I have a sweet treat for you guys today...sweet potatoes, that is!
As soon as November hits, I can't seem to get this casserole out of my head. Sweet potato casserole is an all time favorite holiday dish of mine. My mom has the most amazing recipe for sweet potato casserole. It's from one of those community church cookbooks that always seem to have the most amazing recipes in them. The only problem is, they aren't always the healthiest. I usually don't bat an eye about it because we really only eat it once, maybe twice, a year so it's NBD.
Since I've been transitioning to a more plant-based diet, I thought I'd give it a whirl to see if I could make a vegan, lower sugar version that is just as good as the original. After making three different versions I ended up with success!
I was able to cut the amount of sugar in half without anyone batting an eye. When I was testing the recipe with different amounts of sugar, I had my hubby taste all three versions and he actually said the one with the least amount of sugar in it tasted the sweetest. That was enough more me to feel comfortable cutting the sugar in half and serving it to my guests...he's got quite the sweet tooth ;)
I also played around with the topping a little bit. I ended up cutting the sugar by a little in the topping and not changing much else. I tried one version of the topping using 1/2 rolled oats and 1/2 flour. While it was good, the texture was kind of funky. Since this is a once or twice a year kind of dish, I forfeited the benefit of adding the oats and just enjoyed the original flavor and texture of my favorite holiday dish.
The other changes I made to the dish were simple. I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk in place of milk, omitted the eggs, and used earth balance instead of butter. This dish can easily be put together a day in advance and baked before serving.
No one knew the difference at our table. I hope you enjoy this casserole at your next holiday gathering.
Sweet Potato Casserole Madeover
3 cups mashed sweet potatoes, peeled
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup nondairy margarine (I used Earth Balance)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
For the topping:
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup flour
2 1/2 tablespoons nondairy margarine (I used Earth Balance)
1. Spray an 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine mashed sweet potatoes, sugar, almond milk, salt, margarine, and vanilla. Mix well using an electric mixer until all ingredients are incorporated. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish.
2. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the topping. Either using a fork or your fingers, combine ingredients until well incorporated. Sprinkle topping evenly over potato mixture.
3. Bake uncovered for 35-45 minutes. Enjoy :)