Gingered Sweet Potato Casserole

With Thanksgiving only a few days away, it’s logical to start planning and test running some of your dishes.  Whether you’re the host(ess) of the evening (which I’ve never been) or whether you’re simply bringing a dish (that’s me), Sweet Potato Casserole should be on your menu somewhere.  In fact, I’ve never been to a Turkey Day feast that didn’t offer sweet potato “something” as a side dish.

Last year I made the sinfully sweet and sticky  Sweet Potatoes w/Marshmallows and also baked a Sweet Potato Casserole with a sweet topping of brown sugar and nuts.  As luck would have it this year, I’m working off of one of Mom’s recipes that was just recently discovered in a pile of papers in our family attic!  The recipe, written in Mom’s beautiful handwriting, dates to 11/19/70:

As Mom indicates in the recipe, you can make the dish a day before baking  it and refrigerate it.  After returning it to room temperature, you can pop it in the oven right before your dinner the next day.

Upon first glance, this recipe is SIGNIFICANTLY milder than the other two Sweet Potato Casseroles I baked in the past.  It doesn’t use ANY butter and calls for just the smallest amount of brown sugar.  This dish relies more heavily on the spices: ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon as well as the juice flavors from lemon and orange.  It also uses one egg so I figured the consistency would be much more dense than the others.

If you’re not interested and you simply don’t have the time to peel and dice 4 good-sized sweet potatoes, and, if you have a Trader Joe’s near you, you’re in luck.  You can find bags of pre-cut sweet potatoes.  All you have to do is place the bite sized pieces in a pot with salted water and bring it to a boil on your stove, then simmer until the sweet potatoes are tender. If you’re not in luck, get your kids to help peel the potatoes….

Then, simply add all of the ingredients to a bowl (all of which you should have in your pantry and fridge).  Place your newly- mashed sweet potato mixture in a casserole dish and pop it in the oven for very minimal baking, only 20-25 minutes.

I must admit, I sampled the casserole well before dinner.  It’s tasty but, definitely not nearly as sweet as the other casseroles.  I would add more cinnamon and sugar to amp up the sweetness.  Knowing that I was serving this dish to my young children, I cheated and layered on top a ton of mini marshmallows and baked it again, just long enough to melt the marshmallows (I couldn’t help myself).

However, if you’re serving this dish to a group of adults, or to people who don’t necessarily want the sugary sweetness of the goey, sticky marshmallow topping, stick to the basic recipe. It’s a nice healthier alternative.


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