Tis the season for parties and holiday meals, and many of us are putting serious thought into our menus and preparations right about now. You might find yourself torn between putting on the traditional, fat and calorie-laden feast, justifying it in your mind as an only “once-a-year” event, but you aren’t doing anyone any favors by serving a heavy, unhealthy meal.
It’s understandable that you have traditional dishes that are “must haves” at many family holiday dinners–candied yams, giblet gravy, sausage stuffing–the list is rich and long! However, you don’t have to use the usual, old-fashioned recipes, and chances are your family won’t notice or will prefer the updated versions.
Take yams or sweet potatoes for example. In and of themselves, these are normally considered a very healthy choice until you add syrup and butter and brown sugar and marshmallows! Instead consider serving this traditional holiday side dish in an updated, healthy version like this scrumptious sweet potato casserole that gets its fabulous flavor from honey and freshly grated orange zest rather than the traditional stick of butter. To complete the healthy makeover we sprinkle a crunchy pecan streusel spiked with orange juice concentrate over the top. You can save the marshmallows for s’mores.
Makes: 10 servings, about 1/2 cup each
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 1/4 hours
Sweet Potato Casserole
- 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, (3 medium), peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 cup low-fat milk
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 4 teaspoons frozen orange juice concentrate
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook over medium heat until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain well and return to the pan. Mash with a potato masher. Measure out 3 cups. (Reserve any extra for another use.)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8-inch-square (or similar 2-quart) baking dish with cooking spray.
- Whisk eggs, oil and honey in a medium bowl. Add mashed sweet potato and mix well. Stir in milk, orange zest, vanilla and salt. Spread the mixture in the prepared baking dish.
- To prepare topping: Mix flour, brown sugar, orange juice concentrate, oil and butter in a small bowl. Blend with a fork or your fingertips until crumbly. Stir in pecans. Sprinkle over the casserole.
- Bake the casserole until heated through and the top is lightly browned, 35 to 45 minutes.
- Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 4; cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.