Shabbos sides are typically loaded with fat and calories, which is what makes them so yummy, of course. And we indulge, trying to forget about the guilt this one day of the week. I’ve even heard people rationalize that since our tradition teaches that every Jew is given a second soul (neshamah yeserah) on Shabbos-- presumably to absorb the holiness of the day – it’s ok eat double portions. After all, we’re eating for two! Some go so far as to say that the second soul even takes the extra weight away with it as it departs this world.
Somehow, my bathroom scale doesn’t agree. So the ideal Shabbos side, as far as I’m concerned, is something sweet and luscious, very special for Shabbos, but not loaded with sugar or couched in a pie shell or puff pastry. Folks, I now present you with the recipe that meets all my criteria and more!
This recipe is also a great Thanksgiving side dish, because sooner or later people begin to notice how much they’re consuming and they start feeling edgy about it. With a clear conscience, you can assure them that this side is actually healthy. Chances are, they will give sincere thanks for that, then dive blissfully into a gooey dessert.
So what makes this side “good for you”? For one thing, sweet potatoes are full of vitamins and antioxidants. In this recipe, we toss them with sweet maple syrup and nutty pecans, a sure crowd-pleaser. Worried about the maple syrup? I have it on good authority that it is an excellent source of manganese and a good source of zinc. Many people use maple syrup as a healthy substitute for sugar.
(Remember that unopened containers of maple syrup can be stored in a cool dry place; they should be kept in the refrigerator once they are opened.)
Pecans are the only native American tree nuts, which is why it graces many Thanksgiving tables. (Learn something new every day, folks.) Like most nuts, pecans have many health benefits: they are a natural antioxidant, have cholesterol-lowering qualities, and are an excellent source of protein.
But I like ‘em because they taste good and go especially well with sweet potatoes – which is why I put them together in this recipe.
Listen up here fold, this sweet side is not just good for you – it’s downright good!