How to make healthy choices every day

Sweet Potato Wedges with Tahini-Honey Sauce and Everything Bagel Spice

 

I’ve now been blogging for eleven years (11years!!!). And in those eleven years, you know what I’ve learned about you? You love sweet potatoes. You love tahini. And you love sauce. And if I post anything with those things – or even better – a combination of those things, I know it’s going to go over well. I often get preoccupied with making my recipe posts totally out there with crazy ingredients, involved techniques, and lose sight of the fact that a lot of you like really simple things too. Just like me. And just like me you like sweet potatoes and tahini and sauce.

The sweet potato wedges with tahini-honey sauce and everything bagel spice that I posted on Instagram drew many requests for the recipe. I thought it would be way too easy, but your encouragement reminded me that it’s okay if it’s easy! We all have a place for uncomplicated in our lives.

 

 

I was first introduced to “everything bagel spice” while teaching cooking classes down in the states this past summer. One of the women in the group proclaimed that it took avocado toast to the next level, and after trying it once, I was totally hooked. She gave me two jars of the flavour confetti before I flew home, and I have just recently shaken out the last grain of salt. Without a clue on where to buy such a random thing in Canada, I set out to make my own – only I decided to be highly practical and mix up a laughably large batch because it is literally good on everything.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with everything bagel spice mix, it’s the simplest combination of flaky salt, onion flakes, garlic flakes, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds, which classically tops an “everything bagel”. It doesn’t sound like that much, but trust me, if it can make a white, doughy   this blend far more than the sum of its parts. A generous sprinkle on any dish makes it all that much more dimensional, seasoned, and delicious. My favourite applications for it include sliced garden tomatoes, cucumber, steamed green beans, roasted beets, goat cheese, cauliflower, popcorn, green salads, steamed brown rice or quinoa, eggs, hummus, and sweet potatoes…you see where I’m going with this. Maybe it’s faster to write a list of the foods that it wouldn’t be good on? Chocolate cake. There, that was easy.

 

 

But I’m actually here to talk about sweet potatoes. These gorgeous golden roots are now in season, and the last local tubers being pulled from the earth as I write this. Since I live so close to a number of organic farms here in Ontario, I thought it would be fun to go see them being harvested. I called around my area to see if anyone still had them in the ground, and I got lucky when one place, Fiddlehead Farm, called me back with good news and an invitation out to their field.

Fiddlehead Farm is run by a tribe of boss women who support over 150 local families through their CSA program, and hold stands at four different markets. These ladies are busy, and growing a diverse range of vegetables, greens, and herbs that seemed to stretch on for miles. I could tell from walking around the property how passionate they were about their work, and how deeply they care for their little corner of the earth. What an inspiration!

Heather, the farm’s co-owner, hopped off her tractor to introduce herself and show me the goods. She pulled back a tangle of stems and gave a good yank to unearth a juicy bunch of sweet potatoes, all clumped together like a vegetable cuddle puddle. Jackpot! She said it had been a really good year for this particular crop, and right under my feet were literally hundreds of roots waiting patiently to be harvested before the impending frost. Seeing how things grow and meeting the people that work so hard to bring these food gifts to us gives me a deeper appreciation for every bite I take.

 

 

Sweet potatoes are nutritional powerhouses, as one of nature’s best sources of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a carotenoid form of vitamin A – an essential anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrient. The intensity of a sweet potato’s orange flesh is a direct reflection of its beta-carotene content, so find the most vibrant ones you can, and dig in. Remember that you need a little fat to help your body absorb beta-carotene, so a drizzle of olive oil, or dousing your taters in a sauce like the one in this recipe is an important step in receiving those life-giving nutrients. Not a bad deal if you ask me.

Sweet potatoes can be enjoyed roasted, steamed, sautéed, or even eaten raw, but however you choose to eat them, keep those skins on! The skin of a sweet potato is loaded with extra fiber to regulate blood sugar and support digestion, potassium to maintain normal blood pressure, and iron to deliver much-needed oxygen to your cells. Scrub sweet potatoes firmly with a soft vegetable brush – you want to remove the dirt but not take the skin away.

When purchasing sweet potatoes, look for smooth, even skin without bruises or soft spots. Avoid buying sweet potatoes that are in the fridge, since cold temperatures negatively affect their flavour. Once you get them home, store them in a dry, and well-ventilated place away from a hot spot (like near the stove or on top of the fridge). Instead of keeping them in plastic, which can cause them to mold, store them in an open paper bag to extend their life.

 

Some notes on the recipe. Other methods I’ve seen online for everything bagel spice do not suggest toasting the seeds beforehand, and I think this is a major miss. It makes a huge difference giving the sesame and poppy seeds a quick tour in a hot pan to coax out more of their flavour. If you’re in a rush or simply can’t be bothered, that’s fine, just know that you’ll be missing out on some bonus taste points. And if you don’t want to make three cups of the mix to start, simply half, or even quarter the recipe. I am pretty confident that you’ll love it though, especially once you try it on avocado toast.

The Tahini Honey Sauce makes about one cup (250ml), which is plenty to cover the sweet potato wedges, but make a double batch if you want a great staple dressing for the week ahead. It’s delicious on simple green salad, folded into cooked grains, drizzled over roast vegetables, or on avocado toast. The honey taste is present, but not overpowering, so feel free to add more if you want to ramp up the sweetness. For a vegan version, use maple syrup or date syrup in its place.

 


I want to sign off with a sincere thanks for the past eleven years of support from all of you. It’s hard for me to believe that I’ve been creating in this space for so many years now (I’ve never done anything for this long!), but I wouldn’t have the motivation to keep going if it weren’t for your curiosity, enthusiasm, and appetite for the heart work I put in here. I know that I’ll stay hungry if you do 😉 Let’s keep going, together.

In sincere gratitude and love,
Sarah B.

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I have great news, dear friends! Due to the overwhelmingly positive response to the Life-Changing Loaf Subscription Box, we have reopened the sales so that you can still receive (or give!) the box before the holiday season. Click here for more information, and to subscribe. Thank you very much for your ongoing support of My New Roots!



34 thoughts on “Sweet Potato Wedges with Tahini-Honey Sauce and Everything Bagel Spice”

  • Hey Sarah,

    Just found your site. Love it! Thank you for your recipes and charming conversation.

    I am well acquainted with Prince Edward County. I live in Haliburton and am happy you’ve found your way back to your native country.

    Keep up the good work. And, as an aside, if you ever want to have kefir grains, I have some you may have. I make kefir every day and the little buggers grow rapidly. Just let me know if you want some and, during driveable Ontario weather, you might stop by for a visit to pick up some of these lively babies.

    Be well and happy and have a great Christmas season!

    Sue 😘

  • Love this! Sweet potato is a favorite at our house also. Always looking for new ways of serving them. The Bagel spice mix and the tahini sauce is something new we can try. Thanks!

  • Congratulations on your 11th year of blogging: where has the time gone? Thank you for each and every recipe: you never disappoint. Here’s to another 11 years.

    • Hi there,

      These are true sweet potatoes 🙂 Here is an excerpt from an article about yams vs. sweet potatoes: In the U.S., there is often much confusion between sweet potatoes and yams. They are completely different foods, belonging to different plant families. Sweet potatoes are much more highly available in the U.S. than are yams.

      This confusion exists for two reasons. First, as a shopper, it is possible for you to find sweet potatoes and yams that look reasonably alike in terms of size, skin color, and flesh color. Second, government agencies have allowed these terms to be used somewhat interchangeably on labeling, so that you often cannot rely on the grocery store signs to help you determine whether you are looking at a bin full of sweet potatoes or a bin full of yams. For example, in many stores you can find bins that are labeled “Red Garnet Yams” and “Jewel Yams” and the foods in these bins are actually sweet potatoes. Here are some general practical rules that you can follow.

      In most U.S. groceries, you should assume that you are always purchasing a sweet potato, even if the sign says “yams.”Over 1 million sweet potatoes are commercially grown in the U.S. each year, while commercial production of yams in the U.S. is rare.
      Don’t use flesh color to decide whether you are getting a sweet potato or a yam. Both root vegetables come in a variety of colors. Once again, you should assume that you are getting a sweet potato regardless of flesh color.
      If you are specially seeking a true yam (from the plant genus Dioscorea), it might be helpful to visit a more internationally focused store that specializes in foods from tropical countries.
      Here is a little more background about the relationship between sweet potatoes and yams.

      The name “yam” was adopted from “nyami”—the Fulani (West African) word that means “to eat” and that has traditionally been used to refer to yams. Yams are native to Africa and Asia, and unlike potatoes, they have the potential to grow to a much larger size.

      From a science perspective, true yam is a root vegetable belonging to the Dioscoreaceae family, which are monocotyledons (or “monocots” for short, with the prefix “mono” referring to the fact that they have only one embryonic seed leaf). Sweet potatoes belong to the Convolvulaceae or morning glory plant family, are dicotyledons (or “dicots” for short, with the prefix “di” referring to the fact that they have two embryonic seed leaves), and are known by the scientific name of Ipomoea batatas. So as you can see, these two root vegetables come from very different parts of the plant world, even though their names have become so intertwined in the U.S. marketplace.

      Here is the link: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=64
      I hope that clears things up!

      All the best,
      Sarah B

    • Hey McKel!

      Yup, totally agree 😀 I’m obsessed beyond words…it goes on all the things 😉
      Big love to you too,
      xo
      Sarah B

  • WOW, it’s true, the simple ingredients can really be the best! The experience of seeing the sweet potato farm sounds amazing, and I totally agree, it makes you appreciate the meal all the more 🙂 Also, I’ve tried Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel seasoning (and loved it), but never even though about making my own. I think I’ll do that once the TJ’s jar runs out! Thank you for the recipe 🙂

    Beatrice | The Bliss Bean

    • Hey Beatrice!

      Yes indeed! It was very cool to meet those farmers and see SO MANY sweet potatoes growing. And the spice mix I got was also from Trader Joe’s, but we don’t have it in Canada, so I had to get creative 😉 Plus, it’s so much cheaper to make yourself. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

      Big love,
      Sarah B

  • Hi long time reader here! I literally just came back from America and was only able to manage 2 bottles of the everything bagel seasoning from Trader Joe’s… I live in London and can’t get it anywhere. YOU SAVED MY LIFE! Thank you 🙂

    • Hi Amy,

      You can do that first, but using oil before cooking is just an option – I’ll make that clearer in the recipe. Thank you for the feedback!

      Much love,
      Sarah B

  • You’re so right – we often over-complicate things when simplicity is better! This sounds like the perfect side for Thanksgiving – or any night. I also love, hand-blending my spices so this entire recipe is on my to-try list. 🙂

    • Hey Dawn,

      Yes, this is perfect for Thanksgiving! But I’m making it alllll winter for sure 😉 I hope you enjoy!

      xo, Sarah B

    • Hi Jane,

      That’s where mine was from – it’s actually really good! But no TJ’s in Canada 🙁 Plus, I like that I can get everything organic if I make it myself.

      Thanks for commenting and helping other out,
      Sarah B

  • Looks lovely – I think this is what’s for dinner. Sorry to be a bummer though, but the links to this recipe in your email both go to the Bread Subscription box.

  • Beautiful photos. Right now I’m having tahini sauce on everything, so this recipe resonates with me! I’m yet to try everything bagel spice – it’s not really a thing here in the UK so I’m keen to try it! 11 years of blogging is something to be proud of – congrats and thank you for all your recipes! Gabriella X

    • Hello Gabby,

      Thank you so much for your kind comment <3 I cant believe it has been so long, but I really do love it still.
      I hope you dig the bagel spice...definitely not a British thing at all, but soooo good. Enjoy!

      xo, Sarah B

    • Hi Sarah!

      Me neither…I think bagels are pretty boring, to be honest. But this stuff…NOT BORING. I hope you try making your own 🙂

      xo, Sarah B

  • Life changing loaf?!
    More like time wasting and seed wasting! How on earth do you get it to stick together?? I ended up with a crumbled mess. I use it as salad toppings now but it surely isn’t bread!!

    • In response to CHANA, I have made the life-changing loaf and it holds together well; I did weigh most of the ingredients including the water and used the teaspoon and tablespoon measures as indicated in the recipe.

    • Hi Chana,

      I’m so sorry to hear that! I think you may have done something wrong…added too much of an ingredient perhaps? Make sure you’re using actual measuring spoons and cups, as that can make a huge difference. You can also send me an email if you want to troubleshoot it with me 🙂 sarah@mynewroots.org – no pressure, just wanted to offer some personal guidance, because it really is a great recipe when it works!

      Much love,
      Sarah B

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