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Sweet Potato Casserole

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Although I call this a sweet potato casserole, I actually use fresh garnet yams because I like their bright orange color. Although this dish takes some time, it is so much healthier and tastier than the traditional casserole made with canned yams, that it’s well worth my time! I also like that I can make it in stages…I bake the sweet potatoes on Tuesday and put them in the refrigerator. On Wednesday, I do the remaining preparation (minus the marshmallows and pecans). Then on Thanksgiving Day I have one less dish to prepare. My three boys love this recipe with the toasted marshmallows on top. The adults, however, don’t like the added sweetness, so I cover half the dish with marshmallows and the other half with pecans to satisfy everyone. Give it a try this Thanksgiving!

*****************Sweet Potato Casserole*****************

INGREDIENTS
■ 4 pounds garnet yams, washed and pierced with a fork
■ ½ cup evaporated skim milk
■ 6 tablespoons brown sugar
■ 1 tablespoon cinnamon
■ ½ teaspoon grated orange peel
■ ½ teaspoon nutmeg
■ ¼ teaspoon salt
■ ½ teaspoon black pepper
■ 1-2 cups mini-marshmallows

PREPARATION – AT LEAST ONE DAY IN ADVANCE:
1. Bake yams at 375° F for 1 ¼ hours, or until soft when pierced with a fork. Cool completely.
2. Peel skin and cut potatoes into chunks. Transfer to a large mixing bowl or food processor.
3. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, orange peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
4. Add evaporated skim milk and sugar/spices mix to mixing bowl or food processor. Blend to desired consistency.
5. Transfer mixture to a baking dish. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or up to two days) to blend flavors.
6. On Thanksgiving Day, remove potatoes from refrigerator and bring to room temperature.
7. Bake covered for 25 minutes. Remove cover, sprinkle with marshmallow and pecans, as desired, and bake until marshmallows are golden brown, about 3-5 minutes.
Makes about 10 ½ cup servings
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