Thanksgiving Meal Tip #5 – Serve super spuds

Sweet potato casserole is like a Thanksgiving dish from a Norman Rockwell painting. It’s a can’t-miss side for the dinner table, and that’s probably a great thing.

The sweet potato is considered a super food. For around 100 calories, sweet potatoes pack a nutritional punch. A raw sweet potato is packed with nutrients like vitamins A, C and B6, as well as potassium and fiber. They’re also a natural anti-inflammatory, so they can help combat heart disease.

We love sweet potatoes for their health benefits and versatility. In fact, we believe you should eat them year-round. However, their nutritional value can wane once you start piling on the butter, brown sugar and marshmallows.

A typical serving of sweet potato casserole with marshmallow topping can have more than 600 calories. That’s more than a quarter of the daily calories in a typical 2,000-calorie diet.

To keep your dish from busting your belt loops:

  • Skip the marshmallow topping. Consider using unsweetened coconut flakes, light sea salt and cracked pepper, and/or roasted pecans.
  • Use small amounts of natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup.
  • Flavor with no-calorie spices like cinnamon, rosemary or ginger.
  • Roast your spuds instead of boiling.
  • Leave skins on; it’s where many of the nutrients reside.

For example, here’s a simple approach with this roasted sweet potato recipe from Eat Well.