Side Dishes

Side Dishes
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Sweet Potato Kugel

By 3FC

A Sweet Pudding for A Sweet Year

from the American Institute for Cancer Research

Americans usually think of puddings as sweet desserts. Throughout much of history, however, puddings were savory side dishes.

Corn puddings are common in the American South, and the Shakers made a tomato pudding with layers of sliced tomatoes and bread. In East European Jewish households, savory puddings called kugels are common, using noodles or potatoes, and sometimes meat and vegetables as well.

In America, kugels are traditionally served on Jewish holidays and at the weekly Sabbath dinner. Sweet potato kugel is often served during Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, and to break the fast after Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement. Made with shredded sweet potatoes, a kugel honors the tradition of eating sweet foods to symbolize the sweetness to come in the new year.

Rich in flavor and natural sweetness, sweet potatoes are also a great nutritional bargain. Their deep orange color indicates that they are rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene, which helps protect against cancer and heart disease. Fresh sweet potatoes have more beta-carotene than carrots and more vitamin C than tomatoes.

While the names are often used interchangeably, sweet potatoes and yams are from different species. Sweet potatoes belong to the morning-glory family. Yams belong to a different genus all together. However, sweet potatoes are far more common in the produce section of markets, although sometimes they are labeled as yams. Fresh sweet potatoes don’t store well unless kept in a dry, dark, cool place. They should not be refrigerated.

This recipe for a sweet potato kugel is made with raisins and spices.

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