Cooking up New Holiday Traditions with Millennials

As we prepare for the upcoming holiday season, millennials will be looking for recipes and entertaining ideas that take a twist on tradition. Studies show that millennials ages 18-34 will be hosting a Christmas dinner with friends and are more likely to be searching for recipes with unique flavours, healthy substitutions or vegetarian options. Whether hosting a Friendsmas, potluck or Hanukkah, sweet potatoes are a versatile and healthy addition to any meal. Here are a couple of our fav recipes:

Cinnamon Spice Sweet Potato Casserole – this savoury twist on a sweet potato casserole is great for potlucks or as a side at your holiday dinner, it’s also vegetarian friendly!

Casserole Ingredients
4 large sweet potatoes
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/3 cup savory barbecue sauce
1 tsp Each of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger
salt and pepper to taste

1/s cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans, almonds, or walnuts)
1/3 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp melted butter
1 tsp paprika (optional)
chopped fresh parsley

Prick skin of sweet potatoes with a fork then cook in microwave for 20 minutes. Let cool (5 to 10 minutes) then cut lengthwise and scoop out flesh into a large bowl. Add butter, mild, maple syrup, spices and salt and pepper. Combine with a hand mixer or a spoon until smooth. Transfer potato mixture to a lightly greased, medium-sized casserole dish.

In a medium bowl, combine panko crumbs, chopped nuts, cheese, melted butter, paprika (if using) and parsley. Sprinkle topping on potatoes. Bake at 350F for 15 to 20 minutes until casserole is heated through and breadcrumbs are browned.

Sweet potato Shortbread Bars – looking for a unique dessert for your holiday cookie-swap? Try this sweet and decadent shortbread bar that is not only delicious but has the nutritious benefits of sweet potatoes!

Crust Ingredients
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt

1.5 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
Garnish icing sugar

Crust: Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse until combined. Press mixture firmly into parchment-paper lined 9X9 inch baking pan and bake in preheated 350F oven for 12 minutes. Remove from oven. Reduce heat to 352F

Topping: Puree sweet potatoes, melted butter, eggs and vanilla together in a blender until smooth. Combine remaining topping ingredients together in a large bowl. Stir in sweet potato mixture until smooth. Spread filling evenly over crust. Bake until centre is set, about 25 minutes. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Refrigerate until cold. Cut into squares. Place icing sugar in small fine-mesh strainer and tap lightly to dust tops of bars with icing sugar.

For more winter and holiday recipe ideas, be sure to follow @lifeofasweetpotato on Instagram or share your favourite sweet potato recipe with #switchtosweet. Happy Holiday cooking!