December 13, 2011

No Buttermilk, Yes Sweet Potato Biscuits

I’m a planner.

When I start my day, I usually know how I want to spend every single second of it. I overstuff and jigsaw errands, work, and various activities, until  everything I want to accomplish snuggly fits within the hours of daylight (and many in the dark) that I have to play with.

But I’m also human.

Which means my perfectly stacked agendas easily crumble to pieces when a last minute doctor’s appointment, broken lock, minor kitchen fire, or two hour wait at the social security office completely throws off the schedule.

Of course, at this point in my life, I’m starting to get used to the idea of twists and turns. I think I’m getting better at rolling with them. And I plan to keep practicing in the new year.

But in the meantime, when those perfectly organized weeks fall apart, I am going to think about these no buttermilk, yes sweet potato biscuits. Which were – amazingly – made just according to plan.

On the morning of Thanksgiving, I suddenly decided that I would try my hand at baking a salt-free version of buttermilk biscuits. A task that I was fitting into an already busy morning of making two stuffings, my turkeys, gravy, and green beans. It was a recipe I had never tried before, with multiple high-sodium ingredients that needed complicated low-sodium substitutions – because in baking, swapping out ingredients can get tricky.

It should have spelled complete and utter disaster.

But in an unlikely moment of good luck, the biscuits turned out. They baked, they flaked, they got nods of approval from all who ate them. And they totally disappeared.

So for all the moments and plans that don’t work out, there’s always a buttermilk biscuit success story. Hold on tight to those. Because it is a reminder of all the things that eventually go your way.

They also happen to taste really good.

Chow on.

Low-Sodium Sweet Potato Biscuits (adapted from recipe)


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading and shaping
  • 2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sodium-free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sodium-free baking soda
  • 6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus 2 extra tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/3 cup FAGE Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup canned sweet potato puree, chilled

*canned pumpkin or sweet potato tend to be extremely low in sodium if not sodium-free(be sure to check the label), but you can also always make the puree from scratch (if you have time!)


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, sodium-free baking powder, and sodium-free baking soda. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the chilled butter until mixture resembles coarse meal, with some pea-sized lumps of butter remaining. This is what makes biscuits so flaky.

In a small bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt, one tablespoon of melted butter, and 2 tablespoons of water. Add the sweet potato puree and combine. Then stir quickly into flour mixture, careful to not over-mix. If the dough is too sticky, work in up to 1/4 cup additional flour at a time until it has a soft, pillowy, dough-like texture.

Now it’s time to shape the biscuits. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead very gently until dough comes together but is still slightly lumpy, five or six times. Shape into a disk and pat to an even 1-inch thickness.

With a floured 2-inch biscuit cutter, cut out biscuits as close together as possible. Gather together scraps, and repeat to cut out more biscuits–do not reuse scraps more than once.

Arrange biscuits snugly in pan to help them stay upright. Brush with remaining melted butter. Bake until golden, rotating once, 20 to 25 minutes.









Hannah December 14, 2011 at 3:23 pm

What wonderful looking biscuits! I adore your recipes Jess, thanks so much for all your exciting hard work and cooking tips – they’ve given me such inspiration and marvelous strategies and I love enticing my boyfriend over to the computer to share my passion of your latest concoction before I jump into the kitchen!

jessg23 December 15, 2011 at 9:44 am

Love it! Thanks, Hannah!

Guido Vosconi February 18, 2012 at 4:15 pm

I want to Thank you for sharing these recipes. My Wife has become Ill with her liver and told to cut the salt…. Your willingness to share gives me ways to cook things she has always loved to eat .. but without the damaging salt. Thank You so much You are a true Blessing

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: