Butternut Squash “Sweet Potato” Casserole

With Thanksgiving literally right around the corner, I've been mulling over how to make sides that are both clean and tasty.  I am a sucker for anything sweet potato, but I wanted to make a healthier version of the sweet potato casserole that is found on just about every table on Turkey Day.  Sweet potatoes are not bad, per say, but they are starchy.  The body breaks starch down into glucose (sugar) and, just like simple carbs, stores it in the form of fuel (fat).  If you are being strict and very health or weight-conscious, then unless you are planning to eat your sweet potatoes in the 30 minute burn window after a workout they are best to avoid, at least until you reach your goal.  Butternut squash is such a fantastic replacement for sweet potatoes, it has a naturally sweet flavor, similar color, and is not going be broken down into glucose! 

The other issue I ran into with sweet potato casserole recipes (aside from my problems with the star ingredient) was that they all called for pounds of butter, cream, and sugar-not exactly in-line with our eating style.  I used maple syrup and coconut milk instead, but I also wanted to do some sort of topping.  I decided to use the crumble topper recipe (with a couple tweaks) from Gwenyth Paltrow's book "It's All Good", (it's the Anything Crumble, and it's ridiculously easy and tasty).  Armed with my squash, almond meal, and enthusiasm, I set out on a journey to create the best Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole, and came up with this butternut squash and gluten-free crumble. It's a lot lighter than a sweet potato-based dish due to the consistency of butternut squash, which gives it an almost custard-like feel. I might try just using one egg next time to see what that does. Can't wait to hear what you guys think!

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger
  • 2 tbs maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk

Gluten-Free Streusel 

  • 1/2 cup of Almond Meal
  • 1/2 cup Quinoa Flakes (I use gluten-free oats)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (I use coconut oil)

 
How to do it: 

  1. To microwave, wash squash and then cut in half lengthwise.  Scoop out seeds and fill hollowed out area with water. For a dish like this, where the butternut squash presentation doesn't matter, I tend to favor microwaving instead of baking. Baking is great when you want to preserve the chunks of squash, but microwaving is both easier and faster.
  2. Place one half in microwave safe dish, cover, and cook for 15 mins. Set aside to cool and repeat with the second half. 
  3. Once cooled, using a fork pull the cooked squash into a bowl. It should come away very easily from the skin. 
  4. Place in a food processor (you can also do this without a processor, I don't think it makes much of a difference). 
  5. Add eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, and coconut milk. Mix or process until all ingredients are blended. 
  6. Spray a baking dish with coconut oil cooking spray. 
  7. Pour contents into dish. 
  8. Bake for ten minutes at 350. 
  9. While your butternut squash is cooking, prepare the streusel. 
  10.  Combine oats, almond flour, coconut oil, maple syrup, and cinnamon, and salt in a bowl.  Mix gently. 
  11. After squash has baked ten minutes, pull it out and sprinkle your crumble on top. 
  12. Bake for another 15 mins, or until squash looks cooked and crumble is lightly browned. 
  13. Enjoy!! 
And just in case you needed some more Thanksgiving inspo….here are some gorgeous pics!
Amazing arrangement using persimmons from Santa Barbara Chic.
Perfect rustic setting from Style Me Pretty 
Arrangement with pumpkins, pinecones, and roses 
Rustic wood and flowers from The Girls of Lincoln Park

Thanks for reading! Muah! <3




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