Foodie Files: Sweet Potato Torte

I remember loving my Mom’s sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving every year. I think the yams came out of a can and the dish was loaded with a kid’s two favorite food groups: brown sugar and marshmallows. It was ooey, gooey goodness!

While I don’t have anything against Mom’s dish (you know I love you MOM!!!) these days I’m considerably more health conscious. Don’t get me wrong, I still want the sweet richness of that melty loveliness, but I also bring more mindfulness to that table about what I am putting into my body.

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So…..I bring you a healthy riff on the classic sweet potato casserole that graces many tables at Thanksgiving and Christmas. This torte is full of solid nutrition and no funky ingredients. It’s whole food goodness you can eat feeling secure you got some good stuff, like vitamins and healthy fats, into you. You can also eat this dish with an easy mind that you aren’t just packing it onto the waistline this holiday season. No sugar shock is a nice thing too.

**There are a few variations you can make to this recipe to meet your nutritional preferences and needs. Gluten free, Dairy Free, Low-Glycemic, Egg Free, Paleo, Bulletproof, Vegan…you name it. I’ll provide some recipe riffs so you can choose what works best for you.

 This recipe makes one 9-inch torte.

 Ingredients:

  • 3 medium sized sweet potatoes or garnet yams
  • 1 3/4 cups sweetened condensed milk (2 14oz cans) or 1 3/4C unsweetened dairy free milk of choice + 1/4C honey
  • 6T unsalted butter, dairy free butter, olive oil or coconut oil; melted
  • 2 eggs or egg substitute *
  • 1/4c pure maple syrup
  • 1t ground nutmeg or mace
  • 1/2t ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2t sea salt
  • 3/4t pure vanilla extract
  • 1 recipe Pastry Crust**

 Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan.
  • Bake sweet potatoes until easily pierced by a fork. Scrape potatoes out of their skin into a large bowl
  • With a hand mixer or food processor, beat potatoes until smooth.
  • Add remaining ingredients and blend until well combined.
  • Roll out Pastry Crust dough to fit prepared springform pan, pressing dough over the bottom and up the sides 1 inch. If dough tears in pan, press cracks together with a wet finger to repair.
  • Add the filling to the crust and bake until center is set and sides begin to brown, about 1- 1 1/2 hours.
  • Cool completely before slicing. Serve at room temperature.

 

 *An allergy friendly or vegan egg substitute is easily made with chia seeds. Chia seeds are also a great source of fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids, so it’s a great way to get some healthy fat and fiber into your body.

1 egg= 1T chia seeds+3T water

In a spice grinder, make a meal out of the chia seeds and combine with water. Let sit for a 5 minutes. The chia meal will soak up the water and take on an egg white-esque texture.

 **For the Pastry Crust:

Many people have gluten sensitivities these days. Self included. I really have to limit my consumption. My hubby has a dairy sensitivity. This always proves an issue with baking because flour, milk and butter are staples in the baking process..  Here is the recipe I use to make a gluten free/dairy free pastry crust. Note: when it came to rolling out the dough, it didn’t quite work right, but I was able to make a perfect crust in the pan by using my hands to spread it out instead.

 Gluten Free/Dairy Free Pastry Crust:

  • 1C gluten free all-purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2T tapioca flour
  • 3T brown sugar, or coconut sugar for a lower glycemic option
  • 1/4t salt
  • 6T coconut oil, well chilled
  • 1 large egg (or flax/chia gel; this is a great egg substitute and an easy way to increase the fiber content and omega 3 fatty acids).
  • 1T ice water; more as needed.

Directions:

  • In a food processor, mix together the all-purpose flour, tapioca flour, brown sugar and salt. Pulse to blend.
  • Cut in the coconut oil “chunks” until the mixture looks like coarse meal.
  • Add egg, or flax/chia gel, and water. Mix until the dough forms a ball.
  • Flatten the dough into a 6-inch disk and place between two sheets of parchment or wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to one hour.
  • To make a crust, roll out the dough between the parchment or wax paper until it fits into the 9-inch springform pan.

If you are a Primal/Paleo eater, you can use this crust option:

Simple Paleo Pie Crust

Ingredients:

  • 2c almond flour
  • 1/4t high quality salt (celtic, fleur de sel, Himalayan, etc)
  • 2T coconut oil
  • 1 egg

Directions:

  • Pulse flour and salt in food processor to combine.
  • Add coconut oil and egg to flour mix and pulse until a ball forms.
  • Press dough into pan.

 

You can find a traditional pastry crust recipe HERE….

 

This recipe was inspired from the October/November 2011 issue of Gluten Free and More

 

Let me know how you like this recipe in the comments below!

 

It was a big hit in my kitchen when I made it the first time. My husband has informed me that we will be taking a torte to each and every Thanksgiving dinner we have been invited to this year!  Best pick up a bunch of sweet potatoes while I’m thinking about it:

 

Enjoy!