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 Since I’m a lawyer, the first question I would ask upon seeing the title of this post is, “Healthier than what?” Well, healthier than the sweet potato casserole my grandmother used to make at Thanksgiving. It had 1 cup of sugar in the potatoes alone, never mind the topping. It’s no wonder that my brother and I dubbed it “Thanksgiving Candy.”

I remember loving it to bits and demanding it each Thanksgiving, but over the years it sort of fell by the wayside. I decided to make my grandmother’s sweet potato casserole one year in law school and discovered that the dish was maybe a little too sweet. And the potatoes were kind of runny. And the topping just kind of melted into the potatoes. Truth be told, I was pretty disillusioned by the whole experience and haven’t made them since.

So you can imagine my mom’s surprise when I called her up and asked for the recipe this fall. There was a dramatic pause at the other end of the line followed by a “are you sure?” Mom was much comforted when I explained that my plan was to update the dish — tone down the crazy sugar and make it a little healthier. Or at least not as bad for you.

Oh, and since I promised my neighbor gluten-free sweet potato casserole and completely forgot that there was flour in the topping, I’ve included an alternate topping that uses quick cooking oats in lieu of flour.

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Filling:

1 1/2 lbs peeled Sweet Potatoes
2 Tbsp Butter or Coconut Oil
1/4 C Milk
2 Tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
Pinch freshly grated Nutmeg
2 Eggs

Topping:

1/2 C roughly ground Pecans
1/4 C Dark Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp Flour
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Salt
Pinch freshly grated Nutmeg
2 Tbsp Butter, cold

Gluten-Free alternative topping:

1/2 C Pecans
1/2 C Quick Cooking Oats
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
Pinch freshly grated Nutmeg
3 Tbsp Coconut Oil

 

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Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Slice the sweet potatoes into pieces about 1/3 inch thick. Steam the slices until soft — about 20 minutes. Mash the potatoes with a fork.

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Stir the butter into the sweet potatoes until melted, followed by the milk, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Lightly beat the eggs and add them to the sweet potatoes.

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To make the topping, combine the pecans, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in a bowl. Whisk them to evenly distribute the ingredients and then cut or rub in the butter until the butter is thoroughly worked into dry ingredients and a crumble forms.

*If you are using the gluten-free topping, the process of combining the dry ingredients and then working in the oil is exactly the same.

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Spread the sweet potatoes into a 7×7″ or 8×8″ pan and cover with the topping.

 

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Cook in the oven for 34 to 45 minutes — until the topping has browned and the filling is hot and bubbly. Take the casserole out of the oven and serve hot.

 

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Healthier Sweet Potato Casserole
 
Recipe By:

Ingredients
  • Filling:
  • 1½ lbs peeled Sweet Potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp Butter or Coconut Oil
  • ¼ C Milk
  • 2 Tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Cinnamon
  • Pinch freshly grated Nutmeg
  • 2 Eggs
  • Topping:
  • ½ C roughly ground Pecans
  • ¼ C Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Flour
  • ¼ tsp Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • Pinch freshly grated Nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp Butter, cold
  • Gluten-Free alternative topping:
  • ½ C Pecans
  • ½ C Quick Cooking Oats
  • 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Cinnamon
  • Pinch freshly grated Nutmeg
  • 3 Tbsp Coconut Oil

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Slice the sweet potatoes into pieces about ⅓ inch thick. Steam the slices until soft — about 20 minutes. Mash the potatoes with a fork.
  3. Stir the butter into the sweet potatoes until melted, followed by the milk, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Lightly beat the eggs and add them to the sweet potatoes.
  4. To make the topping, combine the pecans, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in a bowl. Whisk them to evenly distribute the ingredients and then cut or rub in the butter until the butter is thoroughly worked into dry ingredients and a crumble forms.
  5. *If you are using the gluten-free topping, the process of combining the dry ingredients and then working in the oil is exactly the same.
  6. Spread the sweet potatoes into a 7×7″ or 8×8″ pan and cover with the topping.
  7. Cook in the oven for 34 to 45 minutes — until the topping has browned and the filling is hot and bubbly. Take the casserole out of the oven and serve hot.

 

 

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