Though I did not grow up eating many sweet potatoes, I’ve been a big fan ever since tasting sweet potato casserole for the first time while visiting my grandparents who wintered in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Traditional sweet potato casserole, with its delicious sweet filling & nutty topping doesn’t work well for my body anymore, but with Thanksgiving & other holiday gatherings on the horizon, I wanted to develop an AIP-compliant sweet potato casserole that I could still eat.
Today, I usually prefer white sweet potatoes (Hannah or Japanese varieties), because they’re a little less sweet and a little more reminiscent of regular white potatoes. However, since traditional sweet potato casserole is almost a dessert masquerading as a side dish, orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are necessary. Orange sweet potatoes provide naturally sweet flavors, needing only minimal additions of real maple syrup (or other AIP-complaint sweetener).
Tingernuts work as a wonderful substitution for pecans when making the topping. If you haven’t worked with tigernuts before, know that they aren’t actually a nut, but a tuber. I’ve worked with them in several forms: whole, ground into flour, and most recently “sliced.” The tigernut flour is a bit gritty, but I think that texture works well in this case where it is replacing actual nuts. The whole tigernuts can be really hard on your jaw, unless they’re soaked ahead of time. Organic Gemini, my favorite tigernut company, has recently released sliced tigernuts, & I find they work just perfectly in this recipe. Sliced tigernuts keep some of the crunch of whole tigernuts, but they are not nearly as tough to chew.
Aside from this sweet potato casserole containing ingredients that are AIP-compliant, I also appreciate that it can be made ahead of time. AIP advocates not only dietary changes, but also stress reduction, and typically holidays can be stressful!! With this year being my second holiday season on AIP, I know from experience that often AIP holiday meals require much more preparation (and many fewer convenience foods) than my previous “standard” holiday meals. I like having AIP-variations of my traditional holiday favorites, but often that means I have to make them entirely from scratch myself. Thankfully, both this sweet potato casserole and the green beans I posted last week can be prepared ahead of time & reheated just before serving. Also, this recipe is vegan, just in case you have any vegan guests.
I would encourage anyone thinking ahead to Thanksgiving and other holiday meal preparations to plan ahead as much as possible, & to make things a couple days in advance if you can. Turkey & gravy (here’s a link to my favorite AIP gravy from last year) are often best made the day of, but many side dishes can be prepared a couple days in advance.
If you’re looking for holiday dessert inspiration, stay tuned for my next post & a very exciting announcement!
In the mean time, here are some other resources:
- My friend Bre’anna at “He Won’t Know It’s Paleo” has a new holiday e-book "AIP Holiday"
- Holidays on the Autoimmune Protocol : compiled by "Autoimmune Paleo"
- The Paleo Mom has a new e-book available: Thanksgiving Feast
- Paleo Magazine's 2014 AIP Thanksgiving Meal Plan
Sweet Potato Casserole with Tigernuts
yields 6-8 servings as a side dish
For the Sweet Potato Filling
3 pounds orange sweet potatoes
1025 g (4 1/3 c) sweet potato flesh (from the 3# of sweet potatoes above), room temperature
42 g (3 Tbl) Coconut Oil, melted
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 to 2 Tbl Real Maple Syrup (Grade A dark amber/Grade B preferred), depending on sweetness preferences
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1/4 tsp Vanilla Bean Powder
For the Tigernut Topping
60 g (1/2 c) Tigernut Flour
40 g (5 Tbl) Arrowroot Starch
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
39 g (2 Tbl) Real Maple Syrup (Grade A dark amber/Grade B preferred)
28 g (2 Tbl) Coconut Oil, melted
25 g (1/3 c) Sliced Tigernuts
- Prepare the sweet potatoes for the filling: Preheat the oven to 350 F. the sweet potato filling: Wash the 3 pounds of sweet potatoes. Prick them with the tip of a sharp knife & place on a parchment lined sheet pan. Bake for 1-2 hours, or until very soft. Cool at room temperature & peel off the skin. Note: this roasting process can be done 1 to 2 days in advance of assembling the casserole. Store the baked/peeled sweet potatoes in the refrigerator
- Make the filling by mashing the room temperature baked sweet potatoes with the remaining ingredients. Spread evenly in a baking dish. I used a 24 oz (2.3"x 9.8"x 6.3") Le Creuset Oval Gratin Dish but you could use another baking dish of comparable size.
- Make the tigernut topping by stirring together the tigernut flour, arrowroot, cinnamon and sea salt. Drizzle in the maple syrup and coconut oil. Mix until combined, but still a little clumpy. Stir in the slivered tigernuts.
- Sprinkle the tigernut topping evenly over the sweet potato filling. Bake in a 350 F oven for 30 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are warmed & the topping begins to brown.
- Serve warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate any leftovers.
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