This Whipped Sweet Potatoes recipe is shared with permission from Diane Sanfilippo’s Practical Paleo 2nd Edition
For many of you that have followed Tasty Yummies and my ongoing health journey for some time, you know that this website, my passion and my recipes were all born of my own quest to find health. In discovering a severe gluten intolerance nearly 12 years ago, to my autoimmune disease diagnosis and a slew of other digestive troubles along the way – I have always chosen to let these challenges be the catalyst to me educating myself, empowering myself and in turn hoping to help others do the same.
From the very start, I have always embraced and preached the idea of nourishing your individuality, that there is no one-size-fits all approach to health and that if you can quiet down the outside influences enough and tap into your own intuition – all of the answers are there. When the paleo movement began to come to fruition and came more to the forefront, I admittedly found myself viscerally opposed to this idea – just as I always had been with any other diet that contained strict labels, rules and a very black and white approach to health. It wasn’t so much that I was against the idea that it could work for some, it was more that I was witnessing very dogmatic activity from many of it’s supporters, which turned me off. It was feeling to me like some vegans’ approach to health and their belief (and often consequent judgement) that “their way” was the only way. Despite following a diet fairly close to what was labeled as “paleo” and having some interest in the idea that it could continue healing my body using a paleo diet, I stubbornly rejected the notion of slapping a label on my heath journey, this blog and my continued autoimmune struggles.
It was sometime in 2014 as I began to explore various elimination diets with my naturopathic doctor to get to the root cause of my underlying autoimmune conditions, as well as chronic digestive dysfunction that I began to challenge the gluten-free grains and legumes that I consumed fairly minimally to begin with. I read, I educated myself, I researched, I experimented. In 2015, I enrolled in school with the Nutritional Therapy Association, to further my education and it was in that time that I really started to open my mind up to the many roles that the various customized, healing diets could play in the many health issues and chronic symptoms that our culture was plagued with. I discovered Diane Sanfilippo’s work in this time (though I was familiar with her name and that she was a paleo blogger and author, I hadn’t exactly followed her nor really knew much about what she was doing – again part of my silly, willful ignorance toward the paleo movement).
I also began listening to the Balanced Bites Podcast that she hosts with a fellow NTP-graduate and author of Eat the Yolks, Liz Wolfe and I instantly fell in love with their approach to food and diet, nutrition and health. It was nearly identical to my own. Throughout this time I continued to follow a mostly paleo diet (though I still to this day refuse to officially label my diet as such, despite following it about 90% of the time) and I truly saw the affects of creating a diet custom tailored to my health struggles, my diagnosis, my comfort level and commitment.
At the start of this year, within several months of me beginning to listen to the Balanced Bites Podcast, I enrolled to take a food photography and styling workshop here in Long Beach with Matt Armendariz nd Adam Pearson. On day 1 of the workshop I arrived and one of my fellow attendees of the workshop is Diane. We both spent the weekend at the this incredible event, learning SO much about food styling and photography, but we also really got to know each other very well, and we discovered we had so much in common, we’ve now spent the better part of the year getting to be ever better friends, chatting about our love of food, Real Housewives and our matching pets.
There is so much I admire about Diane, from her wise and savvy business sense, to her no bullshit attitude and especially commitment to her work. But I most enjoy that Diane has armed herself with so much knowledge and she constantly and very openly shares this knowledge in every manner available, always without even the slightlest glimmer of judgement or dogma. It’s all so wildly refreshing and so much in line with how I operate.
While I am sure so many of you already know about it and likely own a copy yourselves, I am super excited to tell you guys about Diane’s NY Times Best Selling book, Practical Paleo which just released it’s 2nd Edition earlier this fall. Practical Paleo has been dubbed by many as the “Paleo Bible” and it has easily become, hands down, one of THE best books I have in my own collection, to date. I refer to it often, for my own health and the work I do with clients and I am constantly suggesting it to my nutritional clients as continued support in their healing. Regardless if you follow a paleo diet, want to follow it or even know or care what it is, Practical Paleo is an approachable guide arming you with the tools and knowledge you need to eat real, whole foods and avoid processed refined foods creating a customized approach to nutrition, to improve your health.
Diane, being a Certified Nutrition Consultant, compiled the most comprehensive resource guide approaching your health through your diet, with a focus on the paleo diet as a starting point, the book gives you the basics on paleo eating including easy-to-follow guides that simplify the foundations. There are expanded and in-depth chapters on Healing Digestion, Addressing Autoimmunity, Balancing Blood Sugar, Managing Stress and How-to Live a Paleo Lifestyle. As well, it contains 14 customized meal plans for everything from fat loss and athletic performance to adrenal health, digestive health, thyroid health, and more, plus more than 150 easy, healthy recipes. Practical Paleo 2nd Edition also includes a newly expanded section on Clearing Up the Carb Confusion.
I wanted to pull a simple recipe from the book to share with you guys that I know you would appreciate and use often, as well I thought it appropriate to share something that could easily be served for your upcoming holiday meals, regardless of folks dietary preferences. These Whipped Sweet Potatoes are a breeze to pull together, ready in just about 20 minutes and they are the ultimate in comfort food. Creamy, rich and so smooth, these could also be customized with cinnamon and nutmeg, toasted pecans, hazelnuts or other nuts or whatever else you fancy.
I am also lucky that I have already had the opportunity to make and taste test several other recipes from Practical Paleo 2nd Edition earlier this fall, when I worked with Diane on her book promo appearance for KTLA here in Los Angeles. The recipes I made (and each was more delicious than the next) for her appearance:
Lemon Artichoke Chicken (page 296)
Bacon and Superfood Meatloaf (page 330)
Lemon Rosemary Broiled Salmon (page 375)
Mexican Chicken & Avocado Soup (page 390)
Broc-Cauli Chowder with Bacon (page 392)
Sautéed Spinach with Pine Nuts & Currants (page 493)
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1½-inch chunks
- 3 tablespoons ghee or butter, divided (use olive oil for dairy-free, vegan or AIP)
- 3 tablespoons full fat coconut milk
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder (omit to make FODMAP-friendly)
- Set a large steamer basket over 1 to 2 inches of boiling water. Place the sweet potato chunks in the steamer basket and cook for 10 minutes, until they are cooked through (they should be very soft and easily break apart with a fork). If you do not own a steamer basket, you can boil the sweet potatoes for 10 minutes or until cooked through.
- Place the cooked sweet potatoes, 2 tablespoons of the ghee, coconut milk, salt, pepper and garlic powder in a food processor and process until smooth, stopping the machine to scrape down the sides of the bowl once, if necessary.
- Garnish with the remaining 1 tablespoon of ghee or butter, coarse sea salt, cracked black pepper and ground cinnamon (if using)