Lower Sugar Sweet Potato Casserole

Your Thanksgiving guests will never know this  sweet potato casserole is made with less sugar than the traditional version and is made a day ahead. 

Lower Sugar Sweet Potato Casserole has the same great traditional taste with 5 teaspoons less sugar per serving.

Hello fall! I’ve I’ve never been more ready.  For the  past four weekends,  I’ve been busy cleaning up after Florence.  But not this past weekend; I took a well deserved break to embrace the season.  It was like a breath of fresh air sprucing up my hurricane beaten yard with some seasonal items including crotons in my window box, a bright cheerful mum on the back porch and a large pumpkin in front of the garage. Now that the outside of my home is welcoming fall, I’m ready to test drive some Thanksgiving sides!

So this past weekend,  I did a dry run of my holiday meal. I was mostly experimenting with side dishes, hoping to find two that are a bit healthier than the traditional fare without compromising taste, and are also a good fit for the category ‘make ahead’.  I don’t know about you, but thinking about pulling together the  bounteous Thanksgiving meal is daunting!   There are so many items that need at spot in the oven.  How will you schedule oven time? How about serving; do you have enough serving utensils?   Is there room for everyone around the table? What chair can be pulled up? And the list of concerns goes on…

Planning the menu well in advance,  and organizing everything right down to the serving dishes and utensils can reduce the stress you’re feeling leading up to the BIG day and guarantee an enjoyable feast for everyone, including you!

Today I’m sharing one of the  dishes  that has meet my two criterion and will certainly make the cut for my Thanksgiving spread, lower sugar sweet potato casserole. 

Criterion one: healthier. This casserole is low fat, low cholesterol,  and has 5 teaspoons less sugar than the traditional version. Why less sugar? I was born with a sweet tooth, and have found that the more sugar I use, the more I crave. Sadly, as I have aged, my calorie needs have declined, although my nutrient requirements remain relatively the same. Cutting back on sweets and learning how to reduce some of the sugar in my favorite foods allows me to eat what I love , with less calories. It’s one of the key ways I’ve be able  to maintain a healthy weight, along with daily exercie.  Note: I have realized that I don’t need foods to be overly sweet to be enjoyable; less sugar doesn’t mean less taste! Case in point,  this sweet potato casserole with 5 teaspoons less sugar than traditional version. It’s  just as delicious, and how beautiful are those fall colors?!!!

Criterion two: make ahead. If you are looking to reduce the stress associated with preparing the meal, you’ll especially like the convenience of this dish. It’s easy to refrigerate  overnight before adding the toppping and baking it off  on the next  day. If  you feel more comfortable prepping it fully the day before, you can simply pull it out of the refrigerator on Thansgiving and reheat in the microwave oven minutes before serving time.   I think you’ll be happy with it either way; do what works best for you . Give this Lower Sugar Sweet Potato Casserole a try for a healthier holiday, both body and mind.

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Lower Sugar Sweet Potato Casserole

Less sugar than traditional versions, this sweet potato casserole can also be made ahed of time!

  • Author: Diane Boyd
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12

Ingredients

• 3 pounds sweet potatoes

• 4 ounces skim evaporated milk

• 2 tablespoons margarine

• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

• 1.5 teaspoons salt

• 1 teaspoon black pepper

• 2 large eggs, separated

• cooking spray

• 3/4 cup chopped pecans

• 3/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats

• 2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees F. Wrap potatoes individually in foil and roast in oven for 60 to 75 minutes or until very tender.
  2.  Set aside until cool. Peel potataoes , discarding skin. Place potatoes in a large bowl and mash until smooth. Stir in milk, vanilla, salt, pepper, and egg yolks. Spread mixture evenly in a 2 quart glass ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  3. Whisk egg whites in a medium bowl until frothy. Stir in pecans, oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over sweet potato mixture. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 to 50 minutes or until top is toasted and edges are bubbling.

Notes

If you want to make ahead, prepare casserole through step two and refrigerate over night. Procede to step three to finish.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/2 cup
  • Calories: 210
  • Sugar: 11 grams
  • Sodium: 270 mg
  • Fat: 8 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 1 gram
  • Unsaturated Fat: 5 grams
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 31 grams
  • Fiber: 5 grams
  • Protein: 5 grams
  • Cholesterol: 25 mg

Simple Home Gym

Skipping the gym for a home workout is a  time saver, helping you be more consistent with daily exercise goals. I am not a physcial fitness expert. I am a registered dietitian. I use evidence based information to address nutrition from a healthy aging perspective, and by integrating food and physical activity, I champion practical ways to reach fitness goals that include:

• maintaining a healthy weight

• preserving lean muscle mass

• reducing body fat

• preventing bone loss

My goal isn’t to tell you how to exercise, but merely to encourage you to get some physical activity, everyday. I’ve discussed the importance of consistency;  it’s what separates those who reach their goals and those who do not. With the holiday season in full swing, today’s post is a reminder not to give up on your fitness goals, but to be inspired to  be your personal best. If getting to the gym is a struggle now, consider the time savings of a simple home gym. Eliminate that 20 or 30 minute commute by giving yourself the gift of some  simple fitness equipment appropriate  for  functional fitness.  I have medicine balls, a stability ball,  a bosu, jump rope, pull up bar, and  free weights. I store these items in my garage. They could also be stored in an empty closet and pulled out when your ready to hustle.

Remember,  some activity is better than no activity. What strategies do you use to stay consistent with exercise around the holidays? Do you have a home gym? If so, what equipment do you include?

 

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