I clipped a high-carb recipe out of the Houston Post many years ago that has since become a holiday tradition at our house. I low-carbed it so that I can enjoy it without breaking my daily carb limits. I have personally never been very fond of sweet potatoes, unless baked into pies, cakes and muffins. But ever since finding this recipe, I just love them! I bake this recipe OFTEN, and with a wide variety of meats!
This is NOT your granny’s sweet potatoes! Chipotle peppers are highly smoked jalapenos and taste nothing like green jalapeno peppers, in my opinion. They, in combination with the lime zest, add a most unique “twist” to a popular vegetable more commonly seasoned with orange. My brother was an Executive Chef at one time and just raved about this dish when I served it to him! He went on to serve it often to dinner guests and said he always got the same reaction. FANTASTIC! It has become tradition in our house at the holidays when fresh pumpkin is so plentiful. When I can’t get fresh pumpkin, I have been known to use butternut squash in this recipe in a pinch, but in all honesty, it’s not quite as good. This recipe does not work well with acorn squash, as I tried that one time and didn’t care for it at all.
I find this dish is particularly tasty with baked, fried or grilled seafood, grilled meat, especially wild game, Texas-style BBQ and of course that Christmas or Thanksgiving turkey or ham. The flavor combination of lime, smoky chipotles and maple extract (¼ c. very high carb packed brown sugar in the original recipe) is a real winner! To make this dish Atkins Induction acceptable, I have substituted 100% fresh cooked pumpkin flesh for the sweet potatoes. Could hardly tell a difference, other than the color is more golden than orange, thus the addition of red food coloring to correct color aesthetics. Absolutely DO NOT SUBSTITUTE CANNED PUMPKIN or you are going to be extremely disappointed. Just not the same dish. Once you reach the starchy veggie rung of OWL and can afford a few more carbs, I would recommend using just 1½ lb. pumpkin and adding 1 lb. cooked, mashed sweet potato (2 medium) for both flavor, color and a much creamier texture. You will of course need to adjust nutritional info if you make that change as my numbers are for pumpkin only.
This dish does not freeze too well. As a matter of fact, in my opinion, pumpkin flesh does not freeze well in many dishes, as its water separates out in the bottom of your baking pan upon thawing. That can really ruin the texture and appearance of some dishes. More than once has this happened to me and ruined my favorite baked pumpkin dishes when serving to company! No matter if you try to drain that water off, it just keeps bleeding out more water! Totally spoils it for me, so I never freeze pumpkin. Pumpkin baked goods, on the other hand, freeze beautifully. Go figure!
This recipe appears in Vol. 1 of Jennifer Eloff’s latest cookbook series, LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS. I hope you’ll click the link to their Facebook page and take a look at a sampling of the recipes that await you in this 5-volume set. Any low-carb cook would be proud to serve the recipes shared by these very talented chefs…..some of the best on the web, including George Stella! You can order the entire set or individual volumes at Amazon or here: http://amongfriends.us/order.php
Disclaimer: By personal choice I do not receive payment for this promotion nor the inclusion of my recipes in these books. I promote them simply because they are GREAT cookbooks by some VERY talented folks!
2½ lb. cooked fresh pumpkin (DO NOT USE CANNED PUMPKIN. It’s horrible in this!)
½ c. heavy cream
4 T. butter
¼ tsp. salt
2 T. fresh lime juice
zest of 1 large lime (2 if they are small)
½ c. granular Splenda
1 tsp. maple extract (or 2 T. sugar-free maple syrup)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1-2 chipotle peppers (canned, in adobo sauce) seeded, rinsed & chopped
few drops red food coloring to achieve orange color of sweet potatoes (optional)
DIRECTIONS: Remove stem and cut a small 4-4½ lb. pumpkin in half. Remove seeds (you can roast them for snacks) and turn cut side down into baking pan. Fill pan with 1″ water and bake pumpkin at 350º until tender when fork is stuck into it (about 45 minutes). Remove and cool enough to handle. Scoop/scrape the pumpkin flesh out of skin/shell and weigh. Should yield about 2-2½ lb. flesh. (freeze any overage for future use). Whip pumpkin with electric mixer or food processor to get it as smooth as possible. Add all remaining ingredients except chipotle peppers. For the holidays or very special occasions, I will bake 2 medium sweet potatoes, scoop out flesh, mash and add also for richer flavor, but I don’t do this for everyday consumption as it ups the carbs. I have not included the sweet potatoes in the numbers below.
These little chipotle peppers (smoked jalapenos) are very HOT, so special handling is recommended. Either wear plastic gloves (homemade “sandwich bag gloves” will do) or be sure you wash your hands well after handling. Take 1 chipotle pepper (about 1½” long) out of the can. Rinse, and remove seeds and ribs with a knife. Finely mash/chop the pepper almost into a puree on a flat wooden board. Add to pumpkin mixture, stir well and taste to see if this is hot enough for you. You don’t want to get this dish too hot, but a little tingle on the tongue is what you’re looking for.
If you want even more smoky taste or a hotter dish, carefully repeat ½ pepper at a time, re-tasting after each addition. If you add pepper in stages like this, you won’t ever ruin the whole batch getting it too hot (I did one time). Never forget that not everyone at your dinner table or social occasion will like things as hot as others.
Stir well and pour into buttered ceramic/glass baking dish. Sprinkle with a dash more cinnamon and bake at 350º for 20-30 minutes.
NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 8, each serving contains: (does not include the 2 sweet potatoes!)
114 calories, 7.6 g fat, 12.0 g carbs, 4.0 g fiber, 8g net carbs, 2.0 g protein, 121 mg. sodium