Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sweet Potato-Apple Casserole

On Saturday, I had the distinct pleasure of doing something I have never done before. Something I never would have imagined doing, even 6 months ago! Something that I will definitely be doing again!

I spent an afternoon cooking with a fellow gluten-free blogger! None other than, Natalie, your Gluten-Free Mommy! Natalie graciously invited me to her home (since we both live relatively close by in the good ol' North State!) where we shared an afternoon creating and baking Thanksgiving Dinner casseroles! It was wonderful to share the time with another gluten-free cook, it's not something you get to do often!

It is hard to describe Natalie without smiling! In a word, Natalie is quite simply: "Joy!"

If you weren't impressed with Natalie's intelligence, kindness, sweet laughter, or amazing cooking abilities... her beautiful smile would knock your socks off!

The theme of our afternoon was to re-create some of our families traditional Thanksgiving casseroles. The casseroles had to be gluten-free (of course!) and we were aiming for less sugar and fat as well.

I wish all of you had the experience of watching Natalie create a signature dish. While my recipes were all typed out, all nice and neat... and as I changed ingredients, I scribbled them down.... Natalie, on the other hand, flew by the seat of her pants, just tasting and adding things as she felt necessary! Perfecting the recipe in her mind, and adding and subtracting all along the way. I could just see the ingredient wheels spinning under that long, flowing chestnut hair of hers! I was so impressed by Natalie's approach to cooking! I loved her confidence and her creativity! I can't wait for you to see her recipe. It was absolutely amazing!

My recipe is different than Natalie's, as it has a crumbly top and doesn't use oranges. I love sweet potato casseroles because they are so very versatile!

Sweet Potato-Apple Casserole

  • 2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1-2 small apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar -or- agave nectar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Crumb Topping Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup rice flour
  • 1/4 cup corn flour -or- sorghum flour
  • 1/2 pecans, chopped
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, softened


Mix mashed sweet potatoes, chopped apples, brown sugar, salt, and spices together. Add beaten egg, milk, and vanilla. Mix all together until smooth. Pour into greased casserole dish.
Mix topping ingredients in a small bowl until crumbly. Sprinkle over casserole. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes until casserole is set.


This is also my entry for a blogging event entitled: The Heart of the Matter.
This blogging event is sponsored by Michelle at The Accidental Scientist. The event focuses on taking traditional holiday recipes and making them more heart healthy! This dish originally called for 1 stick of butter, 1 full cup of brown sugar, and 2 eggs in the casserole itself. The crumb topping also called for 1 stick of additional butter. Since, I am now gluten-free, I also replaced cornflakes (that were called for in the crumb topping) with gluten-free flours. The fat has been slashed dramatically in this version, along with the sugar. Yet, with the additinoal of apples and agave syrup, the dish retains GREAT flavor! This is definitely a yummy, fantastically healthy side dish for the holiday season! You can enter your own holiday dish healthy remake in this blogging event by November 18th to: mphilli4 AT uoregon DOT edu

Happy Healthy Holiday Eating!!!

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  1. This looks delicous. A great dish for the Holiday season!

  2. You made my week, no month! Thank you for writing such a nice post about a great afternoon of baking. We will have to do it again in Feb. like we talked about.

    This is a great recipe. I loved the addition of the apple with the sweet potato- very clever! I was impressed with how little butter you used in the crumble topping too. Way to go!

  3. That sounds so wonderful. I have never actually met another person who has this except my daughter. My mom eats gluten free but her tests were negative. There are groups where I live but I have not gotten to any of the meetings yet.

    A day in the kitchen would just be a blast though! Sometimes it feels very lonely you know. Friends don't always get it. It would be so wonderful to spend time with someone who gets it! Nice to hear about your day :)

  4. DEE -- thank so much gal! I can't wait to make it again for Thanksgiving! I may have to make 2 versions, Natalie's and mine! They were both so good!

    NATALIE -- It was just too much fun my dear! I can't wait for February (actually I hope it doesn't rush! LOL I need a SLOW holiday season this year! haha!) But thanks for the compliment on the apples, I love apples I'll add them to just about anything!

    GLUTI GIRL - Can I tell you a secret? I am not a diagnosed celiac. But I know what my body tells me, and it tells me that I feel SO much better after going gluten-free! It feels SO good to know that I am FINALLY getting healthier and into a lifestyle that I can manage for life. Gluten was hurting my body in more ways than I can imagine. I won't go into all the fun details, as I'm sure you're more than aware, but I'm confident that my body is slowly healing itself since I have left gluten behind! Now, I just need to get on the exercise bike and get some of this weight off, and I'll be set to go! ;-) I TOTALLY understand your feelings of loneliness! It was almost weird to be in the kitchen with Natalie, where i knew everything that was being cooked was safe for me to eat! It was fun! Join those local groups you have access too! Those are more of a resource than you can imagine! I don't have a resource like there where I live! Thanks so much for commenting!

  5. Hello Carrie,
    Just call me, Natalie's mom. She is amazing and flatters me with her love of cooking and home.
    However, your recipe looks perfect. I am really considering this one for our big holiday gathering! I will pretend to have chosen it because I am teasing my dear daughter, Natalie, but truly it looks closer to my (now retired)own!
    Thank you!
    Andrea Lynne Cory

  6. Andrea AKA Natalie's mom -- I'm SO glad you stopped by! Your daughter is a sweetie!! LOL... I'm so glad you like this recipe... I just can't leave a crumbly topping behind! It was neat though that the two casseroles were so different just in using orange juice in Natalie's and apples in mine... totally changed the taste! You have one heck of a creative daughter, and I bet she gets it from her mom! ;-)

  7. Carrie - my sister lives outside Raleigh... I'll have to come crash your next get-together with Natalie!

    My mom always made sweet potatoes with apples for Thanksgiving - but without the topping. She would just put a little brown sugar and butter on top and put it under the broiler briefly. It's a great combination.

  8. Karen -- YES! You should come crash our next gluten-free bake off! That would be awesome!! We're thinking sometime in February with a chocolate theme!! Thanks for the comment! I LOVE sweet potatoes and apples are probably my favorite fruit! Your moms dish sounds wonderful!!

  9. Your cook-day sounds awesome! The only other person I know thats gluten free is my son. He doesnt get too involved with the baking thing, avoiding foods that are likely to have gluten. Preferring to use naturally gluten-free foods. I need to find a GF baking friend ... hmmmm, could take a while

  10. This looks great; I love sweet potatoes! I am so glad you guys had a great day together. :)

  11. That looks great! We always have the typical sweet potatoes - marshmallows - pecan thing, which I don't care for, really. Too sweet! I think I'd like to try one of these recipes, instead!

  12. Carrie, I had all the standard tests and for me the doctors still weren't sure. Positive blood work, chronic inflammation of the stomach but the biopsy was sketchy at best. Officially I am gluten intolerant but maybe celiac. Nothing was conclusive enough. I could have gone back to eating the horrible stuff and then re-biopsied but there was just no way. I consider myself to have celiac because my family reeks with autoimmune diseases, especially Thyroid. All that goes hand in hand. I think celiac is something that can be hard to pin-down. Then my daughter had the blood tests and she tested higher in the antibodies than I did. I did not make her go through the biopsy. Bottom line is feeling better not eating gluten. Sometimes I'm not so sure all the testing is worth it!

  13. I realize this is an older post, but it sounds like you had a great time. I wish I had someone in my area to do that with! I can't wait to try this dish.

    Thanks for commenting on my blog and posting the recipe to the menu swap. I have put in a request to join the group. I love your blog!