Monday, November 24, 2014

Sweet Potato Casserole

One traditional Thanksgiving dish (so I have been told by my husband) is sweet potato casserole. Now, I did not grow up eating sweet potato casserole at Thanksgiving, but I had heard of it. Since my husband loves this dish I decided to make my own version and clean it up a bit!

Now, as I did not grow up in the south, I am no expert on Sweet Potato Casserole. But, I did know that it usually came laden with some butter, coated with some crushed corn flakes, topped with marshmallows and mixed with lots of brown sugar and cinnamon. And while I know all that tastes delicious, I wanted to create my own topping for those yummy sweet potatoes!

Check out this twist on a traditional Thanksgiving recipe!

Cleaned Up Sweet Potato Casserole

-4 to 5 medium/large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
-1 banana
-3/4 cup of shredded, unsweetened coconut (divided)
-2 Tbsp maple syrup
-2 Tbsp brown sugar
-1/4 cup of water
-1/2 cup crushed pecans, plus a handful (about 1/4 cup)
-1/4 cup crushed almonds or walnuts (or you can use more pecans)
-1 apple, cored and cubed into small pieces
-3 tsp cinnamon (divided)
-1/2 tsp allspice
-1/4 tsp cloves
-1/4 tsp nutmeg

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-Bring a large pot of water to a full rolling boil, add your sweet potatoes. Cook until tender.
-Once sweet potatoes are tender, drain (reserving just a little bit of the cooking liquid, about 1/4 to 1/3 cup) and mash with the reserved liquid and banana. 
-Add 1/4 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut to the sweet potatoes, 2 tsp of cinnamon, and a handful of pecans. Mix until all incorporated.
-In a medium skillet sprayed with cooking spray, heat your 2 Tbsp of maple syrup and brown sugar with 1/4 cup of water. When it is all incorporated, add in your apples.
-Add remaining 1 tsp cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg. 
-Continue to stir to prevent burning. When the apples begin to turn tender, add your nuts and 1/4 cup of coconut. 
-Cook for about 5 minutes, until it begins to thicken and everything is incorporated. 
- In a greased 9x12 baking dish, layer the mashed sweet potatoes on the bottom and spread across.
- Spread the nut and apple mixture over the top of the sweet potatoes, then sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of coconut.
-Bake for 20 minutes, or until heated through. 

Who else loves some good sweet potato casserole? What is your favorite topping to put on sweet potatoes? Share below! 

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