Sesame Baked Sweet Potatoes Recipe- Paleo, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free, Gluten Free

A while ago I discovered how delicious the various orange vegetables (sweet potatoes, pumpkins, carrots, etc...) taste with a sweet soy sauce based sauce. Koreans make a dish like this, where sweet potatoes or pumpkins are braised in a sweet soy sauce mixture (gogoma jorim is what it is called when made with sweet potatoes), and I've made it like that a few times. Out of this world delicious. But the problem with such dishes is you have to stand by the stove constantly to make sure it doesn't burn, and to make sure that the veggies are fully cooked before you run out of liquid. Additionally, because of the mixing to prevent burning, the produce, especially if using softer things like pumpkin, starts falling apart and becoming mushy.

Inspired by my love of Korean cooking, and my knowledge of various jorim type recipes, I decided to make this sesame baked sweet potato recipe, which works just as well with pumpkin, butternut squash, and carrots, though the cooking time may vary, and it tasted so delicious. Its hands off, and because of its cooking method, burning isn't as likely and the produce doesn't fall apart.
I was debating whether or not I should call this teriyaki sweet potatoes because the taste is very much like that as well.

If you can't eat sesame seeds, or otherwise don't have them, you can leave them and the sesame oil off- the taste will be different, but still delicious.

Sesame Baked Sweet Potatoes Recipe- Paleo, Vegan

9 cups cubed sweet potato, butternut squash, pumpkin, or carrots
3-4 tablespoons mildly flavored oil of choice (I used palm, but any is fine)
1/4 cup (gluten free) soy sauce or coconut aminos
1/4 cup jaggery syrup, maple syrup, date syrup, coconut sugar, honey, white sugar, or sweetener of choice
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes (optional)
2 tablespoons sesame seeds (optional)
1 tablespoon sesame oil (optional)
Scallions or onion greens to garnish (optional)

1. Chop your veggies into cubes less than one square inch, ideally closer in size to one square centimeter.

2. Mix all the rest of the ingredients together, other than the scallions/onion greens, and stir until relatively uniform.

3. Put the sweet potatoes/butternut squash/pumpkin/carrots onto a lined baking sheet, pour on the sauce, and mix them together, making sure to coat the produce as much as possible with the sauce. Spread out as evenly as possible on the baking tray.

4. Bake at 350 for 25-40 minutes, depending on the size of your chunks and type of veggie you're using. Carrots will take longest to cook. Ideally, midway through the cooking time, mix the produce one time. This will make the flavor be distributed more evenly, and hence be tastier, but it isn't required.

5. Remove from the oven when the sweet potatoes/carrots/pumpkin/squash is fully cooked and soft, ideally before it gets too mushy (unless you like mushy). At this point, the liquid should be mostly if not fully evaporated/absorbed, other than a little oil.

6. Serve either hot or cold.

7. Garnish with onion greens or scallions if desired.

What is your favorite way to prepare sweet potatoes, pumpkins, butternut squash, or carrots? Ever made something like this before? Does this look like a recipe you'd try?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. I am going to make this, but will have to tweak it to fit in with the diet i am following! Looks delicious.

  2. I have a glazed recipe like this but haven't used pumpkin and your sauce is different. I need to give this version a try as I think it would be a hit. I've been substituting crunchy peanut butter for sesame seeds and oil in recipes. Always on hand and adds the nutty taste. Tip from Jack Monroe.

    1. What a fabulous idea. I much prefer peanut to sesame in any case.

  3. A little tip about mixing the veggies with the sauce - put the sauce in a plastic bag (check for holes first!) and then the veggies. Seal the bag with a half-hitch knot or you fist, and shake until veggies are coated, then spread on baking sheet. (Oddly enough, I made cubed sweet potatoes today too - with Sriracha, garlic powder, black pepper and olive oil).

  4. I will probably make this with some chicken and kale. Found a recipe today for loaded mediterranean street cart fries that I know I wanna try. For weight loss I'm going mediterranean. Love that tzatziki sauce. Want to be more like you and discover all that orange veggies have to offer.

  5. I use a similar recipe for roasted broccoli. Never thought to use it for sweet potatoes or carrots. thanks for the idea!

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