At a time when people are desperately looking for healthy food options, a sweet potato casserole may not be something that you would want to cook for a special dinner. The traditional recipes for sweet potato casseroles call for an overwhelming amount of butter and sugar, which can really turn the dish into an unhealthy and junky mess. On top of that, people are known to ruin their sweet potato casseroles by adding globs of marshmallows.
Unhealthy Sweet Potato Casserole Trends
We are not quite sure how sweet potato casseroles became a hot marshmallow disaster, but it is one of those horrible trends that people simply couldn’t get rid of. When you are making sweet potato casseroles at home, we certainly would not advise you to stick to this unhealthy tradition of overpowering the dish with marshmallows. Another unfortunate trend that is associated with sweet potato casseroles is the one that turns into a winter exclusive dish. Winter has nothing to do with sweet potato casseroles and nor do marshmallows and heavy loads of butter. There is absolutely no reason why you cannot make a perfectly healthy, whole foods version of sweet potato casserole and serve it during the heat of the summer.
Why Use Ginger and Apple?
One of the best sweet potato casserole recipes that you can make at home is the one where it is cooked with summertime apple and ginger. The aromatic, pungent and mildly spicy taste of the ginger adds a depth of flavour to the sweet potato casserole. In addition to that, the inclusion of the ginger contributes to enhancing the anti-inflammatory properties of the dish. For those who crave a bit of tart and tanginess, the addition of the Granny Smith Apples can take the dish to a whole new level. It really helps to lighten the dish and make the flavours more vibrant. In other words, the apples allow the potato casserole to be the perfect summertime meal. To accentuate the tropical, summery taste, you can add extra virgin coconut oil to the dish. This is the ideal replacement for butter which turns the sweet potato casserole into a heavy and overly rich item on the menu. No one likes to be fed an excess amount of butter during the heat of the summer. Moreover, the use of extra virgin coconut oil will allow you to enjoy a dose of health promoting phytonutrients and antioxidants.
Nutritional Benefits of Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes may have a funky and candy-like name, but that should not make you believe that they are unhealthy replacements for regular potatoes. Sweet potatoes are incredibly healthy. Some health experts believe that they are a better choice than regular potatoes. They are packed with nutrients such as beta carotene, Vitamin C and magnesium. Furthermore, sweet potatoes provide a plethora of anti-aging antioxidants. Contrary to what tradition dictates, there is no need for you to wait till winter to cook dreary, old and boring potato dishes. You can easily spice up the sweet potato flavours in summer and enjoy light and refreshing meals that will make you feel great about living a healthy lifestyle.
List of Ingredients for Summertime Apple and Ginger Sweet Potato Casserole
● 1 tbsp of melted extra virgin coconut oil (keep aside an extra amount for greasing the baking dish)
● 2 Granny Smith apples (these should be peeled, cored and sliced into thin round pieces)
● 2 large sweet potatoes (once again, peeled and sliced into thin round pieces)
● 3 tbsp of ginger that has been freshly grated
● 3 tbsp of fresh lemon or lime juice
● A quarter of a cup of water
● 2 tbsp of raw honey
● Sea salt for seasoning
The oven should be pre-heated to 375 degrees. While the oven heats up, you can proceed with the prep. Start by lightly greasing an 8 x 8 inch baking dish with extra virgin coconut oil. If you do not have coconut oil at home, you can use premium quality olive oil.
Place half of the apple pieces on the baking dish. Cover this up with half of the sliced sweet potatoes. Spread half on the ginger on top of the potato layer. Add a bit of salt for seasoning. Now repeat the process again to complete the structure of the casserole.
Whisk the lemon juice, water and honey together in a small bowl. Smear this mixture over the sweet potatoes, ginger and apples.
Cover the baking dish with foil. Pop the dish in the oven and bake for a minimum of 45 minutes. Once the baking has been done, drizzle the extra virgin coconut oil over the potato dish. Bake the dish for an extra 15 minutes after the addition of the oil. The colour of the sweet potatoes should be light brown by the time you are done baking.
Let the sweet potato casserole rest for 5 minutes before serving it with a tossed salad.