Thanksgiving would not be Thanksgiving if I did not get to have sweet potatoes.
I am aware that there is this category of people out there who could take or leave sweet potatoes on the Thanksgiving table. And you are the people I just, frankly, do not understand. I love you. No judgement. But, I don’t get you.
My clean eating habits began at an early age for several reasons, of which I will not go into detail except for one – my mother has always been health conscious. I was raised during the “Fat Free Craze” and the “Wheat is better than white craze!” Ha! Funny to even think about now that I understand all of the research that has come out against both of those! So we had a lot of wheat bread and fat free mayo. Unfortunately that meant eating a lot of sugar, which I hope I am mitigating the effects of now. But my mom was always trying to make recipes healthier. Back in the day, she would substitute margarine for butter and would eat bread a million times before she would even look at an avocado! I’m literally laughing to myself as I type this and think through how funny that sounds… I can’t even imagine buying margarine. But 30 years ago, that was considered the healthiest alternative to fat. Crazy.
So I guess this is where I get my experimenting with recipes fetish! But now, thankfully, with different guidelines!
All of that to say – my mom came up with a recipe for sweet potato casserole that was heavy on sugar and she would use a little bit of margarine – never butter, etc. I always loved it growing up but now? No way I could eat it. My taste-buds would FLIP from all of the sugar. I think I’d go into a coma.
You have to remember that sweet potatoes are already sweet. I get that it’s Thanksgiving and it’s a time for some indulging, but no reason to douse something in additional sugar – a little? Sure! But, I suggest balancing it with some healthy fats like coconut oil, ghee butter or a good grass-fed butter. This will help keep your blood sugar stable so that you don’t get a crazy spike and 1- think you’re actually still hungry after eating a whole plate of Thanksgiving goodness and 2- crash in a couple of hours.
Sweet Potato Casserole is typically the sweetest thing on the table at Thanksgiving. I mean, aside from actual desserts. But, if you could stave off that blood sugar spike and make this a well balanced dish, wouldn’t it be nice to be kind to your body today while not feeling like you’ve missed out on ANYthing?
Hope you enjoy this re-make of my mom’s Roasted Sweet Potato Casserole!
Paleo Roasted Sweet Potato Casserole
- 4 medium sweet potatoes
- 4 tbsp coconut oil or grass fed butter, melted
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans (sprouted, if possible)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and wrap each sweet potato in foil. Place potatoes in the oven on the top or middle rack and bake for 60-75 minutes. Pull out of the oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes. They won’t be fully cooked, but that’s okay.
- While the potatoes are cooling, in a small bowl, whisk the melted coconut oil or butter, cinnamon, coconut sugar and sea salt until well combined. Set aside.
- Unwrap the potatoes and discard the foil. With a pairing knife, gently score the skin of the potatoes and then carefully peel the skin off of each one. Once peeled, dice into approx. 2-inch chunks.
- Spray a large casserole dish with coconut oil cooking spray (or rub down with a little coconut oil or butter) and place the diced sweet potatoes into the dish. Drizzle the coconut sugar and cinnamon mixture over the top and chopped pecans, gently toss to combine and cover with foil.
- If serving immediately – place back in the oven for 15 minutes, covered and then another 5-10 minutes, uncovered, until slightly browned on top.
- If making ahead, place in the fridge until ready to serve and increase cook times above by 10 minutes each.