If you follow us on Instagram (which you should be… you can find us here) you know that we have been struggling to turn an old family sweet potato crunch recipe into a healthier paleo version. Well after FIVE failed attempts to make the perfect crunch topping we finally present to you… healthy sweet potato crunch!
Noticed I said WE as opposed to me? Mr. Peel has been super helpful, i.e. he was an excellent taste tester for this post and didn’t complain when I fed him burnt coconut sugar. Oops.
And yes, I realize that this is two sweet potato posts in a row. But hey… it is fall and sometimes it takes FIVE tries to get the crunchy goodness. Things don’t always go according to schedule. Besides, who doesn’t love sweet potatoes? If you missed the last sweet potato post you can check it out here.
This sweet potato dish is can be best described as a cross between sweet potato casserole and crustless sweet potato pie. It is one of those dishes that pleases everyone.
Why We Love Healthy Sweet Potato Crunch
First off, it is healthy enough we can eat it anytime. This is not just a Thanksgiving splurge. It is gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar-free. While we used eggs in it, an egg replacer like a flax egg would absolutely work if you wanted to make a vegan version.
Second, it tastes amazing. Less sweet than the original version this sweet potato crunch can be served as a side dish or a dessert. When serving as a side, I would reduce the cinnamon by half and add a dash of cayenne just to make it a bit more savory. I know people are very passionate about their sweet potato casserole, no worries if that isn’t your thing. To serve as a dessert, I would top with coconut whipped cream or even non-dairy ice cream.
Finally, texture-texture-texture! The bottom layer is essentially a custard without the dairy. While the top is a cinnamon-pecan crunch that provides great contrast. Unlike most gluten-free desserts this sweet potato dish holds up well over a couple days. It can be served piping hot or at room temp, the texture really does hold up that well.
There may have been some eating it cold for breakfast too. May have been. You can’t prove anything…
But really this sweet potato recipe feels light and healthy plus decadent all at the same time. And you can’t beat that!
How to Make Healthy Sweet Potato Crunch
This is a very simple dish, which is why I love it for Thanksgiving and beyond. You need one medium mixing bowl for the sweet potato base and one small bowl for the crunchy pecan topping.
I used one 15 ounces can of sweet potato puree filling. If you want to use fresh mashed sweet potatoes, you will need to thin the puree out with ¼- ½ cup almond milk. We also used coconut sugar for the filling. We had several successful fillings using brown coconut sugar, honey and maple syrup. Feel free to substitute with whatever you have on hand.
For the topping, we used a gluten-free flour blend. It was such a small amount I wasn’t concerned. If you want to make a truly paleo sweet potato crunch you can use an equal amount of almond flour plus 1 tsp arrowroot or tapioca starch.
I find that with this sweet potato recipe, along with any type of custard, bake times vary based on humidity. I really noticed it because we made it so many times over the course of a few weeks. Don’t be alarmed if the bake time is off by a few minutes. Just keep an eye on it and when the center barely jiggles, it is done.
You can make this sweet potato crunch the day before and leftovers keep for several days.
We hope this healthy sweet potato crunch earns a place at your Thanksgiving table. We know it will definitely be at ours! Don’t forget to pin this recipe, you don’t want to lose it. It is a keeper! Plus you can check out our other holiday recipes here.
Please leave us a comment and let us know how you liked it!
A healthier naturally sweetened gluten-free sweet potato casserole with a crunchy pecan topping.
- 2 cups sweet potato puree*
- 2 eggs, whisked sub 1.5 flax eggs for vegan
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar**
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup gluten-free flour blend***
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all the filling ingredients together until well combined. Pour into 9-inch baking dish.
Mix together crumble ingredients. Dot over filling.
Bake for 25-35 minutes until center is just set.
Allow the casserole to cool, serve slightly warm or chilled.
*Sweet Potato Puree- The recipe, as written, used one 15 oz can of organic sweet potato puree. If using fresh sweet potatoes, you may need to add up to a half cup of almond milk. Bake times vary based on the type of sweet potato chosen and the water content.
**Coconut Sugar- The sugar in the filling is very flexible. You can use honey, maple syrup, brown coconut sugar, regular coconut sugar or regular coconut sugar plus a teaspoon of molasses.
*** Gluten-Free Flour Blend- We use America's Test Kitchen Gluten Free Flour blend but any pre-bought blend will work. To make a Paleo Sweet Potato Crunch substitute an equal amount of almond flour plus 1 tsp arrowroot starch.