Traditional Sweet Potato Casserole

As a kid, I hated potatoes. Baked or mashed, I hated them. I would eat french fries, but they better be crispy and they better be thin!
I remember my mom would occasionally make a sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving. I thought it smelled soooo good, but I was afraid to try it since it contained my biggest food fear – potatoes! 
Fast forward a few years…. in my 20s I became a little more adventuresome with food and tried a sweet potato casserole at a quaint little diner in Spring, Texas (near Houston). I don’t remember the place we ate at, but I remember that I LOVED sweet potato casserole.
To this day I still hate baked and mashed potatoes. I think it’s the texture that gets me. What I do like is sweet potato casserole. Even though the texture is similar to mashed potatoes, the sweetness of the brown sugar, the crunch from the pecans, and the smores-resemblance in the marshmallows makes it okay for me eat. Plus, it’s sweet, like a dessert!
Honestly, I can’t tell you that this casserole is better than the rest… it’s the first sweet potato casserole I’ve eaten since that diner near Houston. This recipe comes from one of my favorite websites, Cooking Light. Containing butter, pecans, and brown sugar, this casserole is not “light” on flavor. However it’s low in fat – only 5.5 grams per serving. Not bad for a casserole that tastes like a dessert! Enjoy.
Peel and chop sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes.
Cover with water, bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
Drain potatoes and slightly cool. 
Mash sweet potatoes with potato masher along with butter, brown sugar, salt, and vanilla.
Fold in pecans. Place in a greased baking dish.
Sprinkle with remaining pecans.
Top with marshmallows.
Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.

Traditional Sweet Potato Casserole
2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, divided
Cooking spray
2 cups miniature marshmallows

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Place the sweet potatoes in a Dutch oven, and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until very tender. Drain; cool slightly.
3. Place potatoes in a large bowl. Add sugar and next 3 ingredients (through vanilla). Mash sweet potato mixture into an even layer in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup pecans; top with marshmallows.
4. Bake  at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes or until golden.

Yield: 16 servings
Recipe from: Cooking Light

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION: 186 Calories | 5.5g Fat | 1.6g Protein | 33.1g Carbohydrate | 2.5g Fiber | 8mg Cholesterol | 272mg Sodium | 23mg Calcium

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