I was so excited to think up of making these jack-o-lantern faces and ghosts with roasted sweet potato slices– something healthy and festive.
I didn’t find out until after I had made them, and did a little surfing online, that someone had already done the sweet potato jack-o-lantern faces last year.
I chose some pretty large (orange fleshed) sweet potatoes for the jack-o-lanterns.
Peel the sweet potatoes, then cut them into 3/16″ to 1/4″ thick slices.
Use Jack-o-lantern face cutters to cut out the eyes and mouth. Because the potato slices are so hard, I placed the cutters where I wanted them on the slice, then placed the flat edge of my chopping knife on top and pressed down.
Grease a large baking sheet with 2 T. oil.
Place the jack-o-lantern faces down, rubbing them in the oil a little, then turn them over so that now both sides are coated lightly with oil.
Sprinkle lightly with sea salt if you like, then roast at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes until they are tender.
I found that using coconut oil made the bottoms brown too much and almost burn, so next I used safflower oil, which I had on hand.
Safflower, sunflower, and grapeseed oils are all good oils to use when roasting at 400 degrees, since their smoking point is above 400 degrees. Once an oil reaches its smoking point, it begins to degrade and form a lot of free radicals, which are carcinogenic.
For the ghosts, choose smallish, yellow fleshed sweet potatoes. I like ones with a slight curve at one end; they look more ghost-like.
Peel and slice lengthwise into 3/16″ to 1/4″ slices. Place them on greased baking sheets like the jack-o-lantern faces, and turn them over to coat both sides.Sprinkle lightly with sea salt, and roast for 20 minutes or until tender. Remove from the oven and let cool for 1-2 minutes. Use a spatula to loosen them from the pan, but leave them in the pan.
When they are cool enough to handle with your hands, use a large diameter plastic straw ( here I used a straw I had washed and saved from a Boba drink) to cut out the eyes.
Boba drink straws have one end that is flat, and the other end that is cut diagonally to create a sharp tip to pierce the the plastic cover of the boba drink. For oval shaped eyes, squeeze near the flat end of the straw to make the opening oval shaped before cutting each eye out. If you want round eyes, just leave the straw as is before cutting the eyes out.
These don’t cut out as neatly as using cutters when the potatoes are raw, but I didn’t have any tiny oval cutters.
Cooking the potatoes first made them soft enough to use the boba drink straw to cut out the eyes. Eh, they’re pretty tasty and cute anyway.
The lighter ones are made from russet potatoes– those take a little longer to cook (~5 minutes more).
There you go… Halloween appetizer, snack, or side dish.
Don’t mind if the kids gobble these up, in fact I’ll probably join them!
- Sea salt
- Large orange fleshed sweet potatoes (3″ to 4″ diameter)
- Small yellow fleshed sweet potatoes (1-1/2″ to 2″ diameter)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease each large baking sheet with 2 T. oil.
- Peel the sweet potatoes. Slice crosswise into 3/16″ to ¼” slices. Use small jack-o-lantern cutters to cut out the eyes and mouth for each slice. Because the potatoes are so hard, place a small flat plate on top of the cutters, and press down to help the cutters push through the raw potato. Place the jack-o-lantern faces onto the greased baking sheet in a single layer, rubbing them gently into the oil, then turn them over.
- Sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Bake for 20 minutes, or until tender.
- Peel the sweet potatoes. Slice lengthwise into 3/16″ to 14″ slices. Place them onto the greased baking sheet in a single layer, rubbing them gently into the oil, then turn them over. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.
- Bake the pans for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Remove from oven and let cool 1-2 minutes. Loosen the slices from the baking sheet with a spatula, then leave them in the pan until they are cool enough to handle with your hands.
- Use a large diameter plastic straw, like one from a Boba drink, to cut out the eyes. Boba drink straws have one end that is flat, and the other end that is cut diagonally to create a sharp tip to pierce the the plastic cover of the boba drink. For oval shaped eyes, squeeze near the flat end of the straw to make the opening oval shaped before cutting each eye out. If you want round eyes, just leave the straw as is before cutting the eyes out.
- Small russet potatoes may also be used. The slices take about 5 minutes longer to cook than the sweet potato slices.