Wednesday, November 27, 2013

THANKSGIVING RECIPE: Kelly's Healthified Sweet Potato & Banana Casserole

Sweet potato casserole is a dish that is unnecessarily made with fat and sugar laden ingredients. I can almost guarantee that you can cut back on the sugar by at least 1/3 and the butter by 1/2, and no one will notice. Even with those modifications, most recipes will still be very unhealthy. When sweet potatoes are baked (ie: not boiled!), their natural sugars are drawn out and they become sweeter. If you bake them with any other fruit (apples, pineapple, banana, figs, etc), you definitely do not need to add any sugar, or at the very least, reduce it. Butter is just an unnecessary ingredient for something like sweet potato casserole if it is just mixed within the casserole. For toppings, it can serve a purpose, but within the casserole it is adding very little flavor and lots of fat and sodium.

Below is my recipe for a whipped sweet potato recipe with bananas, and be sure to check out my post from 2011 for my Sweet Potato & Apple Casserole recipe.
NOTE: This picture is not from the exact recipe, but yours should appear similar

Makes ~12 servings

Casserole Ingredients
1 tsp cinnamon
2 egg whites
2 tsp orange zest
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup light vanilla soy milk (can sub almond or skim)
1/4 c brown sugar
5 medium sweet potatoes
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas
1/2 c plain nonfat yogurt

Topping ingredients
1 tbsp light butter spread
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp honey or agave
1/3 c high fiber cereal mix (pulse in blender any combo of the following: Fiber One, All-bran, Bran Flakes, Trader Joe's High fiber cereal & mixing with KIND Healthy grain clusters or another low-fat granola)

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Rinse & scrub potatoes, poke holes with a knife, then place on baking sheet covered with tin foil. Bake in oven until soft (about 45-60 min).
3. Once potatoes are cooked, place in large bowl and mix in all ingredients except for topping ingredients. Beat with blender until well mixed and whipped.
4. Pour potato mixture into a 13 x 9–inch baking pan coated with cooking spray.
5. To prepare topping, mix a high-fiber cereal with 1 tbsp light butter and 1 tbsp honey (or you can drizzle honey over top of casserole and sprinkle cereal/cinnamon/butter mix on top). Spread over top of casserole.
6. Cover casserole with tin foil and bake about 25 min.
7. After the casserole is baked, uncover and broil until topping is crisp and brown.


Nutrition Info Per serving (1/12 recipe):
120 calories, 1 g fat, 149 mg sodium, 25 g carb (3 g fiber- higher depending on cereal used), 3 g protein, excellent source of Vitamin A.

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