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Eat Well Nov. 12. 2013
Desserts

Cinnamon Sweet Potato Truffles

Nov. 12. 2013
Desserts
McKel Hill

McKel Hill

MS, RDN, LDN, Dietitian

There’s no other root vegetable I love more than sweet potatoes, sweet, ooey-gooey soft and caramelized sweet potatoes. Cinnamon Sweet Potato Truffles captures the versatility of sweet potatoes as this dish is primarily a dessert instead of the familiar savory preparation we normally see with this root vegetable. These truffles are deliciously simple to make containing only natural, gluten-free, dairy-free and nutrient dense ingredients; mainly almonds, dates, oats, and of course sweet potatoes!

Word on the street (a.k.a. my kitchen?) is sweet potatoes are no longer just for savory dishes, they’re also great in desserts! I love using them in dessert recipes to add a natural sweetness with a starchy yet creamy texture, take sweet potato pie or sweet potato casserole for example. Sweet potatoes are highlighted best when they’re baked in the oven long enough that the natural sugars from the center start oozing out of the crispy potato skin, creating a dark sugar caramel. My favorite part of baking sweet potatoes is the moment when you scrape them off the baking sheet and see a string of caramel connecting the sweet potato to the baking sheet still- that is until I quickly take my finger and scoop up the sugary sweetness and eat it!

Nutrient breakdown of SWEET POTATOES |

  • Vitamin A } 1 cup (200g) contains about 770% DV of vitamin A!
  • Vitamin C
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Vitamin B6, B5, B3
  • Fiber
  • Copper
  • Antioxidants } mainly beta-carotene

Remember when we talked about carrots, the beta-carotene is more readily absorbed by our bodies when they’re cooked- same with sweet potatoes! Both the absorption of antioxidants from carrots and sweet potatoes are enhanced when eaten with healthy fats such as the nuts and seeds used in this recipe.

    

These truffles remind me of a big scoop of sweet potato pie/casserole formed into truffle sized balls. If you’re entertaining this holiday season and for Thanksgiving in particular, this is a perfect recipe for a sweet appetizer or a savory/sweet dessert option because the ball size will dictate the party- meaning you can create 6 large balls (which can either be made very large and simply eaten with a spoon or do what I do and take a giant bite or you can bring this to a large party and make about 24 smaller sized truffle balls, the choice is yours! This recipe was inspired by several southern style cooking recipes from Food Network and also Southern Living magazine that I saw for sweet potato pie balls- this is my healthier spin and interpretation on those recipes (sans butter and refined sugars).

GARNISH OPTIONS  |

  • Dried fruits // Goji berries, raisins, dried cranberries, apricots, blueberries, etc.
  • Nuts // pecans, almonds, walnuts, almond, brazil, hazelnuts, cashews, etc.
  • Seeds // sunflower, hemp, chia, flax, pumpkin, sesame, etc.
  • Chocolate // raw cocoa powder, cacao nibs, dark chocolate chips
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Crunchy homemade granola
  • Chocolate ganache (recipe below)

  

  

Cinnamon Sweet Potato Truffles
Recipe Type: snack
Author: McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6+
A soft, slightly sweet and savory sweet potato ball filled with nuts, dates, and warming cinnamon.
Ingredients
  • 3 cups sweet potato (1 very large or 3 small), baked
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup dates, pitted
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats, gluten free
  • 1 tablespoon organic coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • GARNISH //
  • pumpkin seeds
  • goji berries
  • sesame seeds
  • raw cocoa powder
Instructions
  1. Wash sweet potatoes (you have the choice to leave skin on or peel- I like the skin on).
  2. Bake sweet potatoes at 350 degrees F for 30-40 minutes, continually checking by sticking a knife in the middle. You’ll know these are done when they’re very soft and all the natural sugars start to caramelize on the outside.
  3. Allow sweet potatoes to cool at room temperature.
  4. Then add all ingredients into a high speed blender/Vitamix/food processor until the mixture is smooth and brought together, similar to a dough.
  5. Divide the mixture into 6 large portions or you may roll these into 24 smaller ball truffles.
  6. Roll each divided portion into a ball in the palm of your hands packing to form a ball; note these will be soft.
  7. Chill in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes until cool.
  8. GARNISH OPTIONS //
  9. Roll each truffle, one at a time, in any garnish you like (goji berries, raisins, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, raw cocoa powder, coconut, etc.).
  10. GANCHE //
  11. One at a time, roll each truffle to coat completely.
  12. Set on parchment paper (not touching any other ganache covered truffle).
  13. Chill for about 20 minutes or until chocolate coating is hardened.
  14. Serve while still cool to ensure the chocolate coating is still hard.
  15. Keep in an air tight container and store in the refrigerator until serving.
  16. Enjoy!
Notes
You can also store in the freezer for longer keeping, thaw before eating.
Raw Chocolate Ganache
Recipe Type: dessert, sauce
Author: McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN
Prep time:
Total time:
A quick raw chocolate ganache used for coating, sauces, or on any dessert.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cocoa powder, organic unprocessed
  • 1 cup organic coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • pinch of sea salt
Instructions
  1. Take melted coconut oil and stir to combine with maple syrup and cocoa powder until a thick chocolate sauce is created.
  2. More coconut oil will create a thinner sauce, less coconut oil while create a thicker sauce; adjust to your needs.
  3. Store in the fridge.
  4. Enjoy!

I hope you all love these as much as I do and I’d love to hear how you all garnish these! Share below with your ideas and creations and be sure to share with your friends and family- everyone deserves this recipe at their holiday table this year!

Have a sweet day,

xo McKel

The Recipe

Serves 6+

Print

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups sweet potato (1 very large or 3 small), baked
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup dates, pitted
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats, gluten free
  • 1 tablespoon organic coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • GARNISH //
  • pumpkin seeds
  • goji berries
  • sesame seeds
  • raw cocoa powder

Directions:

  1. Wash sweet potatoes (you have the choice to leave skin on or peel- I like the skin on).
  2. Bake sweet potatoes at 350 degrees F for 30-40 minutes, continually checking by sticking a knife in the middle. You’ll know these are done when they’re very soft and all the natural sugars start to caramelize on the outside.
  3. Allow sweet potatoes to cool at room temperature.
  4. Then add all ingredients into a high speed blender/Vitamix/food processor until the mixture is smooth and brought together, similar to a dough.
  5. Divide the mixture into 6 large portions or you may roll these into 24 smaller ball truffles.
  6. Roll each divided portion into a ball in the palm of your hands packing to form a ball; note these will be soft.
  7. Chill in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes until cool.
  8. GARNISH OPTIONS //
  9. Roll each truffle, one at a time, in any garnish you like (goji berries, raisins, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, raw cocoa powder, coconut, etc.).
  10. GANCHE //
  11. One at a time, roll each truffle to coat completely.
  12. Set on parchment paper (not touching any other ganache covered truffle).
  13. Chill for about 20 minutes or until chocolate coating is hardened.
  14. Serve while still cool to ensure the chocolate coating is still hard.
  15. Keep in an air tight container and store in the refrigerator until serving.
  16. Enjoy!

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Did you try it out?

Share Your Thoughts & Images

  • Good thing we just pulled our sweet potatoes out of the ground yesterday. Now I know what to do with them!!

  • Jessie

    I have sweet potatoes!!! Making these today 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

  • very creative. they sound great!

  • Elizabeth

    Do you have any suggestions for a substitute for the rolled oats? I am on an eating plan due to lyme diseases and i’m restricted from any form of wheat… would cooked quinoa work? flaxseed meal? almond flour? Any suggestions I would appreciate.

    • Hi Elizabeth! Rolled oats are gluten free- meaning they contain no wheat, just be sure to purchase them certified gluten free. If you don’t want to use the oats, simply use more dates and more almonds to make up for the volume and thickness the oats give these truffles. You may also use cooked quinoa that may work as well- please let me know what works for you. I hope you like them 🙂

  • Yum! These look like such a tasty experiment!

  • Kay

    This looks fabulous! I can’t wait to try them.

  • Mindy

    I just made this recipe and it taste great. Only problem is my mixture is not thick enough into balls. What can I add? Can’t wait to dip them in chocolate.

    • Hi Mindy,
      You may try adding more dates and nuts to create the balls- note they are soft! That’s why it helps to chill and keep them cool 😉

  • EJ

    These look amazing! Could you eliminate the almonds or replace them with something else? I am allergic so need to find the best alternative!

    • Hi EJ! Of course, you can try replacing them with pecans, hazelnuts, or walnuts! Hope you like them 🙂

  • Messy Mia

    These look so good and can’t wait to make them. I was wondering if they would store well ? how would you suggest to store them if they do. Thanks for your help.

  • Maraika

    Hi. Tried to Pin it but no photo comes up. Is it me doing it wrong or is there something not right??

    • Hi Maraika,
      It could be an issue with an operating plugin on your computer like java script. It works fine on my end! Thanks 🙂

  • Sophia

    Hi McKel,
    I’m very keen on trying this recipe today but I just realised I’ve finished all my dates, so I was wondering if you could suggest any substitutes or how the recipe would result without them? Thank you.

    • Hi Sophia,
      The dates are really important to bind the mixture together to make them chewy and sweet. If you have prunes or dried figs that may work as well- you may have to adjust the moisture/sweetness to taste 🙂

  • Françoise Tremblay

    Do you need to soak the almonds?

  • Lauri

    Hello again McKel,
    I have a couple of questions for you. Several of your recipes call for maple syrup. I can’t have sugar of any sort, save for stevia in small amounts. Do you have any suggestions as to what can be used in place of the maple syrup? I am so looking forward to baking your yummy looking chocolate cake, and best of all EATING IT!! 🙂
    Be blessed!
    Lauri

  • Lauri

    I promise I’m not a cyber stalker! LOL!! Do you know where you got the cocoa nibs from? I’m not having any luck here in CO finding them..
    Thanks again!
    Lauri

  • Sweet! I have sweet potatoes that I was feeling really un-inspired with! I’m definitely trying these with my cocao powder and nibs!

  • Ln p

    Can’t wait to try this recipe! Do you wrap the potatoes in foil when you bake them? I tried to bake them without foil , with a bit of oil, and the skins got crispy . I prefer a softer skin.. Any suggestions without using the foil? Thank you!

  • Amy

    These turned out amazing! I added just a little bit more maple syrup to the chocolate ganache as well as a touch of vanilla extract to improve the bitterness. Otherwise excellent recipe.

  • Serpil

    Hi,

    I just discovered your website, and I looove it! I live in Denmark, Europe, but I’m currently enrolled with Integrative Institute for Nutrition in NY to become a Health Coach. I think you’re very inspiring, and your recipes sound and look so delicious. I look forward to following you 🙂

    • Hi Serpil,
      Thank you so much for your kind words and support of Nutrition Stripped I appreciate it! xx mh

  • Emily

    I have a sensitive stomach and don’t react well to dates, what would be your recommendation? Thanks! Can’t wait to give these a try!

    • Dates are truly the thing that makes this recipe work because of their binding ability! I don’t have another option at this time!

  • DIGGS

    McKel! These are AMAZING! I can’t believe how delicious (and simple!) these are! I spent no more than 5 active minutes and they are divine. I did substitute the coconut oil for walnut oil since it’s what I had, and am always a little heavy handed when it comes to spices- girl, I am just thrilled with the result!
    Kudos to you for yet another fabulous recipe! I love keeping up with you doing your thing!

    • You’re so welcome! I’m thrilled you enjoyed these as much as I do- heavy handed on spices is never a bad thing 😉

  • Lo

    I can’t wait to try these! As well as lots of other recipes on your website. I like how you take healthy, whole and nutritious food and turn it into something creative and inspiring and with so much variety. After looking at all your recipes I felt very inspired to eat in a more holistic way and to focus on making smarter nutritious choices to live a more balanced life!

  • Brandi

    I made these yesterday. I was impressed. With no added sugar, like honey or maple syrup, I was expecting these to taste…umm how do I say this…healthy, yes that’s it. I was expecting they would taste really healthy 😉 haha I was really surprised when I ate one. They’re delicious! I have a real weakness for sweats and so I just love that I can have one of these in place of desert and not feel guilty. Thank-you so much for sharing McKel.

    I’ve really been enjoying your website. I’m trying to move towards eating more natural and whole foods, and your recipes have been a great help. I started making smoothie for me and my mother each morning, starting with a safe one like your ‘King, PB & Banana Smoothie’ recipe (absolutely delicious by the way! A favorite for sure.) and have slowly been venturing into adding veggies. I’d like to add more protein to my smoothie but I’m a little uneasy about the ingredients I read in protein powders because I don’t understand them. I see you add them to your smoothies. Can you tell me what you look for and what you try to avoid and why when selecting a protein powder? I’d like to stay as close to natural and whole as possible, and that seems to be very much your philosophy as well. Thanks!

    • You’re very welcome and thank you for all the kind words! So glad you enjoyed the recipe; for proteins, check out my search box for guide to protein powders and my whole “the basics” protein series xx

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