Vibrant purple sweet potato casserole topped with toasted pecans and a maple sweetened marshmallow meringue. This beautiful side dish is free of gluten, grains, dairy, and refined sugar!
Sometimes I have no idea what I’m going to share with you here on the blog. Of all the recipes out there, you’d think I’d never run out of ideas, but it’s not that easy for me. I usually just stroll through my local grocery store, up and down the aisles and through the produce section, slowly taking in interesting finds and brainstorming ways to use them.
I’m pretty sure the regular shoppers and the salespeople think I’m a wierdo.😁
I love browsing the produce section and am always on the lookout for cool new fruits and veggies. When I first saw purple potatoes a few years ago, I just had to try them. Raw, they’re a gorgeous magenta color, but when cooked they darken to a deep shade of purple. Honestly it’s the prettiest shade of purple I’ve ever seen! They’re delicious too, they’re consistency is a little creamier than regular sweet potatoes, but other than that, taste very similar. You can definitely use regular sweet potatoes or yams in lieu of these purple spuds though, if you can’t find them.
Purple potatoes, like eggplant and cherries, contain the beneficial antioxidant anthocyanin, which gives certain colorful fruits and veggies their vibrant pigment. They not only look beautiful on your plate, they give you a boost of antioxidants too!
Instead of regular marshmallows, like most sweet potato dishes use, I decided to make a fluffy marshmallow-like meringue! It’s simply made of beaten egg whites, maple syrup, and vanilla, and tastes like marshmallows, but naturally sweetened and a little healthier!
The toasted bits are my favorite part! If you’re looking for some lighter, healthier dishes for your Thanksgiving table, I hope you give this a try…Enjoy!
- 3 large (about 3 lbs) purple or regular orange sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch cubes
- ⅓ – ½ cup maple syrup or coconut sugar, to taste
- ¼ cup butter (dairy-free butter can be used)
- ½–1 teaspoon cinnamon, to taste
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, optional
- ½ cup pecans, chopped
- Place cubed sweet potatoes into a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil lover medium-high heat and boil 12-15 minutes or until fork tender. Drain and place potatoes back into the pot.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Add butter, salt, and vanilla extract to drained potatoes and mash with a potato masher or beat with an eclectic mixer. A splash of milk (of choice) may be needed if mixture is too thick.
- Scoop mashed potatoes into a 2 qt. baking dish and spread evenly into the dish. Top with chopped pecans and place into the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until pecans are toasted and potato mixture is heated through.
- While that's baking, prepare the meringue. Make sure to use a thoroughly cleaned bowls and beaters. Any oily residue can keep the meringue from forming.
- Place egg whites, maple syrup, and salt into a heat-safe bowl and place over a saucepan of boiling water. Bowl should sit right above the water—not touching.
- Whisk egg white mixture until hot to the touch, (about 150-160F on a thermometer) about 4-5 minutes.
- Pour egg white mixture into a large mixing bowl, add vanilla, a pinch of cream of tartar and begin to beat on low for about 1 minute. Increase speed to high and beat until soft peaks form, about 2-4 minutes. Stop and scrape down the sides and gently mix the bottom of the bowl, especially of a stand mixer, where liquid can get trapped.
- Continue to beat on high until stiff peaks form. Be careful not to over-beat or mixture will lose it's volume and become grainy.
- Gently spread meringue evenly onto the sweet potatoes in the pan. Use a kitchen torch to lightly brown the meringue. If you don't have a torch you can place the pan about 6-8 inches from the broiler and broil until the top is lightly toasted. Serve immediately.
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