Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole
Perfect for the holidays or as a side dish! Bonus - vegan, gluten-free and naturally lower in sugar.
Let’s be honest, the only time I think about eating sweet potato casserole is during Thanksgiving; amiright?! Like a complete cooked turkey, it seems like sweet potato casserole only falls within a Thanksgiving side dish category.
Maybe after you make this, you can see that this side dish can be made year-round! I’m thankful for that because when recipe testing a month before Thanksgiving, I was glad this could be eaten with most any dishes. For example, we had this casserole with my pecan crusted spiced salmonand broccolini and it was amazing!
When it comes to sweet potato casserole, I have noticed the toppings can fall within two categories: marshmallows or with a crunchy texture. I fall in the crunchy texture category 100%! Personally, I am not the biggest fan of marshmallows (I know, I know -- crazy, right?). If you enjoy marshmallows, you can still go that route.
What I love about this recipe and what sets this casserole apart from the rest is the secret ingredient: oranges. After watching Samin Nosrat’s Salt Fat Acid Heat on Netflix, she made a good point that many Thanksgiving dishes lack acid which is why cranberry sauce is often served. With that in mind, I knew I needed to change that! I’m so glad I did because the orange zest and juices completely elevate the spices and sweetness in the sweet potatoes perfectly!
The rest of the ingredients are pretty standard for a traditional sweet potato casserole sans butter and heaping cups of sugar. To make them naturally sweeter without adding so much sugar, I simply baked the sweet potatoes instead of boiling them to maintain their natural sweetness.
With Thanksgiving in mind, I would bake the sweet potatoes a day before the big day so that when you are at the point of cooking all your casseroles/side dishes, you will just need to prepare the mixture and topping and pop them in the oven 23-30 minutes. It’s that easy.
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo to #fromtherootsblog on Instagram. We love seeing what you come up with!
Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole with a crunchy nut topping - Perfect for the holidays or as a side dish! Bonus - vegan, gluten-free and naturally lower in sugar.
3 large sweet potatoes
1 cup plant based milk
1/4 cup orange juice (1/2 orange)
Zest of 1/2 orange
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
2-4 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
Crunchy Nut Topping
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/3 cup GF old fashioned oats (regular is fine)
1/3 cup GF all purpose flour (regular is fine)
1/2 cup light organic brown sugar (coconut sugar is fine)
4 Tbsp cubed coconut oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Use a fork to poke holes in sweet potatoes and place potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet.
Roast for about 45 min to an hour or until fork tender. Allow potatoes to cool for 5-10 minutes before discarding the skin.
Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees while potatoes are cooling. Spray an 8x8 inch pan or a 1 ½ quart to 2-quart oven safe baking dish with nonstick cooking oil. Set aside for later.
Place sweet potato flesh in a large bowl and add milk, seasonings, orange juice and zest, and maple syrup. Use an electric mixer or potato masher to beat mixture until smooth and creamy.
Pour mixture into a prepared baking pan and smooth top.
To make the crunchy nut topping: Whisk together nuts, oats, flour, sugar and oil.
Sprinkle topping all over the sweet potato mixture.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
You can make this casserole ahead of time! Cover and place in the fridge. When ready, bake as directed.
If you do not have coconut oil, you can use vegan or regular butter.
Don’t make the mistake I did and use quick oats! First bake is crunchy but reheating will make the topping mushy so use old fashioned oats!