Sweet potatoes and yams are a traditional side dish for Thanksgiving. Many people will top it with marshmallows before baking. Given that sweet potatoes and yams have a natural sweetness, adding marshmallows is too sweet for me. Ironically, I never liked sweet potatoes or yams because of this popular holiday dish! Now that I make it without the marshmallows and I control the sweetness I found I really enjoy eating them.
I like this recipe for sweet potatoes since the baked bananas make it fluffy and you can control the sweetness by how much honey you add. Plus you can roast your sweet potatoes and bananas a day before to make it super easy to assemble on Thanksgiving!
I make a simple crumbly topping of a little butter, brown sugar, and pecans to give it a crunch. Keep in mind that yams are sweeter than sweet potatoes – ironically since the names would imply otherwise. When adding the honey, just add some of it and give it a taste test before adding more. Remember that you will be making a crumbly topping with brown sugar which will add more sweetness. I would make your sweet potatoe mixture a little less sweet than you want to serve this dish. If you want to reduce a few calories, eliminate the butter from the crumbly topping. I made this recipe without the butter in the crumbly mixture and we did not miss it! I like to mix a small amount and top the casserole before deciding if I need to make more.
You can roast the sweet potatoes and bananas ahead of time and store overnight in the refrigerator. The next day I reheat the peeled bananas and peeled yams in the microwave.
1 pd, 12 oz Yams or Sweet Potatoes, scrubbed
2 Large Bananas, unpeeled (about 14 oz)
4 tbsp Butter, at room temperature (you can also melt the butter in the microwave)
1/8 cup honey
1/4 to 1/2 cup Splenda Dark Brown Sugar
1/2 to 3/4 cups Pecans, chopped
1 to 2 tbsp Butter, room temperature
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Prick the yams or sweet potatoes with a fork. Place them in a roasting pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Add the bananas into the pan and continue roasting for 10 to 15 minutes, until both the bananas and potatoes are very soft. Remove the pan from the oven but do not turn the oven off unless you are baking the sweet potatoes and bananas a day early.
When the yams or sweet potatoes have cooled down a bit, peel the sweet potatoes and place the flesh into a large mixing bowl. Peel the bananas and add them to the bowl along with the butter and the honey. Season with salt and beat with a spoon until everything is well combined and the mixture is fluffy. Spray a casserole pan with a non-stick spray. Spoon mixture into the casserole pan and smooth the top.
In a separate mixing bowl, mix together the butter, the brown sugar, and pecans until the mixture is the consistency of coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the casserole and return to the oven. Cook for about 20 minutes, until the crumbs are golden. Serve hot.