While Thanksgiving might have come to an end, the opportunity to post those delicious side dishes that I had the fortunate excuse to bake has not. Now my Dad might be a stickler for the basic, traditional, mundane dishes. I was nervous for the first time this year, to switch it up a bit. But I dove in and took the chance as our table grew this year, with both sides of the family, along with friends! It really was a great Thanksgiving having everyone together.
Now back to the task at hand…while I searched for dishes to make, we never had a sweet potato casserole on our table that I can remember. Sure, we had sweet potatoes sliced in half, smothered with butter, salt & brown sugar and although tasty, they were always the part leftover. I wanted to spice that up this year and after a quick search, I found just what I was looking for, thanks to Paleo Leap for the recipe recommendations.
The recipe was easy, and starts with peeling and cubing the potatoes. Now let’s recap last year and how I needed to make sure it did not happen again. My Mom thought she’d give me a hand at peeling & cutting the white potatoes while I took a quick shower. After walking back into the kitchen, I heard her say, “now don’t get mad!” So I run and grab the first-aid kit, “apply pressure and hold your finger above your heart,” I tell her.
Okay, in her defense, she has always cut vegetables using a knife in her hand with no cutting board and that’s how she was taught. The thing is, my Mom has dull knives! So now, when Mom and I work together, she holds the spoon…’love you Mom!’
Let’s talk about how this recipe differs from the traditional sweet potato casserole. It has to do with the use of coconut milk as the sweetener & fat versus brown sugar & a ton of butter. Honestly, the reviews from those after eating the casserole were nothing but positive.
The rave reviews continued to come as those guest enjoyed the topping, which made this dish phenomenal. I mean cocoa and cinnamon covered walnuts, what’s not to love!!!!
- 6 pounds sweet potatoes
- 1 cup walnuts
- ½ cup full-fat coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoon of grass fed butter
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Start by filling a large sauce pot with water and place all the chopped sweet potatoes in it. Then move the saucepan over to a high-heat on the stove top and bring the water to a boil. Continue cooking the potatoes for anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, basically until they are tender when pierced with a fork, depending on how small you cut up the potatoes. Remove from heat and strain the excess water.
- Return the sweet potatoes to the pot they were cooked in and add 1 tablespoon of butter. Using a masher or hand-mixer, mash the potatoes until smooth.
- As you continue to mash, slowly pour the coconut milk in, followed by the vanilla extract. Once it has been mixed well, give it a taste to see if it requires any salt and pepper.
- Transfer the mashed mix into a baking dish and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, toss the walnuts in the remaining tablespoon of butter. Sprinkle with the cinnamon and cocoa powder and then give it another good mixing.
- Evenly cover the mashed potato mixture with the topping.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 and cook for about 20 minutes.