Mashed sweet potatoes with a hint of honey and cinnamon topped with warm peanut butter, crunchy nuts and banana slices is one epically delicious breakfast bowl.
Meal Prep Hints
- How to make ahead: This entire recipe can be made and assembled ahead of time except for adding the banana slices. I recommend waiting to add the sliced banana until right before eating to keep it from browning. Store in a sealed container in the fridge. When it comes time to eat, warm in the microwave for 30 seconds or until you reach the desired temperature. I love making this recipe ahead of time and warming it in the microwave because the peanut butter is warm and melted. So tasty!
- How to pack up for an on-the-go breakfast: Store each serving of this recipe in individual food storage containers. That way you can just grab one on your way out the door!
Cooking Sweet Potatoes
- Why we bake sweet potatoes in the oven: Cooking sweet potatoes low and slow in the oven helps break down the natural sugars of the sweet potatoes making them deliciously sweet without needing to add a ton of extra sugar or sweeteners.
- But we also cook them in the microwave when we’re short on time. Here’s how: Pierce the potatoes several times using a fork or a knife. This will keep them from exploding and making a mess in your microwave! Next wet a paper towel, wring out any excess water and wrap the moist paper towel around the sweet potato. Place the sweet potato in the microwave for 4-5 minutes. Flip the sweet potato and cook for an additional 2-4 minutes or until the sweet potato is cooked through.
- How to tell if sweet potatoes are done cooking: Insert a paring knife into the top of the sweet potato. If it goes in and out very easily with no resistance, the potato is likely done. It should look a little deflated and wrinkly. It will also be nice and soft if you give it a squeeze but be careful! It will be hot!
Sweet Potato Size
- Which size sweet potatoes to use: The size of sweet potatoes range from as small as your palm to as massive as a child’s football. This recipe calls for “medium” sweet potatoes to ensure the recipe is filling enough for a breakfast without totally throwing portion control out the window. I’d say a medium sweet potato is roughly the length of an iPhone (6) or a small hand. Sidebar – Fun fact, I have small hobbit hands! HOWEVER, just because this recipe calls for “medium” sweet potatoes, do not spend any extra time searching for the right sized sweet potato. Use whatever size is readily available and use your best judgement to make adjustments if needed. For example, if you have really small sweet potatoes maybe use three instead of two. If you have really large sweet potatoes trying using 1-1.5 sweet potatoes instead of 2 medium.
Exact Measurements Aren’t Always Necessary
- Why we use a vague term like “medium” sweet potatoes: I know there are a lot of folks out there that are all about precision. I’m not one of them for a couple reasons. One, not always relying on exact measurements makes you better and more confident in the kitchen! Two, for me cooking becomes stressful and unenjoyable if every recipe I make requires an exact amount for every ingredient. Don’t get me wrong, exact measurements are incredibly important in some recipes (especially when baking!) but for many recipes the tedious time-consuming task of always using exact measurements is unnecessary. The sweet potatoes in this recipe are the perfect example.
- Medium sweet potatoes tell you to quickly grab the ingredient at the store or pull it out of your pantry. If you have tiny sweet potatoes or huge sweet potatoes, you will naturally adjust accordingly using your best judgement. This requires little time and effort.
- 1/2 lb. of sweet potatoes tells you to go to the store and weigh different combinations of sweet potatoes until you get to exactly 1/2 lb. If you already have sweet potatoes at home, you either pull out a kitchen scale (if you happen to have one) or you google how much a medium sweet potato weighs. A bit more time and effort, right? In reality this recipe will have no noticeable impact if you use a sweet potato that is slightly smaller or slightly larger than the ones I used.
Yams vs. Sweet Potatoes
- Is it a sweet potato? Is it a yam? Huh? Have you ever been at the grocery store picking up sweet potatoes and noticed the label says Yams instead of Sweet Potatoes? Then it made you question everything you thought you knew about your beloved sweet potatoes? Well you aren’t alone and here’s why this is a common area of confusion.
- Yams and sweet potatoes are different. A yam is not a variety of sweet potato and a sweet potato is not a variety of yam. They aren’t related and are two entirely different things. Real yams are actually pretty rare and it is likely you’ve never eaten one.
- Yams seen at most US grocery stores aren’t yams. There are several varieties of sweet potatoes. In the US, it has become common practice to label soft sweet potatoes (brown/copper skin and orange flesh) as yams and label hard sweet potatoes (light brown skin and pale flesh) as sweet potatoes.
- Don’t let the grocery store fool you. Just reach for the pretty orange sweet potatoes even if they are labeled as yams. They’re the sweet potatoes we’re looking for!
Flavor & Ingredient Hints
- How to easily adjust sweetness: The level of sweetness is entirely based on personal preference. This is where the honey comes in handy. If you prefer extra sweetness, include the honey in the recipe. If you don’t need extra sweetness, skip the honey. Not sure? Taste it and go from there! Although I like it both ways, I tend to skip the honey while my hubs, Hot Tom, would never consider such a thing because he likes his breakfast bowls extra sweet!
- How to switch it up: If you’re looking for more variety and different variations, the key is to switch an ingredient with an ingredient in the same category. For example, pecans add nutty crunch. Swap them out for pretty much any other nut. You could also get creative and swap out the pecans for other crunchy toppings like crispy puffed quinoa, a sprinkle of rice crispies or even some shredded coconut! Swap out peanut butter for another nut butter or even give Nutella a try! Substitute sliced banana for another fruit like blueberries.
Other Sweet Potato Recipes
Peanut Butter Banana Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 1/2-1 Tbsp. honey
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 banana
- 2 Tbsp. peanut butter
- 1/4 cup pecans
- Prep Sweet Potatoes: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Use a fork or knife to pierce the sweet potatoes several times. Wrap the sweet potatoes in tin foil and place on a sheet pan.
- Cook Sweet Potatoes*: Put the sheet pan in the preheated oven for 55-65 minutes or until cooked through**.
- Mash Potatoes: Once they are cool enough to handle, cut sweet potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop the insides into a medium sized bowl. Discard the peels. Add the honey and cinnamon to the bowl and mash the potatoes until you're reached your desired consistency (I like mine with a few lumps!).
- Add Toppings: Cut the banana into slices. Roughly chop the pecans. Top each serving of mashed sweet potatoes with 1/2 banana slices, a tablespoon of peanut butter and 1-2 tablespoons of chopped pecans.