Lightened-Up Sweet Potato Casserole

As I mentioned in this post, I didn't experience the beauty of sweet potatoes until just a few years ago.  Due to their numerous health benefits, sweet potatoes have become my favorite root vegetable. 

I grew up eating white potatoes loaded with butter and sour cream.  I've tried learning to love white potatoes on their own or "lightened up", but I just find myself compensating with salt.  To my relief, I love sweet potatoes loaded up and on their own.  However, not everyone feels the same way about this festive vegetable and may enjoy them sweetened up.  

Here is the perfect meet-you-in-the-middle sweet potato casserole.  I left the sweet potato layer pretty basic and simple, so you can taste the actual sweet potatoes (if that's your thing) and topped it with a sweet, buttery oatmeal pecan crumble.  You can always add more sugar if you prefer it super sweet.  Since I prefer leaving the sweet stuff for dessert, I may try it with less sugar next time.  I gave half of this casserole to my husbands grandmother who is on a low(ish) sugar diet, and she loved them!  I also feasted on them for lunch two days in a row (always going back for seconds).

The best part about this casserole is that it is super easy to prepare and can even be prepared ahead of time, either part way or fully.

Lightened-Up Sweet Potato Casserole

Prep Time:  40 minutes  /  Cook Time:  25 minutes  /  Total Time:  1 hour 5 minutes
Servings:  8 (approx.)
 

Ingredients

Potato Layer:

2.5 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 Tbsp milk (cow, almond, goat, etc.)
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp brown sugar (or maple syrup)
1/2 tsp salt

Oatmeal Pecan Crumble Layer:

2/3 cup steel-cut oats
1 Tbsp white whole wheat flour
2/3 cup unsalted pecans, chopped
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp. butter, softened
pinch of salt

Method:

  1. Peel and chop sweet potatoes into 1-inch thick cubes.  Add potatoes to a pot of cold water and bring to a boil.  Boil sweet potatoes until fork tender (approx. 25-30 minutes). 
  2. While potatoes are boiling, preheat oven to 375 degrees F and spray an oven-safe dish with cooking spray.  I used a 10" x 2" tart pan.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the oats, flour, chopped pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.  Add in your softened butter, using your hands to completely incorporate it with the dry ingredients.
  4. Drain potatoes and add to a large bowl.  Add milk, butter, brown sugar (or maple syrup) and salt.  Using a potato masher, mash and mix the potatoes and other ingredients until smooth and combined.  Spread evenly into your prepared baking pan.
  5. Finally, sprinkle your crumble mixture evenly over the top of the sweet potatoes.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until nuts and oats are golden brown.

Note:  this recipe is as simple as it gets.  You can whip your potatoes in a standing mixer until they are light and fluffy, however, I find it easier to simply mash it all together.  You can also save time by boiling your potatoes the day before and refrigerate them until you are ready to use them.

Enjoy!

 

Two

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