Sweet Potato Pie: Soul Food and Food for the Soul
Happy Black History Month! To celebrate we are not only participating in a BIG giveaway with Multicultural Kid Blogs (see details below!) but also giving away a copy of Last Stop on Market Street, a wonderful picture book from Matt de la Peña. Find out how to enter at the end of the post!
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of Last Stop on Market Street; however, all opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission.
This year for Black History Month I decided to try out a dessert I have been curious about but never tried making: sweet potato pie! How did it turn out? Spoiler alert: It was wonderful! Very easy to make and a big hit with everyone that tried it.
Sweet Potato Pie Does Not Equal Pumpkin Pie
It turns out that sweet potato pie is so simple to make and really delicious! If you’re thinking but I don’t like pumpkin pie – not to worry! Pumpkin pie is not my favorite either, but this sweet potato pie is so much more flavorful. Several people who tried my pie remarked that they were surprised how much they liked it. They didn’t expect to since they don’t like pumpkin pie and were really just being polite. Luckily for them they actually loved it! I’ve noticed a similar difference when I substitute sweet potatoes in my pumpkin bread recipe. Good before but really wow! with the substitution.
So what makes the difference? First, sweet potatoes have a deeper, richer taste and a thicker texture. I think many people are turned off from pumpkin pie because of its sometimes simpering, mushy texture, which cooked sweet potatoes do not have.
But I think the biggest difference is that the recipe calls for roasting the sweet potatoes and pureeing them yourself. Now, if you’re anything like me, at Thanksgiving battling a pumpkin into submission – dealing with peeling that tough skin and navigating the awkward bumps that look cute on a jack o’ lantern but not on my cutting board – is quickly skipped in favor of opening up a can of ready made puree. How would pumpkin pie taste if I went to the trouble of really starting from scratch? We may never know. (Or at least will have to wait until the kids are older and I am really bored one day).
Sweet potato pie, on the other hand, is easy to make from scratch. So head over to The Wichita Eagle to see the full recipe and try it yourself! You can also read a wonderful story about the importance of sweet potato pie in African-American traditions and why it is often called pumpkin pie’s “Southern cousin.”
I recommend doing as the recipe says and roasting the sweet potato instead of steaming it, as this makes it much sweeter. And be aware that depending on how sweet your sweet potatoes are, you probably will not need the full cup of sugar it calls for.
While your pies are in the oven, enjoy reading these two children’s books about soul food and food for the soul:
Grandma Lena’s Big Ol’ Turnip is a twist on a Russian folktale, as Grandma Lena and her family try to harvest the enormous turnip that she has grown in her garden. The story itself is fun – with repetition that kids will love – and it is also a fun way to learn about some traditional African-American dishes, as well as the hospitality that goes along with them. Bonus points to Grandma Lena for getting my Monkey interested in eating turnips!
Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña is a wonderful new offering from Penguin Books: a picture book about a boy and his grandmother, as she gently teaches him to always look for the beauty in the world. As CJ and his Nana ride the bus together after church one day, CJ feels sorry for himself. Why can’t he ride off in a car like other kids, or go home to play, instead of riding on the bus to a rough part of town with his grandmother? But Nana helps CJ learn to appreciate the good in his situation and in those around him. After all, the bus breathes fire, and the driver always has a trick for him. And who wants an iPod when you can listen to a fellow passenger play the guitar live?
When they finally arrive at the last stop on Market Street, CJ discovers a perfect rainbow arcing over the dirty street and realizes how glad he is that they come to their soup kitchen every Sunday, to see the familiar faces and find the beauty where he had never even thought to look.
Win a copy of Last Stop on Market Street
To win a copy of this wonderful book, just comment on this blog post, telling us what dishes conjure up “home” for you! In one week (end of day Feb. 26, 2015, at midnight Pacific time), I’ll draw one random winner from the comments. US shipping only.
This post is part of the Black History Month series on Multicultural Kid Blogs. Be sure to visit the main page for the full schedule and to link up your own posts about sharing Black History Month with kids! And of course, don’t forget to enter our amazing giveaway:
Black History Month GIVEAWAY
Grand Prize Package
A Divah Taylor doll from World of EPI, the company whose mission is to express joy by providing children access to dolls that encourage dreams, promote intelligence, challenge perceptions, and open their hearts to all types of beauty. US Shipping only
Global Wonders: African-American DVD for kids: Join twins Trey and Alisha as their playroom is transformed into a world of dreams and discoveries highlighting the fascinating and influential culture of the African-American family. US & Canada only
One set of ABC Me Flashcards, teaching African-American history from Africa to Zora Neal Hurston! Illustrated in vibrant colors with easy to understand wording on the back. US Shipping only
From Penguin Books, I Am Jackie Robinson by Brad Meltzer US Shipping only.
Also from Penguin Books, Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña US Shipping only.
1st Prize Package
Learn about Black History Month in Spanish with this fun educational pack from Open Wide the World. Students will meet 10 African Americans of historic significance in this packet, at an introductory level.
A three pack of bandages (one of each shade) from Tru-Colour Bandages, the company on a mission to bring bandage equality to the industry by providing bandages in your skin color. US & Canada only
Shekere – a beautiful and unique African gourd instrument –
plus a craft tutorial on how to make your own from Daria and Crafty Moms Share US Shipping only
From East West Discovery Press, Endeavor’s Long Journey by By John D. Olivas US Shipping only.
Black Girls Can: An Empowering Story of Yesterdays and Todays, from Rachel Garlinghouse of White Sugar Brown Sugar US Shipping only
Can’t wait to try this recipe! Loved this blog post!
We are pumpkin pie fans in our little family so
I am excited to try this out, especially with bread.
“Home” food to me is homemade beans and rice!
It was very typical in my home growing up
for my Mom to have a big pot of beans cooking on the stove.
I loved to just eat a bowl of beans with cheese.
I still do! And my daughter loves it too!
She will eat a bowl of beans and rice any time of day.
I recently saw a post on Facebook about what kids eat for
breakfast around the world. I loved it because many times
the American concept of what breakfast should be, shapes
what is thought of as the typical food to prepare.
Typically, it’s: pancakes waffles, eggs, sausage, bacon,
hot or cold cereal, fruit, juice, yogurt, toast, muffins, bagels.
But breakfast food can be anything you want it to be, really.
My kids remind me of this almost on a daily basis,
without them even realizing it. 😉
Yay for comfort foods, and for thinking outside the box!
Roberta, how wonderful! You’re right that it’s so easy to get set in our ways and forget there are other ways to doing things! And I love that you and your daughter can share in the wonderful memories and associations that come with family foods!
What a great collection! Thank you.
Thanks for stopping by!
Stuffing! Onion dip!
Love it! Those ring true for me as well 🙂
Thanks for the lovely article Leanna! Being Irish-Australian we have different foods that remind us of our different homes. Mashed potatoes are my ultimate comfort food – bringing out the Irish in me (such a cliche but true). We also get big cravings for fresh stone fruits like peaches and nectarines when missing Australia. Luckily, living in California, we have access to both types 🙂
Yum! Those all sound delicious! And how fun to have such a pull to two different countries 🙂
Congratulations to Amy B for winning our prize!
Ooh I love sweet potatoes. I’d never thought of putting them into a dessert though. No one else in my home likes them but perhaps I can tempt my family into some of their rich orange goodness with this pie!
Lucinda, everyone really loved this pie! I have always had better luck getting my kids to try something new when it’s in dessert form! Good luck 🙂
Leanna – I just thought I’d come back and let you know that the pie was a big hit with everyone, even the non-sweet potato lovers. We had visitors last week and we polished off the second pie I’d had in the freezer. I’ve also been enjoying sweet potato mash when the others have regular potato. Thanks again for the inspiration. 🙂
Oh, this is so great to hear! Thanks so much for taking the time to come back and tell me!