Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Soy Chai Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole

Soy Chai Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole

Desperate times call for desperate measures. But that's not always a bad thing. One of our best friends, Kanushri, is vegan, so we do a lot of vegan baking. Sweet potato casserole is an easy enough thing to make vegan, and it tastes just as good vegan as it does non-vegan. I had made vegan sweet potato casserole before, but on Sunday when I wanted to make it, I didn't have soy milk. I had literally just gone to the grocery store and didn't want to walk the mile there and back again, so I thought about my options. In the Munchie Mart  in the basement of my dorm, they have 8 ounce juice-box sized things of chocolate soy milk, which I had used once before in sweet potato casserole. It turned out fine, but I didn't want to do that again because I didn't want to waste a meal or pay the ridiculous price they charge to get them individually. So, I decided to check some of the drugstores closer to campus to see if they had soy milk (in this adventure I probably ended up walking more than I would have had I just gone back to the grocery store). Well, none of them had soy milk.

Feeling defeated, I was on my way back to my dorm when I saw Starbucks and had an epiphany. I often get soy chai lattes at Starbucks (the best soy latte that you've ever had, for all you Train fans). And the spices in chai are similar to those in sweet potato casserole. So, I went into Starbucks, got a venti soy chai (8 ounces for this recipe, 12 ounces for me!), and a great new recipe was in the works.

Here's what you need:

4 lbs sweet potatoes

1/2 cup vegan margarine, melted 

1 cup soy chai latte, hot

1 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup + 2 tbsp packed brown sugar

1/2 cup crushed pecans to sprinkle on top (optional)

1/2-2/3 cup vegan marshmallows, such as Ricemellow, to sprinkle on top (also optional, but a very good option)


1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9 x 13 pan. 

1. Individually wrap each sweet potato in microwaveable plastic wrap. Then, put them all in the microwave for about 8 minutes on high, or until they feel mushy when you touch them. Cooking them this way is helpful because the skin falls right off when you cut into them and they're easy to peel and mash. So, peel and mash them as best you can. Warning: sweet potatoes will be very hot, so hold them with a potholder. 

2. Melt the vegan margarine and heat up your soy chai if it's gotten cold. These things being hot helps to make it even easier to mash the sweet potatoes to a smooth consistency. So once you add these in, mash the sweet potatoes some more and mix until this mixture looks well combined.

3. Mix in the salt, vanilla, and brown sugar.

4. Spread the mixture in the pan and sprinkle crushed pecans on top

5. Put it in the oven for 25 minutes

6. Take it out of the oven and sprinkle the marshmallows on top. ( I left part un-marshmallowed so Lauren could eat it without it being considered a sweet)

7. Cook for 20 more minutes, or until the casserole is bubbling around the edges.

8. Let it cool a bit, and enjoy!

Let your creativity save you when you're in a pinch, and when in doubt, bake!

<3 Dena


  1. Yum two of my favorite things: chai and sweet potatoes. Can't wait to try this!

  2. Normal marshmellows are not vegan unless you buy a vegan brand, such as Ricemellow.

  3. Thanks for letting me know, I'll make a note about that in the recipe!