Sweet potatoes are a favorite dish at many Thanksgiving, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or New Year tables. But let’s face it – the added sugar and butter in traditional recipes cancel out the healthiness of the dish. But not in this delicious version! The additions of orange juice and zest provide a magical sweetness. The very first time I made this, my daughter was 8 years old – and she decided that she’d like it to be a tradition on our Christmas table.
The health benefits are magical, too. Here are just a few of the things sweet potatoes provide: vitamin B6, an important vitamin for helping to ward off heart attacks; vitamin C, which helps to keep colds and flu away; and vitamin D, which helps keep energy levels and mood balanced. With all this in mind – dare I say that this Magical Sweet Potato Casserole helps to maintain the merriment at the holiday table?
This recipe calls for fresh sweet potatoes. It is very easy to steam sweet potatoes. You just peel them, chop them, then steam them as you would any other vegetable. Steaming keeps much more of the nutrition in the vegetable than boiling because you are cooking them at a lower temperature. (But if you are really pressed for time or energy, use the canned variety so you don’t have to peel and steam.)
Magical Sweet Potato Casserole
4 c. sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/3 c. coconut oil, melted
zest of 1 large orange
juice of the same large orange (should yield 2/3 c. juice)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cardamom
1-2 packets of NuStevia (optional; taste as you go to see whether you want to add it)
1 c. pecan halves (*you may not need them all)
Steam sweet potatoes until they are soft enough to pierce with a fork.
Grease a baking dish with coconut oil. Using a hand mixer or food processor, combine all ingredients except toppings until smooth. Pour into baking dish.
Top with pecans, lining them in rows or any design you prefer.
Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Bake at 300 degrees F for 30 minutes. Note: This side dish can be made in advance and warmed up. It will stay pretty