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Roasted Sweet Potatoes Topped with Pecan Crumble

WIC kitchen cooks up a holiday favorite

By Natalie Meriwether

Now that Halloween has come and gone, we are really getting into the spirit of the holiday season. If you’re anything like us here at Monongalia County Health Department’s WIC program, then you’re almost as excited for Thanksgiving as you are for December holidays.

This month in the WIC kitchen, we decided to focus on a favorite Thanksgiving vegetable: sweet potatoes.

This dish is sure to be a crowd pleaser, with its sweet and salty taste and soft, yet crunchy, texture. Flavors from the cinnamon, pecans and brown sugar are sure to satisfy even the picky eaters in the family.

One thing we love about sweet potatoes is not only are they sweet and delicious, but they’re also full of important macro and micronutrients. Like most other orange vegetables, they are very rich in beta carotene.

Beta carotene is an antioxidant that our bodies convert into vitamin A, which is vital for vision and cell growth. Along with vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and potassium, sweet potatoes are a great source of fiber and complex carbohydrates, which will keep you full for longer and allow your body to use the energy more efficiently. While  nutrient-dense, sweet potatoes are also  versatile and can be prepared in many ways with different flavors.

Pecans are another healthy key ingredient in this dish. Along with crunch and extra sweetness, they add many nutrients, including niacin, thiamine, vitamins A and E and iron and folate, which are crucial during pregnancy. Like most other nuts, pecans are also very high in healthy fats, fiber and protein.

Although they are high in calories, you only need to eat a small portion to feel full and reap the health benefits.

Try this dish as an addition to your Thanksgiving meal or as a delicious side for any family dinner.


  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Mix 1/4 cup of brown sugar, vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and salt in large bowl.

Add sweet potatoes and olive oil; toss to coat well.

Dish sweet potatoes in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Dab with two tablespoons of the butter. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

While the sweet potatoes are roasting, mix flour, the other 1/2 cup brown sugar and another teaspoon of cinnamon in a medium bowl.

Cut in the other four tablespoons of butter with a fork until crumbs form and add in pecans.

Remove sweet potatoes from oven and stir gently. Sprinkle evenly with topping.

Bake, uncovered, another 30 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender and topping is golden brown.

MCHD WIC provides nutrition packages and counseling and breastfeeding support to participants in six counties. WIC is an equal opportunity employer. To find out if you qualify, check out or call 1-800-675-5181.