It’s no surprise that sweet potatoes are at the top of the healthy food list, especially here in North Carolina, being the number 1 producer of sweet potatoes in the nation for over 40 years! Sweet potatoes are a staple at most Holiday meals, it’s not wonder since one baked, medium-sized sweet potato contains 438% of your daily value of vitamin A (a white potato contains 1%), 37% of your vitamin C, and some calcium, potassium, and iron too. All this at just 105 calories! Packed with all these vitamins, minerals and fiber, the more often you eat sweet potatoes, the better you’ll feel.
Here are some traditional recipes with a healthy twist, to keep your Holiday menu healthy and yummy!
Sweet Potato Casserole
2 1/4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 cup half-and-half
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 ounces)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Preheat oven to 375°.
To prepare potatoes, place potatoes in a Dutch oven, and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until very tender. Drain; cool slightly.
Place potatoes in a large bowl. Add half-and-half, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and vanilla. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add eggs; beat well (mixture will be thin). Scrape mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
To prepare topping, sprinkle miniature marshmallows over top of casserole. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in pecans, and sprinkle over potato mixture and marshmallows. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Serves 10, each serving contains; Calories 193, Fat 6 g, Protein 3 g, Carbohydrates 31 g, Fiber 2 g, Cholesterol 38 mg, Sodium 235 mg.
Sweet Potato Pudding
2 large eggs
1/4 cup honey, divided
1/4 cup 1% low-fat milk
1 slice whole wheat bread, crusts removed
2 cups mashed baked peeled sweet potato
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons chopped pecans
2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
1/4 cup plain low-fat Greek-style yogurt
Preheat oven to 350°. Coat an 11/2-quart baking dish with cooking spray.
Combine eggs, 3 tablespoons honey, milk, and bread in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at x speed until smooth. Add sweet potato, vanilla, cinnamon, and allspice; beat until smooth. Pour into prepared baking dish. Scatter pecans and ginger over top. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes until pudding is set and slightly puffy (it will sink slightly as the pudding cools).
While pudding bakes, combine yogurt and remaining 1 tablespoon honey; stir until smooth. Divide pudding among 4 bowls, and top evenly with yogurt mixture.
Serves 6, each serving contains; Calories 200, Fat 4 g, Protein 6 g, Carbohydrates 38 g, Fiber 3 g, Cholesterol 70 mg, Sodium 95 mg.
Scalloped Sweet Potatoes
2½ pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼-inch slices (about 8 cups)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon white or black pepper
2½ cups low-fat milk
1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese, divided, (or Swiss)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
Position racks in upper and lower third of oven; preheat to 425°F.
Toss sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon oil in a large bowl until well coated. Divide between 2 large baking sheets and spread in an even layer. Roast, rotating the pans from top to bottom about halfway through, until tender and beginning to brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, until very soft and golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Add flour, salt and pepper; cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Add milk; cook, stirring and scraping up any brown bits at the bottom of the pan. increase heat to medium high; cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens and bubbles, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
When the sweet potatoes are done, remove them from the oven. Preheat the broiler. Transfer half the sweet potatoes to a 2-quart broiler-safe baking dish. Spread half the sauce over the sweet potatoes and top with ½ cup cheese. Add the remaining sweet potatoes and top with the remaining sauce and cheese. Broil, watching carefully, until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is beginning to brown, 1 to 5 minutes, depending on your broiler. Let stand 10 minutes. Serve topped with rosemary.
To make ahead: Roast potatoes (Step 2) up to 30 minutes ahead. Prepare sauce (Step 3), cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day; gently reheat until steaming before combining with the potatoes and cheese.
Serves 10, each serving contains; Calories 222, Fat 9 g, Protein 8 g, Carbohydrates 8 g, Fiber 4 g, Cholesterol 15 mg, Sodium 261 mg.
Healthy Sweet Potato Holiday Hash
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 onion diced
3 stalks celery chopped
1 apple, cored and diced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tbsp. Thyme
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
Salt and pepper to taste
Add sweet potato to a medium pan over medium heat.
When sweet potatoes are about half way cooked add, onion, celery, apple and thyme
Once onions are translucent and ingredients are softened add cranberries and walnuts.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Cream Cheese Swirled Sweet Potato Pie
2 medium-large sweet potatoes
6 ounces crisp gingersnap cookies (26-28 small cookies)
2 tablespoons canola oil
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
¾ cup nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt, divided
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ cup (2 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
Preheat oven to 400°F. Tightly wrap sweet potatoes in foil and place on a baking sheet. Roast until very tender, about 1¼ hours. Carefully unwrap and set aside to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees .
Process gingersnaps in a food processor until finely ground. Transfer to a bowl, add oil and stir until well combined. Using a spoon, spread and pat the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Bake until just barely beginning to darken, about 10 minutes.
Clean and dry the food processor work bowl. Peel the sweet potatoes and transfer to the food processor. Puree until smooth. Measure out 1½ cups (if you have extra puree, reserve it for another use). Return the 1½ cups puree to the food processor. Add brown sugar, ½ cup yogurt, eggs, egg yolk, cinnamon and nutmeg; pulse just until combined. Spread the sweet potato filling in the warm crust.
Clean and dry the work bowl again. Add the remaining ¼ cup yogurt, cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and ginger; puree until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides once or twice. Dollop tablespoonful’s of the cream cheese mixture onto the filling, spacing them evenly. Draw the tip of a wooden skewer or a thin knife through the cream cheese mixture and sweet potato filling repeatedly to create a swirled design.
Bake the pie until firm to the touch and starting to puff around the edges, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack, at least 2 hours.
Serves 10, each serving contains; Calories 249, Fat 7 g, Protein 5 g, Carbohydrates 41 g, Fiber 2 g, Cholesterol 60 mg, Sodium 144 mg.
Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes
2 medium sweet potatoes (8 to 10 ounces each)
3 ounces Canadian bacon, diced
2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
3 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese.
Pierce potatoes with a fork, and arrange on paper towels. Microwave on high 8 minutes; turn potatoes over after 4 minutes. Cut each potato in half lengthwise, and scoop out the pulp, leaving 1/4-inch-thick shells. Mash pulp with 3 ounces Canadian bacon, 2 tablespoons sour cream, and 2 teaspoons chives in a bowl. Spoon mixture into shells. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons cheese over tops of potatoes. Microwave on high 2 minutes, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon chives.
Serves 2, each serving contains; Calories 341, Fat 6 g, Protein 15 g, Carbohydrates 57 g, Fiber 7 g, Cholesterol 30 mg, Sodium 681 mg.