Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving! And a Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe that Won't Send You Into Sugar-shock

I hope this post finds you all happy and healthy this Thanksgiving, enjoying your breaks from work and your time with family and friends. I know that I am.

This might be a case of too little, too late, but in the interests of future Thanksgiving meals, I want to get this recipe on record here at HGK. It's far less candy-like than the traditional Thanksgiving Sweet Potato casserole, but since it's way healthier, I think we can forgive it. What do you think?

I prepared this casserole over the weekend and my husband and I loved it so much that it never made it to our Thanksgiving dinner. There ain't nothin' wrong with eating this for breakfast, in my book. Consider making this after Thanksgiving. It's a delicious side dish that we can all enjoy practically all year long, why save it for one day a year?

HGK's Date-kissed Thanksgiving Sweet Potato Casserole
serves a crowd

4 pounds of sweet potatoes
1/2 cup soy creamer, soy milk or almond milk
2 Tbsp orange juice concentrate
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup date paste
1 20 ounce can of crushed pineapple (no sugar added), drained 

1 1/4 cups chopped pecans (toasted or not)
1/4 cup date paste

Preheat the oven to 350 F and spray a 9x13" casserole dish with non-stick spray.

Boil a pot of water large enough to fit the potatoes. Wash, peel, and large chop the sweet potatoes. Place cut potatoes into the pot of boiling water and cook until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Drain potatoes. (You could also bake or pressure cook the potatoes until soft.)

Into a large bowl, put the creamer or milk, orange juice concentrate, vanilla, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and date paste. Stir to combine.

Place cooked sweet potatoes into the large bowl with the creamer mixture. Mash well with a masher.
Add drained crushed pineapple and stir.

Transfer sweet potato mixture to prepared casserole dish.

In a small bowl, mix pecans and date paste until evenly combined. Using your hands and then a spatula, distribute pecan mix evenly over the top of the sweet potatoes.

Bake for 45 minutes or until hot throughout.


HOW TO MAKE DATE PASTE with a High Powered Blender or Food Processor
Yield: Roughly 2 cups of Date Paste. You can freeze what you do not use.

Remove pits and stems from 20 Medjool dates. Place in a medium sized bowl. Cover with hot water. Soak until dates are soft. Remove dates from the soaking water, reserving the soaking liquid. Place dates in your blender or food processor. Add some of the soaking liquid--anywhere from a few tablespoons to 1/2 cup, it really doesn't matter.

Puree your Dates until they have become a thick whipped and creamy texture. Place your date paste in an air tight container and store in the fridge or freezer.


I hope you are all having a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones! Next HGK post is a GIVEAWAY . . . whoop whoop!

Do you ever make traditional holiday foods even when it is not THAT particular holiday . . . just because you love the dish?

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