Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Mashed Sweet Potato and Squash Bake

A few weeks ago I asked you what recipes you might like for Thanksgiving. I had lots of emails and messages about healthy side dishes, and specifically, for ones that could be egg-, gluten- and dairy-free.

How 'bout a recipe that fits all these descriptions?

I developed this recipe as a replacement for the traditional sweet potato recipe using lots of sugar and marshmellows, my boys' favorite Thanksgiving side dish, so I was a little bit nervous to see how they liked it.

This sweet potato recipe was inhaled by my boys.

I added acorn squash, since squash is super-healthful and a vegetable my boys don't readily eat on its own. Since the greater the variety of vegetables, the greater array of healthfulness, I added the squash, and honestly, you couldn't even taste it.

One last bonus: this is a great make-ahead dish. You can make it 1-2 days before baking *and* it freezes great too.

Mashed Sweet Potato and Squash Bake

3 pounds sweet potatoes
1 medium acorn or similar squash, such as butternut squash
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons bourbon (optional)
3-4 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (optional--but is a good, natural fill-in for the white marshmellows)
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place the sweet potatoes on a foil-lined cookie sheet.

Cut the acorn squash in half, and remove the seeds and pulp. Place upside down on the same baking sheet.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the potatoes and squash are very tender. Let cool.

Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees if baking immediately.

Peel the sweet potatoes (the skin will just fall right off!) and scoop out the cooked flesh of the squash. Place in a large bowl.

Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, bourbon (if using) and honey. Blend with a handheld mixer or stand mixer to whip.

Pour into a 9x13 baking pan. Top with unsweetened coconut and chopped pecans, if desired.

Bake 20 minutes or until sides are bubbly.

This tasted so good, the boys didn't even miss or ask for the marshmellows!

Life is sweet,

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