Spiced Sweet Potato Ice Cream

Your mom always told you to eat your vegetables, so why not eat them for dessert?! The inspiration for this one came from David Lebovitz, but I wanted a bit more spice in my recipe, and to give it a shot as a dairy-free ice cream. Sweet potatoes and coconut milk are fabulous together, so I guessed that it would work well here, too, and I was right! The best part of this ice cream is that it’s so simple – baking the sweet potato is about as difficult as it gets – after that, you just peel the potato and chuck everything in the blender to puree, and then you’re done!

The finished ice cream was subtly spiced, not too sweet, and full of fresh sweet potato flavor – it tastes very much like pumpkin pie. The candied pecans added some nice crunch, and a touch of extra sweetness. I really enjoyed this ice cream, and will definitely make it again, though I’m considering a curried sweet potato ice cream next. I’m always thinking of the next batch of ice cream.

Spiced Sweet Potato Ice Cream
Makes 1 quart

1 large sweet potato, about 1 lb
1 14oz can coconut milk
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp dried ginger
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 T rum
freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of salt
squeeze of lemon juice, less than a teaspoon.

1/2 cup chopped pecans
3 T maple syrup

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Poke a few holes in the sweet potato with a knife or fork, and bake the potato on an oven-safe plate for about an hour, until the potato is tender all the way through when you prod it with a knife.
  2. While the sweet potato is baking, toast a half-cup of chopped pecans in a pan on the stovetop for a few moments. When the nuts are fragrant and toasty, pour in the maple syrup and stir around for a minute or so – the maple syrup should be bubbling. Then, turn the candied pecans out onto a bit of parchment and chill.
  3. Peel the potato and cut into a few large chunks. Put the sweet potato and all other ingredients in the blender and puree until smooth. Taste, and adjust seasoning if needed. Chill, and turn in the ice cream maker. In the last minute of turning, pour in most of the pecans, separating them as you pour them in. Reserve a few pecans to garnish your scoop of ice cream.