Holidays are a time to celebrate traditions and preparing meals from family recipes handed down from one generation to the next is part of the fun. Sweet potatoes topped with toasted marshmallows is a hands-down, time-honored classic. Switch up this traditional holiday side dish by adding a crispy layer of roasted pecans, creating a sweet-and-savory, flavorful casserole. Not only is it delicious, but it's nutritious, too.
The stars of this delicious dish, sweet potatoes are an excellent source of dietary fiber. They're also rich in Vitamin A which helps regulate cell growth, benefits skin and vision health, and aids the body in its defense against illnesses and infection.
Pecans contribute healthy doses of fiber, copper, thiamine, and zinc and provide healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, which benefit heart health.
Eggs offer a variety of nutrients, including Vitamins A, B2, B5, B12, and selenium, an important antioxidant.
This isn't a complicated recipe, so you won't require any specialized or professional cookware or utensils. To cook the sweet potatoes, use a medium-sized saucepan. You'll also need two mixing bowls — a larger one for the sweet potato mixture, and a medium one for the topping ingredients. Make sure you have measuring cups, measuring spoons, and large mixing spoons for combining the ingredients. To bake, use a 9X13 inch baking dish.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (165 degrees C). Cube the sweet potatoes. Bring the water to boil in a medium saucepan. Add the sweet potatoes and cook over medium-high heat until they're tender. Drain the water and mash.
Place the mashed sweet potatoes in the large mixing bowl. Add the white sugar, butter, milk, eggs, and vanilla extract. Mix the ingredients until you have a smooth, creamy consistency. Transfer the mixture into the 9x13 baking dish and set aside.
Mix the brown sugar with the flour, then cut in the butter until the mixture is coarse, about pea-sized. Add the pecans, and gently combine them with the butter mixture. Top the sweet potatoes with this mixture.
Place the casserole in the oven, on the middle rack. Bake for 30 minutes. You'll know it's done once the topping turns a light golden brown.
Although it's the messier option, some professional cooks say the potatoes taste better if you boil them unpeeled, then remove the peel afterward.
Another option is to bake the sweet potatoes instead of boiling them. It bumps up the flavor a few notches.
Milk allergies, lactose intolerance, and dietary restrictions are common health issues. Using non-dairy milk in is an option in almost every recipe. Instead of regular milk, substitute soy milk, cashew milk, or oat milk, one-to-one.
Substitute the regular butter with a non-hydrogenated, high-quality, vegan version. You can also substitute the brown sugar with a vegan-friendly, organic, natural, raw, or unrefined sugar. Brown rice syrup or coconut sugar work, too, though you may need to reduce other liquid ingredients.