I finally made a whole food version of one of my childhood holiday favorites…healthy sweet potato casserole and I topped with with a molasses candied nut crunch instead of the traditional refined sugar and white flour crumble. Mind blown right?
I was never one for the marshmallow topped yams, sorry folks I never meet a marshmallow that I liked. But I did however swoon over the sweet potato casserole filled with white sugar, brown sugar and topped with more (you guess it) sugar. I look back and I can now see why my sugar addicted self was in love with this holiday casserole and looked forward to it every year.
The women (and dietitian) that I am today knows better and finds these sugar filled recipes overkill on the sweetness. When making over recipes like these the first thing I do is decrease the sugar, the second thing is to find other more natural ways to add some sweetness, and the third thing is that is must still taste amazing.
Sweet potatoes are called sweet for a reason and I no longer find it necessary to dump loads of sugar into an otherwise nutritious food. I took a much more healthy route and added a roasted apple. Roasting the fruit brings out even more of the natural sugars and adds the perfect touch of sweetness to this dish. I skipped the brown sugar, butter, and white flour crust on top and opted to keep the crunch with a much healthier and nutritious mixture of hazelnuts, pecans, and pumpkin seeds flavored with molasses. A touch of molasses is all that you need and it it my secret weapon to packing a flavor punch.
I am definitely starting a new holiday tradition with this sweet potato casserole and I have a feeling that it is going to be a big hit. I already have an idea of how I am going to use the leftovers so I might have to make a double batch.
A whole food version of a holiday classic with way less sugar then the original. Creamy, slightly sweet filling with a crunchy candied nut topping.
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 1/2 medium butternut squash (about 2 cups cooked)
- 1 large apple (I used a braeburn but any will do)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil or grass fed butter
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 inch fresh ginger, grated
- 1/4 cup raw hazelnuts, chopped
- 1/2 cup raw pecans, chopped
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 tablespoon unsulfured molasses
- pinch sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut the butternut squash in half and place flesh side down in a pan with 1/2 in water.
- Place the butternut squash and whole sweet potatoes (I just put them on the oven rack) and roast until tender about 25-30 minutes.
- Cut the apple in cubes (I leave the skin on), coat in a little coconut oil, and place on a small lined baking sheet and roast for 5-10 minutes until tender and slightly caramelized.
- Let the squash, potatoes, and apple cool.
- Once cooled scrape the flesh from the squash (about 2 cups) and remove the skins from the sweet potatoes.
- Add the squash, sweet potato, apple, coconut oil, cinnamon, and ginger to a food processor and blend until smooth (you can also do this by hand with a potato masher if you like a chunkier texture).
- Pour the mixture into a 1.5 quart baking dish.
- In a small bowl add the chopped nuts, pumpkin seeds, salt, and drizzle in the molasses mixing until the nuts and seeds are coated.
- Sprinkle the mixture on top of the sweet potato mixture.
- Bake uncovered at a 350 degrees to warm through and the nut mixture is slightly crispy being careful not to burn them about 20-30 minutes.
- ***if you are making this ahead of time warm up in the oven lightly covered for 30-35 minutes and then remove the cover for an additional 10 minutes of baking.
*choose organic ingredients when possible.