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

Chicken, Bulgur, and Peach Bowl

Chicken, Bulgur, Peach Bowl

Fresh, fast, and delicious this bowl is packed with crisp tender vegetables, grilled chicken, a high fiber whole grain, juicy peaches and a light, honey, champagne vinaigrette. Eating a variety of foods (vs. the same ol’ thing) is good for your health. Now, more than ever, we have evidence to support the benefit of including a wide variety of foods to enhance health, including gut health. The microbiota (the term for micro-organisms that live on or in the human body) has emerged as important for overall health and current research suggests diet plays a large role.  How do you include variety in your diet?  I personally find it easy to let  the calendar be my guide for choosing and diversifying fruits and vegetables.  What are you savoring this month? Moi?  I’m digging stone fruits (peaches, plums and cherries)  and  so are my Recipe Redux colleagues. As a matter of fact,

Super Stone Fruit: it's #theRecipeRedux theme this month, and I'm celebrating with a peachy bowl recipe. Click To Tweet

Start with baby lettuces and crisp tender veggies, layer with a whole grain, add in grilled chicken, and top with ripe, juicy peaches, basil and shredded mozzarella.   Toss with a  honey, champagne vinaigrette to blend all the flavors. It’s fast. Its’ delicious. It’s high in protein and fiber to keep you feeling full.  I like to prep grilled chicken and some type of whole grain early in the week to use in bowls like this one.  It makes  assembly so quick and  easy to make.

Take care of your health and enjoy something different today. Be sure to check out the links at the bottom of this page for more stone fruit inspiration. Don’t wait; the season is short and the fruit is amazing. 

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Chicken, Bulgur, Peach Bowl

Build a summer bowl with mesclun, leftover grilled chicken , cherry tomatoes, red onions,  bulgur, basil, mozzarella and fresh peaches  tossed with a honey champange vinaigrette.

  • Author: Diane Boyd
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 mintes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2
  • Category: entree salad

Ingredients

  1. 6 oz. grilled chicken (I use leftovers from the night before)
  2. 1/4 cup wheat bulgur
  3. 1/2 cup water
  4. 4 cups mesclun
  5. 4 slices red onion
  6. 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  7. 1 ripe peach, sliced
  8. 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon champagne vinegar
  9. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  10. 2 teaspoons honey
  11. 2 tablespoons canola oil
  12. fresh basil
  13. 1 ounce part skim mozzarella cheese, grated

Instructions

  1. for the bulgur wheat: palce 1/2 cup water and 1/4 cup bulgur in small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes until liquid is absorbed. Set aside.
  2. Place mesclun in salad bowl. Add cooked bulgur, red onion, cherry tomatoes, peach slices.
  3. In a small prep bowl combine salt, vinegar, honey and canola oil. Whisk to combine and pour over ingredients in salad bowl. Toss.
  4. Top salad wigh grated mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and sliced grilled chicken. Serve immediately.

Notes

Left over grilled chicken makes this an easy weekday meal. May substitute quinoa, brown rice, or  whole wheat couscous for the bulgur.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 490
  • Sugar: 23 grams
  • Sodium: 860 mg
  • Fat: 20 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 3.5 grams
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 44 grams
  • Fiber: 7 grams
  • Protein: 37 grams
  • Cholesterol: 100 mg

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