Recipe: Sweet Potato & Butternut Squash Pecan Praline Casserole

I love fall.  With a cool crisp feeling in the air, deep colors in the trees and something warm baking in the oven.  I love it!  It puts me in the mood to bake.  I always love to bake but I love it even more when it is something that is really good for you but also incredibly delicious!   We really enjoy sweet potatoes but we are not huge squash fans, at least the kids and I are not.  This dish is the perfect way to use both and you would never know.

Butternut squash in high in fiber, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin B6.  The squash’s color tells us that it contains high levels of beta-carotene that packs a punch as a deterrent against breast cancer and age-related macular degeneration.  Since it also is high in antioxidants it can have an anti-inflammatory effects.

Sweet potatoes are high in complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese and potassium.  Not only are you getting a delicious meal, but you are also getting a powerhouse boost from some very nutritious veggies.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Butternut Squash
  • 3-5 Small to Medium Sweet Potatoes
  • 1/3 cup Sucanat or Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Nutmeg
  • 2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1/2 cup of Cream or Milk

Topping Ingredients

  • 4-5 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1/3 Cup Sucanat or Packed Dark Brown Sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons of Flour (I use Whole Wheat)
  • 2/3 Cup Chopped Pecans

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  To begin you want to throughly wash your sweet potatoes and the outside of your squash.  Insert a knife or fork a couple of times into the sweet potatoes and both sides of your squash.  Without cutting yourself, slice your butternut squash in half.  I can never do this evenly, but close enough.

Scoop out the insides, gently scrapping the edges to remove the insides and all the seeds with a spoon.

Place your squash cut side down on the pan.  Place your sweet potatoes and butternut squash in the oven and bake/roast for about an hour.  Depending on the sizes, they may need slightly longer but you want them to be soft enough to insert a knife easily.  Allow to cool enough to handle.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease your baking dish with butter or I prefer coconut oil.  When your sweet potatoes and butter nut squash are cool enough to handle, scoop out the insides and then put into a mixer.  Mix your sweet potatoes and butternut squash in your mixer until smooth.  Add in your sucant or brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla extract and eggs.  Mix on medium speed for 1-2 minutes.  Add in your milk or cream.  Mix until just combined.   Spread your mixture in your baking dish as evenly as you can.   

Now to make your praline topping.  Melt your butter in a small sauce pan on low heat.  Once melted add in your sucanat or brown sugar or sucanat and pecans.  Stir with a fork until mixed well.

Spread as evenly as you can over your casserole.  Now bake at 350 degrees for about an hour.

Once you taste it, it will quickly take the place of your regular sweet potato casserole.  If you just have to have your marshmallows then bake for 55 minutes, remove your casserole add the marshmallows and continue to bake until they are melted and slightly toasted.

Can’t you just smell it?

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