Thanksgiving is a time for family and good food (lots of food…lots of bad food!). Dishes that make their way to the Thanksgiving table are usually loaded with dairy (mashed potatoes, whipped cream), sugar (pie, sweet potatoes), processed ingredients (marshmallows, cranberry sauce from a can) and rancid oils (store bought dressings). Luckily, WLB is here to give you a slew of healthy, flavorful alternatives and healthier versions of your favorite Thanksgiving dishes. Sweet Potato Casserole is a Thanksgiving staple that we’ve cleaned up without sacrificing flavor.
Despite tasting like a dessert, sweet potatoes actually stabilize blood sugar levels because of their high fiber content, which also promotes proper colon function. Combined with cinnamon (which can also stabilize blood sugar) this casserole may taste like a dessert, but it doesn’t have the negative side effects. Beta carotene, which gives this vegetable its orange color, fights oxidation in the body and promotes lung health making sweet potatoes great for past and current smokers. Interestingly, sweet potatoes aren’t potatoes at all meaning they are not members of the nightshade family which can be inflammatory, especially for people with arthritis.
Slow roasting the sweet potatoes with butter and spices instead of boiling and pureeing them is not only an easier way to make this dish, but it brings out the natural sweetness and eliminates the need for extra sugar. Most sweet potato casserole recipes add unnecessary sugar or used canned sweet potatoes floating in corn syrup then top it off with the artificial nastiness that is the marshmallow, sending the sugar content through the roof. That’s right: no marshmallows in this recipe. Topping the sweet potatoes with maple pecans instead of marshmallows brings cleaner but still delicious flavors to this sweet Thanksgiving staple.
- 4-5 sweet potatoes (3 lbs)*
- 1/4 cup butter or coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup Pecans
- 3 tbsp Maple syrup
- 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- 2. Combine sweet potato with spices and butter and mix well.
- 3. Place into 8X8 cake pan. Bake for 30 minutes until sweet potatoes are nearly soft.
- 4. Meanwhile, mix pecans and maple syrup together.
- 5. Remove sweet potatoes from oven and top with pecans.
- 6. Put pan back into the oven and continue baking for an additional 20 minutes until potatoes are soft and pecans are lightly toasted.
- *Because the potatoes aren’t being boiled you can keep the skin on for extra fiber.
- **Can sub 2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
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