Sweet Potato Casserole

Let’s talk Thanksgiving sides, shall we?  I like to keep my sides traditional (with the occasional slight update) for the Thanksgiving meal because there is something nostalgic about well loved dishes that bring back memories of time with family and friends.  However, I’ve always felt like that old fashioned marshmallow topped sweet potato casserole needed an overhaul.  Insipidly sweet and corn syrup laden, the marshmallows almost mask the earthy and wonderful taste of the sweet potato.  I think the sugar needs to be dialed back just a few notches!  

  A few years ago, while I was pregnant with my first child, my mother-in-law introduced me to a new-to-me version of sweet potato casserole and I think I ate almost half of it!  It’s now a staple on my Thanksgiving table and I hoard the leftovers for myself.  I’ve reduced the sugar in the original recipe even more over the years and I love the balance of earthy sweet potato with the nut and brown sugar topping.   Pretty sure you should save those marshmallows for hot chocolate.


   Begin by baking 4-5 large sweet potatoes until soft.  You will need about 3 total cups of mashed sweet potatoes.  Allow the potatoes to cool slightly.


   Meanwhile assemble the crumb topping by mixing chopped pecans, flour, brown sugar and butter.  Set aside.


  Mix the cooled sweet potatoes with eggs, vanilla, milk, butter and salt.  Whip until light and fluffy and pour into a greased casserole dish.  Top with the crumble and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.


Sweet Potato Casserole


4-5 large sweet potatoes

2 tbsp white sugar

2 eggs, beaten

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 c milk

1/3 c melted butter

1/4 tsp salt

1 c brown sugar

1/3 cup flour (I used gluten free)

1 c chopped pecans

4 tbsp solid butter


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Bake potatoes for 1 hour or until soft.  Cut open the tops and allow to cool.  Meanwhile, mix brown sugar, flour, pecans and solid butter until crumbly.  Set aside.  Place potatoes, white sugar, eggs, vanilla, melted butter and salt in a mixing bowl and mix until combined.   Increase mixing speed and whip until light and fluffy.  Pour into a greased baking dish and top with the crumb topping.  Bake for 45 min until topping is browned.

Blueberry Crisp

Once upon a time my oldest daughter LOVED frozen blueberries.  She ate them like candy. So, my mother-in-law and I washed, sorted and froze 30 pounds (yes really, 30 pounds!!!) of organic blueberries.  And wouldn’t you know it, right about that time that my daughter decided she didn’t like them anymore.  This meant that 30 pounds of blueberries were relegated to my chest freezer where they have been hanging out for over a year.

Recently, my mother in law gave me this book by Shauna Niequist and I figured it had to be good because it was about food.  I didn’t make it very far before I wanted to try the blueberry crisp recipe recorded at the end of the first chapter.  You can imagine my excitement when I found a healthy, gluten free version of a blueberry crisp, which promised to use at least two of those 30 pounds of berries.

This crisp is rich and sweet enough for dessert, but virtuous enough to enjoy for breakfast.    Start with about 2 pounds of blueberries, almond meal, pecans, coconut oil, maple syrup and gluten free oats.Image

Pour the berries in an 8″ glass baking dish and then put all other ingredients in a food processor until everything is finely chopped and well combined.


Spread the crisp topping over the blueberries and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until the berries or bubbly and the crisp topping is golden brown.


Enjoy warm or at room temperature, alone or with ice cream or yogurt.  Any way you slice it, it’s delicious!


Blueberry Crisp (adapted from Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist)


4 cups blueberries

1 cup gluten free oats

1/2 pecans

1/2 cup almond meal

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 c coconut oil

1/2 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Pour blueberries into an 8″ pan.  Place all other ingredients in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped and well combined.  Spoon the topping over the blueberries and bake for 45 minutes or until the berries are bubbly and the crisp is golden brown.  Serve warm or at room temperature.