Instead of a traditional sweet potato casserole made with butter, dairy, sugar, and more sugar, this seasonal recipe (and everyone’s new fav side dish) packs in real food ingredients.
This sweet potato casserole with a pecan and oat crumble topping recipe is vegan and gluten-free, making it great for guests with dietary restrictions.
A Healthier Side
There’s really no need to wear your stretchy pants all season with delicious vegetable side dishes that won’t leave you feeling bloated.
The food coma (and need to put on looser pants) comes when the vegetable side dishes more often resemble desserts or unhealthy junk food than their healthy origins.
Sweet Potato: A Healthy Seasonal Staple
Sweet potatoes are a delicious (and necessary!) addition to the autumn and winter plate. When prepared in a nutritious way (without all that butter and sugar!), they’re sure to keep blood sugar levels balanced while providing a healthy source of starchy carbohydrates.
Compared to white potatoes, sweet potatoes rank much lower on the glycemic index and boast a higher density of nutrients. They’re a rich source of numerous antioxidants, potassium, vitamins A and C, and vitamin B6 which support energy and metabolism.
There’s no need to top your sweet potato casserole with artificially sweetened marshmallows – make a crumble instead. Although usually reserved for desserts, a crumble is a delicious way to add in more nutrients, healthy fats, and a delicious texture to the traditional sweet potato dish.
Including fat (from the nuts and coconut oil in the crumble) in sweet potato-containing meals is the best way to take full advantage of the beta-carotene benefits of this root vegetable. Recent research has shown that a minimum of three to five grams of fat per meal significantly increases uptake of beta-carotene from sweet potatoes.
Note: if guests have gluten sensitivity or Celiac disease, make sure to purchase certified gluten-free rolled oats. For nut allergies, swap pecans with sunflower seeds and buckwheat groats.
Photos by Kate Gavlick