November Kitchen Connections

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kitchen connections. Learn to cook med instead of meds sweet potato casserole.

People love food and food demonstrations. They are all over the internet and television. Frequently, recipes look easy when the professional does them, but we soon find out that they require too much work, too many steps, or ingredients you can’t find.

If you’re looking for easy, healthy and low-cost recipes, check out our Kitchen Connections food demonstration. Each month Meghan Lassiter, the Family and Consumer Science Extension Agent from our N.C. Cooperative Extension office here in Brunswick County conducts a live virtual food demonstration. 

You can watch these Kitchen Connections demonstrations live on the third Monday of each month at noon on our Facebook page. Look for and follow N.C. Cooperative Extension – Brunswick County Center on Facebook to get announcements. If you’ve missed them in the past there are recordings on our YouTube channel.

The next Kitchen Connections is this coming Monday, November 15 at noon. The topic will be sweet potatoes and she’ll be making a healthier version of a traditional Sweet Potato Casserole from our Med instead of Meds recipe collection.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole


  • 4 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 pound)
  • ½ cup (or 4oz) unsweetened apple sauce
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg


  • ½ cup quick oats
  • ½ cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tablespoon canola oil


    • Wash hands and counter before beginning to cook. Scrub the sweet potatoes with a clean vegetable brush under running water.
    • Pierce the clean sweet potatoes with a fork and place in a microwave-safe dish.
    • Microwave on high for 15-18 minutes, or until tender. Flip sweet potatoes halfway through.
    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    • Remove sweet potatoes from microwave and carefully cut lengthwise; this will help to cool them faster.
    • Once the sweet potatoes are able to be held, hold each half and scoop the insides into a mixing bowl, discarding the skins.
    • Use a potato masher, hand beaters, or a food processor to further mash sweet potatoes.
    • To the sweet potatoes, add apple sauce, milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir to combine.
    • Pour mixture into a 9-inch square baking dish.
    • In a small bowl, mix together quick oats, pecans (optional), brown sugar, cinnamon, and canola oil.
    • Sprinkle oat mixture evenly on top of the sweet potato mixture.
    • Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  • Remove pan from oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Cut into 9 pieces.

Nutrition Information per Serving:

150 calories, 20 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, 7 grams of fat and 25 mg of sodium.

Recipe Tip:

Fresh sweet potatoes work the best in this recipe, but canned sweet potatoes can be substituted. Rinse and drain a 40-oz can of cut sweet potatoes (about 1 pound of sweet potatoes will remain after discarding the liquid.)

Sweet Potato Tip:

When buying sweet potatoes, choose firm potatoes with smooth skin. Avoid those with cracks, soft spots and blemishes. Store in a cool, dark place and use within 3-5 weeks. Do not store in the refrigerator.

Nutrition in Sweet Potatoes:

Good source of fiber and potassium and high in vitamin A and vitamin C.

Med Instead of Meds is an educational program developed by N.C. Cooperative Extension that focuses on the healthy Mediterranean-style eating pattern. Lassiter is offering an online series of classes with food demos that discuss the seven steps to Eating the Med Way. Each session explores 1–2 simple steps, a mindfulness skill, and Med Way recipes. For more info contact our office in Bolivia or check out our website and register on-line to participate. The Med Instead of Meds class is free of charge.


Cheryle Syracuse wrote this article and more similar ones for the Family and Consumer Sciences Column in the Brunswick Beacon. Syracuse is an FCS team member and can be reached at N.C. Cooperative Extension, Brunswick County Center, 910.253.2610 or by email at