We love keeping a jar of coconut oil in our pantry because we love the delicate coconut character it adds. Look for unrefined coconut oil (often labeled as “virgin” or “extra-virgin”). These are typically made from the first pressing of fresh, raw coconut without any added chemicals and have a mild coconut flavor and scent. This recipe is gluten-free as well as vegan and tastes absolutely delicious. You really cannot beat these coconut oil roasted sweet potatoes. The maple syrup sweetens things up just enough, the cinnamon adds a little spice and the pecans add a nutty crunch.
1 1/2 tablespoons virgin or extra-virgin coconut oil
4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup pecan halves
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Add coconut oil to a large rimmed baking sheet and place into the oven until the coconut oil melts, about a minute.
Mound the potatoes on top of the melted coconut oil then add the maple syrup, salt, cinnamon and black pepper. Toss until the sweet potatoes are well coated with the oil, maple syrup and spices.
Spread the potatoes in an even layer. Roast, tossing occasionally, until soft and caramelized, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Add the pecans and roast another 5 minutes until the nuts are warmed and lightly toasted.