Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sweet Potato Casserole

I LOVE THANKSGIVING.  Glorious Thanksgiving with all of its Fall gorgeousness…Family…Giving Thanks…Feeling Blessed…Friends…Fall leaves…Football…DELICIOUS, comfort food…and tired, full bellies…I mean it – I LOVE it ALL.

Last year was my first Thanksgiving, or holiday season for that matter, in which I really tried to be conscious of healthy eating.  Don’t get me wrong, I still ate until I wanted to explode, but it was that ONE meal.  In years past, as soon as Thanksgiving week began, it was a great excuse to begin my SEASON of eating…and eat I DID from the last week of November all the way through to January 2.

Did you know that the average person consumes more than 3,000 calories in their Thanksgiving meal alone?  That doesn’t even include dessert…add that delicious pumpkin pie and any or ALL of those other yummy desserts, and you’re upwards of 4,500 calories!  Do you know how much exercising it would take you to work that off?

Let me tell you:  If you ate all of those 4,500 calories, you would need to walk 44.28 miles to walk it off.  YEEKS!

Okay, but let’s get real…it’s not like you’re NOT going to eat all of the things you want to, right?  I mean, it’s Thanksgiving…just eat…enjoy…and then move on.  To combat the day, be smart; get up in the morning and go for a brisk walk…take another walk later after you eat…try to add lots of walks in the days leading up to it and/or after.  Take your family on a hike.  Get up and MOVE.  But the most important part:  DON’T STRESS about it! 

And maybe try to healthify some of your old standbys!

If you are looking for healthier options to your favorite holiday treats, this is a great recipe for sweet potato casserole and you won’t even know that it’s healthy – creamy inside, crunchy topping, and deliciously sweet!  No need to feel guilty with this one!

Adapted from Cooking Light

6 med/large sweet potatoes, peeled, cooked and mashed
1/4 cup granulated sugar  
1/4 cup skim milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
Cooking spray

1.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/3 cup)
2/3 cup packed brown sugar  
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans or another of your favorite healthy nuts!

1.       Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.       In a large bowl, place the mashed sweet potatoes, sugar, milk, butter, salt and vanilla and mix well.  I used a hand masher because I like there to be chunks of potato, but if you prefer a smoother texture, use a hand mixer.
3.       Spray a baking dish with non-stick spray and scoop the potatoes into it, spreading to cover.

4.       In a separate bowl, combine the topping ingredients, being sure to mix the melted butter and pecans in last.
5.       Sprinkle over the potatoes.

6.       Bake the casserole for 25 minutes until golden.

Just look at that yumminess!

Serves 12 – 2/3 cup each

Calories 197 / Carbs 31g / Fat 8g / Protein 3g / Fiber 3g / Sodium 172mg

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