When I was newly married, my Mom would send me big envelopes filled with recipe clippings she’d find in magazines and newspapers. On them, she’d jot down notes, circling things she liked and crossing out things she didn’t. I never really appreciated those clippings as much as I do now…almost twenty-five years later!
In one of those batches of clippings, she had paper-clipped three or four different recipes for Sweet Potato Casserole. They were completely marked up with, “I like the topping on this one…this one adds too many eggs…this sounds nice with the orange juice…this one may be the best”. All of these years later, I still have that paper-clipped batch of recipes. Every year, about this time, I seem to pull them out, flip through them and giggle. Then, following my Mom’s instincts, I take the best of each and make it my own.
I change it up a bit each time, but I can pretty much say that about most things I cook. This version, is my healthiest and believe me, it’s delicious. To me, the scariest part of any sweet potato casserole is the amount of sugar in them. A lot of traditional recipes use one and a half cups of added sugar! Yikes. I mean, if I’m splurging, it’s going to have to be on a slice of cake, not on my side-dishes!
What I love about this casserole is the topping. The ratio of topping to sweet potato just makes my mouth so happy! It’s sweet, but not cloyingly so and it has a buttery crunch from the toasty pecans and great texture from the added oats. That texture is really great against the creaminess of the potato underneath.
To create a great tasting puree of sweet potato while keeping things moderately healthy, you need lots of wonderful flavor and a silky texture. The orange zest and spices go so well together and make this special. Another element is almond milk. You all know how much I love Silk. Well, their Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk is amazing in this dish. It adds a creamy texture with that nutty sweetness without any added sugar whatsoever.
I was thinking of sending this recipe in an envelope to my Mom…and marking it up with all of my notes on just how yummy this is…and how much she’s always inspired me.
Sweet Potato Casserole
3 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 5 to 6), peeled and sliced into 1″ slices
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup Silk Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
zest of one orange
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons butter, softened
Place the potato slices in a medium pot and cover with water to about an inch above the potatoes. Bring them to a boil over high heat and reduce to a simmer. Cook until tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain the potatoes and set aside to cool a bit.
Prepare the topping by mixing all of the topping ingredients in a medium bowl until combined. Set aside.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Butter a 10 to 12 inch baking dish.
In a large bowl, combine the cooked potatoes, butter, milk, egg, orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Using a hand mixer on high speed, mix until smooth.
Spread the mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle on the topping.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
- When peeling and slicing your potatoes, keep the pot with water next to you and drop the sliced potatoes in immediately after slicing so that they won’t discolor.
- To make this ahead, assemble the dish completely and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to bake. Just be sure to take the dish out of the refrigerator for about 20 minutes before baking.
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This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.