This almond, cranberry and sweet potato stuffing with berry granola topping is a little sweet, a little salty, the perfect Thanksgiving side.
- This almond, cranberry and sweet potato stuffing with berry granola topping is a little sweet, a little salty, the perfect Thanksgiving side.
- From sweet potato casserole to sweet potato stuffing
- Why you have to try this Thanksgiving side dish
- Adding the right touch of granola
- Accompanying dishes
- Prep ahead
From sweet potato casserole to sweet potato stuffing
One day early on in my culinary career, I decided to bake a sweet potato casserole. I had recently discovered the Internet and its recipes, and I was spending many of my waking, non-school hours diligently copy-pasting select recipes into neatly labeled word documents.
On one of these sojourns, I found a recipe for a caramelized, brown sugar and cinnamon-laced sweet potato casserole, and decided I just had to make that for my family.
I believe about a pound of butter was involved, plus some marshmallows.
It didn't take me long to prep the dish. What took considerably longer was explaining to my mother why I was putting cinnamon and brown sugar into a Thanksgiving side-dish.
You see, Russians aren't big on the combination of sweet and savoury; in fact, my comrades usually prefer to keep anything with a sweetness level beyond that of a beet in the strict dessert category.
So this Thanksgiving side dish was a tough sell.
When it came out of the oven, the whole house smelled of cinnamon, sugar and browned butter. It was enough to put anyone into a sugar-induced coma, but I persevered. I placed the dish on the table, put on a brave smile, and crossed my fingers for good luck.
Everyone absolutely hated it. Myself included.
That's when I decided I had to develop my own savory, tangy, and crunchy sweet potato stuffing - one that is going to have a balance of flavors and textures, and not be overwhelmingly cloying.
And with this almond, cranberry and sweet potato stuffing, I knew I have succeded.
Why you have to try this Thanksgiving side dish
This sweet potato dish is:
- easy to make
- sweet and salty
- tangy from fresh cranberries
- reheatable and can be made in advance
Trial and error
Now, I don't actually know what went wrong with the original sweet potato casserole. Maybe it was the astronomical amount of fat in the recipe; maybe it was too much cinnamon (my mother is an avowed hater of the spice). Maybe we just weren't ready for that influx of Americana.
Whatever the case, it was enough to keep me from trying my hand at another sweet potato casserole for years to come.
Adding the right touch of granola
And then last week, my package of Berry Blend granola by NaturSource came in the mail (well, to be exact, I came back to Winnipeg to find a surprise package has arrived while I was gone. I'm not complaining - I'll take surprise treats in the mail any day, please!).
I have long wanted to make a sweet potato stuffing with one of their granola mixes, and the moment I saw the ingredients in the Berry Blend - rolled oats, dried cranberries, currants, strawberries and blueberries - I knew it would be perfect for a dish that would bring together sweet potatoes and cranberries, enable me to hold on to the last vestiges of the holidays, and help me vindicate myself for the Great Sweet Potato Casserole Debacle of 2000.
What can you use as a substitute for this granola?
To sub for this Berry Blend granola, you can use:
- 1 cup gluten free oats
- 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons dried currants
- 2 tablespoons dried strawberries
- 2 tablespoons dried blueberries
I knew I didn't want any cinnamon or processed sugars in this almond, cranberry and sweet potato casserole - past experience has taught me well.
A couple of tablespoons of maple syrup here, a sprinkle of ground ginger there, and a handful of chopped fresh rosemary was all it took to transform a naturally-sweet filling of cranberries, sweet potatoes and almonds into a delicious casserole.
The Berry Blend granola itself is just diverse enough in itself that it needed very little extra; a few dabs of coconut oil helped highlight the fruity flavours in the granola, and a little bit of flour and pure maple syrup helped the crumble topping come together.
To make this gluten-free and vegan Thanksgiving stuffing recipe, you need:
- sweet potatoes
- fresh cranberries
- ground ginger
- table salt
- fresh rosemary, chopped finely
- maple syrup
- coconut oil or butter
- Berry Blend granola (or 1 cup gluten free oats, 2 tablespoons dried cranberries, 2 tablespoons dried currants, 2 tablespoons dried strawberries, and 2 tablespoons dried blueberries)
- flour (gluten free or all-purpose)
Preheat oven to 375F. Butter a 9X12 casserole dish.
In a a large mixing bowl, mix yams, cranberries, almonds, ground ginger, salt, rosemary, 2 TBs maple syrup and 2 TBs of coconut oil (or butter). Stir well to combine.
In a mid-sized bowl, mix granola with flour, ½ cup of coconut oil (or butter) and 2 TBs maple syrup.
Coat the inside of a casserole dish thoroughly w coconut oil (or butter). Transfer yams and cranberries mixture to casserole, and spread evenly. Top with berry granola crumble mixture, trying to coat the yams as evenly as possible.
Cover with tin foil. Bake, covered, for 35 minutes. Test yams for doneness - if they are easily pierced through with a fork, remove from oven; if not, uncover and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
Plate and serve immediately.
If you're making this for Thanksgiving or any other fall holiday, serve it with any of these delicious recipes:
Because who says you can't eat sweet potatoes and cranberries after Thanksgiving? Not I.
This Thanksgiving side dish is a perfectly balanced almond, cranberry and sweet potato stuffing that straddles the fine line between being a little sweet, a little salty, a little crunchy and a whole lot good for you.
You can easily make it in advance and freeze. You can reheat this sweet potato stuffing in a 350F oven for 15 minutes.
P.S. - During my month of paleo, I am in the market for a vegetable spiralizer. You know, those machines that cut veggies into fancy ribbons so you can fool yourself into thinking you're eating pasta. Has anyone used them? Got any recommendations?
P.S. – This is a sponsored post, but all opinions expressed here are my own. I am proud to support a local, family-owned business whose product I truly appreciate, and I thank you for supporting my sponsors.
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Almond, cranberry and sweet potato stuffing with berry granola crumble
- 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1 cup almonds chopped roughly
- 4 tsps ground ginger
- 2 tsps table salt
- 4 TBs fresh rosemary chopped finely
- 4 TBs maple syrup
- 2 TBs + ½ cup coconut oil or butter
- 1.5 cups Berry Blend granola (To sub for this Berry Blend granola, you can use: 1 cup gluten free oats, 2 tablespoons dried cranberries, 2 tablespoons dried currants, 2 tablespoons dried strawberries, 2 tablespoons dried blueberries)
- ½ cup flour (gluten free or all-purpose)
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- In a a large mixing bowl, mix yams, cranberries, almonds, ground ginger, salt, rosemary, 2 TBs maple syrup and 2 TBs of coconut oil (or butter). Stir well to combine.
- In a mid-sized bowl, mix granola with flour, ½ cup of coconut oil (or butter) and 2 TBs maple syrup.
- Coat the inside of a casserole dish thoroughly w coconut oil (or butter). Transfer yams and cranberries mixture to casserole, and spread evenly. Top with berry granola crumble mixture, trying to coat the yams as evenly as possible.
- Cover with tin foil. Bake, covered, for 35 minutes. Test yams for doneness - if they are easily pierced through with a fork, remove from oven; if not, uncover and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
- Plate and serve immediately.