We all have those side dishes around Thanksgiving and the holidays that are our jam, right? The one that you look forward to more than the entree…my aunt’s sweet potato casserole is that go-to for me. It’s sweet, savory, warm, creamy and crunchy all at the same time and somehow you never feel like you have enough. BUT, I hate to be the buzz kill, however we do need to exercise moderation especially during this foodie season. This recipe will totally help you do that without sacrificing the goodness that is Sweet Potato Casserole.
Casseroles are definitely one food that isn’t associated with healthy. But you know at NS I’m all about a challenge to take a traditionally unhealthy food and put a healthy spin on it. Some of my favorites are the Healthy Donut Holes, Raw Lavender Cheesecake, Spaghetti Squash with Chickpea Meatballs, Blissed Out Black Bean Burgers, Sweet Potato Toast, and Lentil Sloppy Joes. Just because you’re practicing a whole foods lifestyle (or vegan, gluten free, paleo, etc.) doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some of your favorite foods! So today we have a classic NS twist on my Thanksgiving favorite, sweet potato casserole.
As I stated earlier, you can still enjoy the holidays, just remember to enjoy everything in moderation! This sweet potato casserole is much healthier than the classic comfort food version since it has no dairy and no refined sugar. Maple syrup is a much better choice for a sweetener than refined or cane sugar, but it still is a sweetener that can spike blood sugar if you consume too much! (Read more on sugars here.) My general rule of thumb when it comes to holiday dinners and indulging, in general, is to watch your serving sizes and be sure to balance out with a good serving of healthy greens and lots of water to help your body digest.
My sweet potato casserole is sweetened a bit with maple syrup, but it gets its creaminess from coconut butter and coconut milk instead of traditional dairy based butter. Never had coconut butter? Get ready to find your new favorite butter substitute! Coconut butter is an amazing alternative to butter and is versatile enough to sub in baking recipes or spread on a piece of toast. Plus, sweet potatoes, like carrots and other orange colored fruits and vegetables, contain beta-carotene that gets converted into vitamin A in our body. Vitamin A is important for hair, skin, nails, vision, and plays a key role in immune function. So even though you are indulging a bit, you can rest assured that you’re also giving your body essential nutrients!
If you’re not a huge fan of the pecan and maple syrup combination, you can opt for a crunchy oat and seed mixture that’s sweetened with maple syrup like the topping on the Raw Cheesecake Parfait. This Sweet Potato Casserole can also be made vegan by omitting the eggs. You’ll still get a delicious bake, but it will be more similar to mashed sweet potatoes than a casserole. Still a delicious option in my book, though!
- 4 medium sweet potatoes (about 4 cups cubed)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons coconut butter
- 1/2 cup canned full fat coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the topping:
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
- Put sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan with water to cover. Cook over medium until soft. Transfer to a high-speed blender and add eggs, coconut butter, coconut milk, vanilla, and maple syrup. Blend until smooth.
- Transfer to a 9×13 inch baking dish well greased with coconut oil.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine pecans, maple syrup, cinnamon, and sea salt until evenly coated. Pour mixture on top of sweet potato mixture, bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until the topping is lightly brown.
- Store leftovers in an airtight glass container for 1 week, reheat on the stove or in the oven.
Try the Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole with these other healthy sides to complete your Thanksgiving meal:
What do you think about this Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole? Do you have a favorite classic dish for the holidays you want to see remade NS style? Share in the comments what you think so I can know what to make for the blog next! And if you make it at home, be sure to share on Instagram with #nutritionstripped so I can see!