How to make a healthy sweet potato casserole

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Sweet potatoes are more healthy than their white counterpart, and this casserole recipe has even fewer calories than most. Amy Topel, the food columnist for National Geographic's The Green Guide, shows us this healthier recipe for making a mashed sweet potato casserole.

How to make a healthy sweet potato casserole

Chef Amy Topel's sweet potato casserole recipe serves six to eight but it's really easy to double if you are serving a larger crowd.

Method

  1. Start with a pot of cold water and add the sweet potatoes.
  2. Bring potatoes to a boil and cook them until they are very soft, approximately 45 minutes to one hour depending on the size of the potatoes. (Keep checking them by putting a butter knife in them until they are very soft.)
  3. While the sweet potatoes are cooking, prepare the topping by putting a half-cup of whole toasted unsalted almonds and a quarter cup of turbinado sugar into a small food processor and process it till it forms a coarse meal. You don't want it to be completely ground up, but you don’t want any whole almonds either. Set aside.
  4. When the sweet potatoes are finished cooking -- really tender when pierced with a fork -- allow them to cool down, peel and place in a bowl.
  5. Use a whisk until you have mashed the sweet potatoes to your desired consistency.
  6. Add the heavy cream, nutmeg, salt (you can reduce that amount if you don't like things too salty), and the freshly ground black pepper. Mix until it's fully incorporated.
  7. Use a rubber scraper to make sure all ingredients are completely mixed.
  8. Layer the sweet potato mixture into the baking dish. (No need to worry about buttering the baking dish -- it won't stick.)
  9. Even out the level and sprinkle the nut and sugar mixture and sprinkle over the top. (It may seem like it's too much but you really want to use all of this mixture.) Arrange in an even layer and move it around with your hand if necessary.
  10. Bake your sweet potato casserole in a 350-degree oven for about 25 minutes, just until it's warmed through.

Unlike other sweet potato recipes, this classic dish is made easily and without additional calories. It's perfect for your next dinner or as the perfect compliment to your holiday feast.

Transcript

Hi, I'm Amy Topel from The Green Guide for howdini. Sweet potatoes are a staple on many holiday tables and I'm going to show you how to make a quick and easy baked sweet potato dish that will have your guests coming back for seconds. I'm going to show you how to make a really great baked sweet potato dish that is much better than that marshmallow-laden thing you usually have. It's really easy.

We start with a pan of cold water. Add three or four sweet potatoes, large sweet potatoes. We want about three pounds. We're making a recipe that's enough to serve six to eight but it's really easy to double if you want to do that. I'm just going to put the sweet potatoes in cold water, bring them to a boil and cook them until they are very soft. I just keep checking them by putting a butter knife in them. it might take an hour or 45 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes.

While the sweet potatoes are cooking I'm going to make the topping and it's really simple. We're just going to take a small food processor and put in a half-cup of whole toasted unsalted almonds and a quarter cup of turbinado sugar. Put the top on. We're going to process it till it forms sort of a coarse meal. We don't want it to be completely ground up but we don’t want any whole almonds either.

Once that's ready I'm just going to set it aside and when my sweet potatoes are done we'll finish the dish. I'm just going to check the sweet potatoes to see if they're soft enough yet. They're not really ready yet so I'm going to let them cook for a little bit longer.

My sweet potatoes are finished cooking. They were really tender when I pierced them with a fork. I allowed them to cool down for a little bit. I peeled them and placed them in this bowl. I'm going to mash the sweet potatoes with a whisk. I'm going to add a half a cup of heavy cream, a half teaspoon of nutmeg, one full teaspoon of salt, although you can reduce that if you don't like things too salty and then I'm going to put in some freshly ground black pepper. And then we're just going to mix it all together so it's fully incorporated. I'm going to switch to a rubber scraper and make sure that I really have it all completely mixed. And I also want to make sure that I taste a little bit right now so that before I bake it off I know that all the seasonings are at the right level. I've got a nine by nine baking dish here and I’m just going to layer the sweet potato mixture into the baking dish. I don't need to worry about buttering the baking dish or anything like that; it won't stick. Once I have the baking dish filled I'm just going to even out the level and we're almost one.

The last step is to just take the nut and sugar mixture and sprinkle it over the top. It may seem like it's too much but you really probably want to use all of this mixture. Try to get it in an even layer and sort of move it around with your hand if you need to do that. And that's it. I'm going to bake this in a 350-degree oven for about 25 minutes, just until it's warmed through. Our baked sweet potatoes have been in the oven for about 25 minutes and it's piping hot so we're ready to serve. I'm Amy Topel from The Green Guide for howdini.

meet theexpert
  • Amy Topel

    Amy Topel Educator and Food Columnist, The Green Guide Amy Topel honed her culinary skills working in restaurants in New York City. She spent a summer in the kitchen at the Herb Farm with Jerry Traunfeld, and has worked as a private chef and caterer. more about this expert »

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