Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes with Cranberry & Orange ♥

Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes with Cranberry & Orange
Today's Thanksgiving side dish recipe: Chunks of sweet potato cooked in a slow cooker in a sauce that's sweet with orange and tart with cranberry. Delicious!

Okay, so granted, pretty, these sweet potatoes are not, especially on the second day when the edges soften and the chunks begin to merge. But I'm willing to bet, take one bite and you'll be as smitten as I. Delicious? You bet. They're just slightly sweet, more fruity really, nothing like a traditional sweet Sweet Potato Casserole but considerably sweeter than last year's favorite new Thanksgiving recipe, the Savory Sweet Potato Casserole.

Even a picky eater, ahem, let's instead call him a young man whose palate is still developing liked them. At first, he eyed his very first sweet potatoes with suspicion but after taking a bite or two, was surprised to admit, "These aren't half bad." And then he cleaned his plate. (Hi, Benito!)

Plus, they're a great choice for Thanksgiving when oven space can be an issue, or even just for a weeknight meal, a quick vegetable to have waiting once supper's on the table.

SPEAKING OF THANKSGIVING Who else is beginning to think about menus and the annual tug between favorite old family recipes and tempting new recipes? This is my sixth year to add to a collection of vegetables recipes especially for Thanksgiving, see Favorite Recipes for Thanksgiving's Top Twelve Favorite Vegetables. If there will be vegetarians at the table, you'll definitely want to check out Vegetarian Entrées for Thanksgiving. And yes -- more recipes to come now through Thanksgiving!

RECIPE for SLOW COOKER SWEET POTATOES with CRANBERRY & ORANGE

Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 3 - 4 hours
Makes 3-1/2 cups, easily doubled or tripled
Serves 8 in normal-size A Veggie Venture servings (where 1 pound of most vegetables = 4 servings) but would be enough for 16 in a large, multi-course meal such as Thanksgiving

Please Note: I cook these sweet potatoes in my favorite small slow cooker, one suited for cooking for one or two and definitely smaller than the hulking behemoths we use to make chili and stew for a crowd, say. Even two pounds of sweet potatoes would get lost, I fear, in a larger slow cooker. To be specific, my small slow cooker holds 1.5 quarts. (Does anyone even think in quarts anymore? Translation: My small slow cooker holds five cups comfortably and six cups filled to the very top.)

COOKING LIQUID
4 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
4 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into one-inch or half-inch pieces
1/2 cup (46g) dried cranberries

COOKING LIQUID In a slow cooker, combine all the Cooking Liquid ingredients. Heat on high while prepping the sweet potatoes.

SWEET POTATOES Stir in the sweet potatoes and cranberries, stirring to coat with the liquid.

SLOW COOK Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours, stirring occasionally to coat the sweet potatoes with the liquid.

TO MAKE AHEAD Cook completely in the slow cooker. Let cool and refrigerate. Reheat in the slow cooker or in the microwave. When made ahead, the sweet potatoes continue to soften, leaving the chunks less discernible, almost like soft chunks in a sweet potato-y sauce. Very good!

ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
To help the cranberries go further, chop them a little in a food processor a bit.
If someone gives the sweet potatoes an occasional stir, these can cook almost all day, the second batch I left on for 6 hours.



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12 comments:

This recipe sounds delicious!

It sounds delicious! I love trying different varieties of sweet potato recipe.

This sounds delicious...I 'd love to try it. I don't see the quantity listed for the cranberries however. Did I miss it?

This sounds great. Too bad I am potato (including sweet potatoes and yams) intolerant. I would how it would be with rutabagas (swedes)?

Thoughts?

Have you got any suggestions for substitutions for the orange juice concentrate? OJ isn't sold like this in the UK! Could I use orange zest or regular juice instead?

It looks delicious and I want to try it!

Anonymous - Yes, you missed it, it's there. :-)

Anonymous - I like the idea of trying this with rutabagas, go for it and let me know!

Melissa - I call it "OJ Concentrate" (which it is) but you might call it frozen orange juice, the kind you add water to. It's one of my favorite "ingredients" because the flavor is so concentrated. I suppose you could cook down orange juice into a syrup, that would be it. Zest wouldn't add enough orange so if it were me, I'd pick another sweet potato recipe because the orange is so important to the flavor here. Here are my favorites, Favorite Sweet Potato Recipes.

I have been resisting the acquisition of a slow cooker for many years.Could this be done in a cast iron pot on top of the stove?
Myrna

Myrna ~ You know, I'd use your cast iron pot in the oven before doing it on top of the stove. Let me know how it goes! "High" is equivalent to 280F.

I'm excited to try this! I wonder, though, could you use fresh or frozen cranberries, instead of dried cranberries?

Jen ~ Hmm, yes, I think fresh/frozen cranberries would work fine. I'd chop them first and would double (for starters) the brown sugar. Let me know how this works, I love that everyone's excited to try the recipe and already finding variations that fit their own cooking styles!

Alanna ~ Looks like a great recipe -- I love cranberries. Think it would be possible to make it with fresh rather than dried ones if I added some sugar (maybe brown)?

By-the-way, I just ordered one of those small slow cookers you recommended from BestBuy for $14.99 with free shipping, which was about half of what it was at Amazon.

If it were me, Martin, I would cook the cranberries with the sugar first to cook out some of the liquid before putting them in the crockpot, otherwise too much liquid. Thx for the Best Buy tip on the crockpot, my sister wants one for Christmas!

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna