I’ve never met a sweet potato I didn’t like. Bake them, fry them, roast them, casserole them. They’re wonderful, whatever you do! And I’ve always considered sweet potato casserole an essential dish on the holiday table.

So I’ve been experimenting with variations on a sweet potato casserole, trying to create one that is rich and decadent enough for Thanksgiving. Or Christmas. But, because of this anti-inflammatory diet that I’m on, it couldn’t have any added sugar. And it couldn’t have dairy.

And it occurred to me that, if I could cook it in the crock pot, that would be a bonus. Because, even with our double oven, making sure that you have everything cooked at the right temperature and done at the same time is hard.

And, believe it or not, I managed to pull it off!

Of course, I didn’t measure anything. This sweet potato casserole is more like making soup than like making a cake. You can adjust everything according to your own taste. If you can tolerate dairy, and you want to use butter or ghee instead of coconut oil, go ahead. You can add a bit of nutmeg along with the ginger and cinnamon, or use fresh ginger, or add some orange zest. I don’t think there’s any way you can make this and have it turn out anything but delicious.

And if you’re an Orthodox Christian on the New Calendar, and keeping a Lenten Thanksgiving feast, this recipe will work. It goes as well with salmon as with turkey.

I’ve also got gluten-free, dairy-free recipes for green bean casserole (which is NOT Lenten) and pumpkin pie (which is). Just add turkey or salmon and cranberry relish, and you’ve got Thanksgiving dinner!

Crock Pot Sweet Potato Casserole

The spices and cherries provide more flavor and more anti-inflammatory benefits.

Ingredients

Three large apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
Two large sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
About a cup of dried Montmorency cherries
Ground ginger
Cinnamon
Coconut oil
A splash of orange or apple juice

Instructions

Put a large spoonful of coconut oil in the bottom of the crockpot.

Add a third of the sweet potato slices and a third of the apple slices.

Shake a generous amount of ginger and cinnamon over the apple slices.

Add a third of a cup of dried cherries and a large spoonful of coconut oil.

Repeat with another layer of sweet potato slices, apples, spices, cherries, and coconut oil.

Then repeat once again.

Add a splash of orange juice or apple juice to provide a little bit of moisture as the apples and sweet potatoes start cooking.

Cook on low for about 5 hours.

Read More

Fasting on Thanksgiving?: How our family handles Thanksgiving on the New Calendar.

Bacon-Wrapped Sweet Potatoes: Sweet and savory treats for your Pascha breakfast, or any time.

Pumpkin Curry with Shrimp: This favorite Lenten supper has an unexpected mix of ingredients and flavors.

Charlotte Riggle, author of Catherine's Pascha and The Saint Nicholas Day Snow
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