Featured Recipes Vegetables — 13 December 2014

Holiday recipe countdown: Pecans add crunch to this easy and healthy sweet potato side dish. 

By: Jodie Shield, RDN

In previous blogs, I covered all of the health benefits you can get from eating just a handful of pecans a day. While pecans taste great as is,  I wanted to share my family’s favorite sweet potato recipe which just so happens to include pecans. While the photo shows the sweet potatoes sliced, I usually only do that for holidays. During the week, I simply cut them into chunks. Why? It saves time and it gives them a more rustic look. Just be sure the chunks are all about the same size so everything cooks evenly. Here are a few other ideas on how you can add pecans to your day. Which one are you going to try?And, all of the recipes are on my new app Time to Eat Healthy – the perfect holiday gift for the health nuts on your list!

  • Breakfast: Sprinkle chopped pecans into a hot bowl of oatmeal. This will add protein and some fiber to your morning meal.
  • Lunch: Toss pecans into salads for added crunch. Mixed greens, strawberries, feta cheese and a splash of vinaigrette dressing taste awesome with pecans.
  • Snack: Make a big bag of trail mix and be sure you add pecans. Another tip, add chopped pecans to your favorite quick-bread batters.  I love adding pecans to to banana bread.
  • Dinner: Crushed pecans make a delicious coating for chicken, fish and pork. To make pecan crumbs, you can use a food processor. If you want to get your kids involved, try this: Place the pecans into a ziplock bag, crush them with a rolling pin, add the meat to the pecan crumbs,  then shake, add to the pan, and bake.

Maple-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Pecans 

Makes 12 Servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 hour


  • 5 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup raisins or craisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Spread the sweet potato cubes in a single layer in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle raisins and chopped pecans over sweet potatoes.
  3. In a small bowl mix the butter, canola oil, maple syrup, water and cinnamon. Pour the mixture over the sweet potatoes.
  4. Cover the baking dish with foil. Bake for about 50minutes. Remove the foil and bake 10 minutes more or until the sweet potatoes are tender an lightly browned.

Nutritional Information per Serving: 170 calories, 1.5 grams protein, 26 grams carbohydrate. 7.5 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 7 milligrams cholesterol, 2 grams fiber, 20 milligrams sodium

Related Articles


About Author


Jodie Shield, M.Ed., R.D., L.D.N.
Jodie Shield has been a consultant and spokesperson in the field of nutrition for over two decades. A former national media spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association (1989-1995), she has worked extensively with the Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center and taught nutrition and medical dietetics at the University of Illinois. Currently she is a complemental faculty member of the College of Health Sciences in the Department of Clinical Nutrition at Rush University in Chicago.

(1) Reader Comment

  1. This is one of my favorite recipes. I love the maple flavoring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *