Enjoy classic Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole with these easy ways to give it a healthy makeover. Find out how to make it with less sugar, but keep it just as delicious as the original.
Traditionally topped with marshmallows and containing upwards of a stick of butter and a ton of added sugar, sweet potato casserole is one decadent side dish that can become too decadent in a hurry. Everyone wants to indulge on Thanksgiving, but not at that sugar- and fat-laden price! Luckily, these four tips will help you cut down on added butter and sugar for an even more delicious sweet potato casserole that will leave room for pie too.
1. Use Less Butter, Boost Healthy Flavors
Butter adds rich flavor to sweet potato casserole, but you can cut the butter back without sacrificing flavor by adding even more flavorful ingredients. Try honey, orange zest, ground ginger, cinnamon and vanilla extract.
2. Ditch the Marshmallows to Make a Healthier Topping
Marshmallows are OK if you don’t use too many. But if you want a topping with less sugar, try a simple topping of nuts, seeds and dried fruit to add amazing texture and sweetness without any added sugar. Or opt for a homemade crumb topping with whole-wheat flour, brown sugar and a little butter. If you can’t part with marshmallow topping but want something less processed, making a meringue topping—it has all the flavor and sweetness of marshmallows and it’s prettier too!
3. Keep Portion Size in Check
To keep the calories reasonable, start with a smaller amount of potatoes. Plan for about a 1/2 cup serving size for each person, or better yet, make individual servings by making the casserole inside the sweet potato itself. Each person gets 1/2 potato, which is plenty, especially considering all the other food on the Thanksgiving menu.
4. Cut Back on Added Sugar
Traditional sweet potato casserole can taste more like a dessert than a side dish. We think sweet potatoes are sweet enough by nature, so there’s no need to pile on the sugar. Cut back on the added sugar in your recipe and enhance to flavor with just a tablespoon of honey. If you don’t want any added sugar use crushed pineapple to sweeten the dish, or simply a little vanilla extract, which emulates sweetness without adding sugar to truly let the sweet potatoes shine.