I love sweet potatoes every which way: baked, canned, mashed, plain, french-fried.... but this is my favorite version of sweet potatoes! It started with a similar recipe that I found on a blog a few years ago. I made it for my family's thanksgiving table and it was a hit! Ever since then I've been making the sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving. I've slowly adapted the recipe over the years to make it even yummier :)
Well, I'm posting this too late for you to make it for your Thanksgiving this year, but you can still make it for your Christmas feast, or even just for a fancy fall meal for some special guests :) Sweet potatoes are a great healthy side dish that can be enjoyed all year, but especially at this time of year.
If you have any picky eaters who don't like sweet potatoes, you just might convert them with this one. With its smooth interior and sweet crumbly topping, this is practically a dessert! How can you not love that?!?
Let's talk about sweet potatoes really quickly;
Sweet potatoes and yams are NOT the same thing, in fact, they are not even related. Sweet potatoes are a 'root' vegetable, and yams are 'tubers'. Most likely you've never even seen a yam before. Yams are indigenous to Africa, the Caribbean, and South America. This is why the confusion started; when visitors from those tropical lands came to America and then ate the sweet potatoes common to the U.S., they called them Yams since the sweet potatoes resembled the look and flavor to the tropical variety that they were accustomed to in their tropical homelands.
Sweet potatoes, however, provide slightly more nutritional benefits. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of fiber and Vitamin A as well as a good source of Vitamin C and Vitamin B6. In addition to fiber and vitamins, the sweet potato also provides the minerals Potassium & Manganese. In comparison, Yams do not equal the Sweet potato in ANY of these nutrients. One thing to note, though, is that both yams and sweet potatoes have a high sugar content (not like that's a surprise... they taste SWEET for a reason! Even though it's natural sugar, it's still sugar.)
Recipe (for a large 9x13 casserole):
- 2 large cans Sweet Potatoes (40 oz each), drained; OR about 5-6 cups cooked fresh Sweet Potatoes, peeled & chopped.
- 1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 2 large Eggs
- 1 cup Brown Sugar
- 1 cup chopped Pecans
- 1 cup shredded Coconut
- 1/3 cup Salted Butter, melted