixer.
4. Add the butter, cinnamon, cumin, chili powder, cloves, orange juice, lemon juice, and salt. Beat the potatoes at medium speed until they are smooth.