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Sweet Potato Pecan Casserole

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Ahh the humble sweet potato – a seasonal favourite, making frequent appearances at holiday dinners and food-centric social gatherings alike. But is it a vegetable? Starch? Do it right and it might even be a dessert! It doesn’t matter so much how you categorize this nutritious food (though it is a starchy root veggie, for the record), what matters is that it is included (at least occasionally, but ideally fairly regularly) in your meals!

Offering a host of nutritional benefits (including antioxidant capacity and anti-inflammatory & blood sugar-regulating nutrients), sweet potatoes are a fantastic source of complex carbs and fibre. They are also high in B vitamins (namely, B6, 3, 2 & 1), vitamin C, and beta-carotene (which is converted to vitamin A in our bodies!). The intensity of the sweet potato’s yellow or orange flesh is directly correlated to its beta-carotene content – so I recommend choosing the deepest, darkest orange variety available. And as vitamin A is one of the fat soluble vitamins (ie. it is absorbed through the small intestine with dietary fat), to get the maximum benefit from this food include some fat in your sweet potato-containing meals – in this recipe I chose to use pecans.

As sweet potatoes are super versatile, readily available this time of year, and absolutely delicious, if you happen to find a good sale on these starchy root vegetables, why not buy extra! Consider trying them roasted, puréed, steamed, baked, or grilled. You could add them to soups or stews, bake small cubes as a salad topper, or purée the orange flesh to use as a crudité dip. Since cold temperature negatively alters their taste, if you won’t be using them right away, store your sweet potatoes in a cool dry place (such as in your pantry or below your stove).

Highlights of making this recipe:

  • This recipe contains many ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen and the extra ingredients that you may need to purchase are typically inexpensive.
  • Preparing this recipe takes under 15 minutes of prep time in the kitchen and the dish is ready to eat in under one hour.
  • The recipe is made using a single bowl so very minimal clean-up is required. And as the majority of dishes can be cleaned while the casserole is baking, it can be enjoyed fresh out of the oven.
  • This casserole stores well in the refrigerator covered in it’s baking dish for up to five days, or can be stored in the freezer for several weeks.

 

This dish would be a fantastic, nutrient dense addition to your holiday meal, contributing nicely to balancing your macros (the recipe is low fat and sugar, and high fibre). It is also a great dish to bring to potluck style gatherings – be it a sit down meal, or a stand and socialize type of do. This nourishing, veggie based, dessert-like meal addition will likely become a favourite at the dinner or buffet table – a favourite that you can feel really good about enjoying.

Macros per 1/9 Recipe Serving

Calories: 275
Protein: 7 g
Fat: 4.5 g
Carbohydrates:  53 g
Sugar: 2.5 g
Fibre: 8 g

 

Print Recipe
Sweet Potato Casserole
Ground cinnamon and sticks
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
8 x 8-inch pan
Ingredients
Casserole
Garnish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
8 x 8-inch pan
Ingredients
Casserole
Garnish
Ground cinnamon and sticks
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mist an 8 x 8-inch oven-safe baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. Using a potato masher, slotted spoon or large fork, roughly mash sweet potatoes.
  4. Add syrup, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, stevia and salt; stir mixture until fully combined (the potatoes should still be a little lumpy).
  5. Pour and evenly spread the sweet potato mixture in the prepared baking dish.
  6. Mix the brown sugar, graham cracker crumbs, and pecans; sprinkle over the potato mixture. Bake casserole until it begins to brown around the edges, 40-45 minutes.
  7. Portion casserole 3 x 3.
Recipe Notes

*Cut raw sweet potatoes into quarters to reduce cooking time

**Steam or boil the sweet potatoes with the skin on until well cooked. When they are cooked, the skin should easily peel off. And don’t let this fibrey goodness go to waste! I recommend using the skin in stuffing you may be preparing for the holidays – this sweet potato skin stores well in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer if you don’t plan to use it for a few weeks.

Tip! To make your own graham cracker crumbs: Simply crush-up regular graham crackers; about 2 crackers makes 2 tbsp of crumbs.
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Virginia Clough

Virginia Clough, RD

As a dietitian, I love all things food - be it cooking (experimenting with flavours to create new recipes and altering classic recipes to improve their nutritional profile), reading nutrition related articles or enjoying nutritious and delicious foods. I hope that you enjoy your visit, and find some helpful tips worth sharing!