Healthy sweet potatoes are a tasty Thanksgiving side dish

Photo courtesy of Alexis Lamster/flickr

SAN DIEGO, November 18, 2014 — Planning a menu for Thanksgiving Day with healthy eating in mind can be quite challenging.

Family, friends and other invited dinner guests may have specific health challenges and possibly even food allergies which require consideration and accommodation from their Thanksgiving host or hostess.

Healthful sweet potatoes could provide a simple answer to preparing a people-pleasing and healthy Thanksgiving Day side dish.

Naturally sweet-tasting and adaptable to many cooking styles and a variety of recipes, sweet potatoes are also readily available in most food markets and grocery stores and are relatively inexpensive.

Loaded with vitamins B, C, and D sweet potatoes also contain magnesium, a mineral which is known for its anti-stress properties–a great way to relax and enjoy Thanksgiving Day celebrations.

Photo courtesy of Llez/Wikimedia
Photo courtesy of Llez/Wikimedia

With their rich orange color which is pleasing to the eye, sweet potato dishes add vibrant hues and holiday warmth to the Thanksgiving table.

A classic sweet potato casserole recipe, which has been lightened for healthy eating while maintaining its great taste, just might become a traditional Thanksgiving dinner side dish staple.

Published by Cooking Light, in, the Traditional Sweet Potato Casserole recipe is simple to follow and takes a minimal amount of time to prepare.



2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup butter, softened (low-fat butter substitute for fat restricted diets)

1 1/2 teaspoons salt (light salt for sodium restricted diets)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, divided

Cooking spray

2 cups miniature marshmallows



Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Place the sweet potatoes in a Dutch oven, and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until very tender.

Drain; cool slightly.

Place potatoes in a large bowl. Add sugar and next 3 ingredients (through vanilla). Mash sweet potato mixture with a potato masher. Fold in 1/4 cup pecans. Scrape potato mixture into an even layer in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup pecans; top with marshmallows. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden.


The Traditional Sweet Potato Casserole is delicious, and per serving is low in calories and fat while making a lovely presentation.

With 186 calories per serving (sixteen servings total), and only 5.5 grams of saturated fat, low in sodium and loaded with vitamins and minerals, the Traditional Sweet Potato Casserole is suitable for most known dietary restrictions and is gluten free.

Hostesses and dinner guests alike will relax and enjoy Thanksgiving Day dinner fare knowing that what is on the dinner table was prepared with thoughtfulness, care and healthy eating in mind!


Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!

Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, is a health care provider of over 30 years. As a featured “Communities Digital News” columnist, LifeCycles with Laurie Edwards-Tate emphasizes healthy aging and maintaining independence, while delighting and informing its readers. Laurie is a recognized expert in home and community-based, long-term care services, and is also an educator.

In addition to writing for “Communities Digital News,” Laurie is the President and CEO of her firm, At Your Home Familycare, which serves persons of all ages who are disabled and infirm with a variety of non-medical, in-home care and concierge services.

Copyright © 2014 by At Your Home Familycare

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Laurie Edwards-Tate
Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, President and Founder of At Your Home Familycare in San Diego, California, was among the first to recognize the growing need for services allowing individuals to remain independent created by the aging of America including the Baby Boomer generation, now being called the “Silver Tsunami.” It is the Baby Boomers who are rapidly redefining what aging and growing older means and looks like in America today. Now celebrating its 28th year in business, AYHF is among San Diego County’s Top Women-Owned Businesses and Fastest Growing Businesses, and enjoys a reputation for upholding the highest possible standards among its employees and its emphasis on customer service. Edwards-Tate is a valued contributor to the public dialogue on current issues and challenges in the home care industry, and serves in leadership roles on the Home Care Aide Association of America Advisory Board and Private Duty Home Care Association Advisory Board, as well as the Home Care Aide Steering Committee of the California Association for Health Services at Home. Edwards-Tate is frequently interviewed in the media on healthy aging, caregiving, and health care topics. Follow Laurie and AYHF at; on Facebook at, and Twitter at @AYHFamilycare