Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving Recipe #1: Sweet Potato & Apple Casserole

This blog marks my first healthy Thanksgiving recipe of the week (more to come!). Sweet potatoes are my favorite food and most people seem to really enjoy these starchy vegetables on Thanksgiving. However, the typical sweet potato casserole is loaded with sugar and butter, which is completely unnecessary and ruins the integrity of the sweet potato. The problem is that most of these recipes have you boil the sweet potatoes, which is a sin and almost as bad as microwaving a sweet potato. Boiling or microwaving does not allow the potato to develop its sugars and become syrupy on its own. The only way to make this happen is to bake or grill the potato. That is why, for any sweet potato dish, ALWAYS bake or grill, and NEVER microwave or boil.

The following recipe is simple and healthy, and really, you don't need a recipe at all. Each year I add new things and come up with a brand new casserole every Thanksgiving. Here is just a basic recipe to get you thinking of how to make a casserole and adapt it to your tastes and ingredients on hand. You can add vanilla, raisins, dates, oats, whatever you want to it- make it your own!

5 medium sweet potatoes
2 large apples (whatever variety you want)
1/3 cup brown sugar (or you can substitute agave, honey, light maple syrup, Splenda for baking, etc)
Dash of vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup light butter
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Scrub and rinse sweet potatoes. Place in tin foil in pan and bake for about an hour at 375-400 (if you are baking other things, use whatever temperature you want). You want potatoes to be 75% done, not completely soft at this point. Take them out of the oven.

Let potatoes cool and peel (you can use a knife to cut off skins- save and eat later- delicious & nutritious!).

Chop apples with the skin on. Slice potatoes into 1" thick slices. In a small bowl, mix together cinnamon, vanilla, and brown sugar (or sugar substitute).

Spray a baking dish (whatever size will fit the potatoes & apples- 8" x 8" or 9" x 13") with PAM.

Layer apples, potatoes, and spice mixture in pan. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, light butter, and chopped pecans. Spread on top of potatoes & apples.

Bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes until browning and apples & potatoes are soft.


Makes 10 Servings.
Estimation of nutrition using all real, packed brown sugar:
166 Calories, 4.5 g fat, 61 mg sodium, 340 mg potassium, 36 g carb (3.5 g fiber), 2 g protein, 72% DV Vit A, 12% DV B6, 15% DV Vit C, 6% DV Iron)

1 comment:

Lucy said...

This sounds great! I think I just may pass over my traditional Sweet Potato Gratin recipe for this one.