I’ve always loved my Grandma’s Sweet Potato Casserole, my favorite part being the crisp pecan topping.  Since my Grandma is nearing 90, she isn’t cooking much anymore, which landed me the job of bringing the sweet potatoes this year.  But, because I am teaching the day before and morning of Thanksgiving, I’m hitting the *easy button* and making these no-fuss Maple Rosemary Sweet Potatoes. This dish is mouth watering good – first bites are usually followed by sighs of satiation. It’s sweet, salty, soft and crunchy.

I like to think of this recipe as sort of a deconstructed casserole- you still get delicate slices of potato, and sweetness from the maple syrup, and then my favorite nutty flavor from the toasted pecans that you’ll sprinkle on at the end.  However, I’ve left out the eggs and dairy, making this a vegan friendly option to serve at your table.  I also feel this has less calories than a typical serving of casserole, since there isn’t any butter baked in, and you will eat slower having to cut the potatoes into bites, as opposed to just spooning the mash into your mouth.

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I leave the skin on in this recipe, since each 100 calorie serving of sweet potato then provides as much fiber as a 1/2 cup of oatmeal, which helps stabilize blood sugar and may help lower cholesterol.  Additionally, most of the vegetable’s nutrients are stored neared the skin.  One cup of sweet potatoes provides you with over 200% of your daily Vitamin A needs (good for skin and eye health), as well as half of your daily dose of Vitamin C (boosts immune system and also good for skin health).  Finally, did you know a sweet potato contains more potassium than a banana? Potassium is a mineral that works with sodium in your body to balance your fluid and electrolyte levels, helping you maintain strength and endurance during physical activity.

Although Maple Rosemary Sweet Potatoes are amazing any time of year, I’m loving it as a hassle-free option to serve for Thanksgiving.   Maybe you’re not short on time, but instead tight on oven space- voila! It’s your crockpot to the rescue! Simply toss the ingredients in and walk away until dinner.  Below is what you need, be sure to let me know in the comments or by sharing a picture on social media if you make these!

Ingredients:
4 large sweet potatoes, or 5-6 small
½ cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup olive oil
1T cinnamon
1T onion powder
1T sea salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
2T fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
½ cup pecan halves, toasted

Method:

  1. Slice each sweet potato in to discs, approximately 3/8 inch thick. Dump them into the slow cooker.
  2. In a large measuring cup, measure out the maple syrup, then the olive oil on top of that. Next, stir in the spices until you have a very thick syrup. Pour the mixture over the potatoes, and stir to coat the potatoes in the crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours, until the potatoes are tender and the sauce is bubbling.
  3. Before serving, preheat the oven (or toaster oven) to 400 F. Spread the pecans in an even layer on a baking sheet, and cook for about 5 minutes, just until toasted. Sprinkle on top of the potatoes before serving.

Note: The calories will be significantly reduced if you do not drizzle the remaining syrup in the bottom of the slowcooker over the potatoes before serving (although, it is delicious this way!). But, it’s important to have all the liquid in the crockpot during the cooking time for optimal flavor.

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