What’s your favorite part about Thanksgiving? Mine is all the delicious side dishes. This is my first year to celebrate Thanksgiving completely plant based, and since all the traditional Thanksgiving dishes we make here in the South are made with at least a stick of butter and a can of condensed milk (and a LOT of sugar), this year I’ll bring a few specific dishes to our family’s feast so I can enjoy, one of which is this delicious vegan sweet potato casserole.

Bringing my own favorite dishes ensures that I’ll have a few options I can eat and not have to worry about what ingredients were used and whether or not they’ll set off any unpleasant digestive symptoms for me. Because no food, and I mean NO food, is worth feeling that way. I don’t care how good it is. I now know life without awful gas and bloating, and I’m not going back to the way I felt before I transitioned to a 100% plant based diet just about a year ago. 

Anyway, my mom has been making this sweet potato casserole for years. I honestly can’t remember a Thanksgiving without it and I’ve always loved it. So she gave me her recipe to “clean up” and make it vegan so I can eat it, and I went ahead and cut the sweetness back a little bit, too (wink), using maple syrup instead of granulated sugar.

My husband taste-tested my vegan sweet potato casserole for me and said he actually prefers it a bit less sweet. He said he likes his side dishes to taste like side dishes and not dessert. Because heaven knows at a southern Thanksgiving table, there’s no shortage of desserts, either.

 

VEGAN SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE

 

Ingredients For Casserole:

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes (I usually use two orange and one Japanese for sweeter flavor, but use any variety you’d like)
  • 3 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 9 tbsp warm water
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (use 1/2 cup if you like it really sweet)
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon

Ingredients For Topping:

  • 1/2 cup corn flakes
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

Directions:

  1. Scrub the sweet potatoes well and pierce with a fork 4 or 5 times. Place them on a baking sheet and roast in a 400 degree oven for 45-50 minutes.
  2. Let the sweet potatoes cool enough to handle, and scoop the flesh out of the skins, placing the flesh in a large bowl. Discard the skins. 
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the ground flaxseed with the warm water to create flaxseed eggs. Let this sit for a couple of minutes.
  4. While the flaxseed eggs are setting up, mash the sweet potatoes with a potato masher. Add the melted coconut oil, maple syrup, flour, coconut milk, and cinnamon and mix everything well. Add the flaxseed eggs and mix well.
  5. Pour the mixture into a large baking dish and set aside.
  6. In a ziploc bag, add all the ingredients for the topping. Use your hands to just barely crush the corn flakes; don’t pulverize them or you won’t have any crunch to your topping. Evenly spread the topping mixture on top of the casserole.
  7. Bake the casserole at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

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