You’re probably familiar with the good old classic sweet potato and it’s myriad of uses in your recipes. The gorgeously pigmented, vitamin-rich root vegetable makes good (and good-looking) chips, salads, and now even toast.
We’ve recently discovered a new love which adds a twist to your old favourite and also happens to be our favourite colour: cue the purple sweet potato.
This way-more-photogenic sister to your superfood obsession is known as the Stokes potato, and in addition to the usual tuber nutritional profile (high in fiber and vitamins A and C) it’s also packed with antioxidants (just like it’s deep-hued brethren, including blueberries).
So what to do with them? Here’s a unique idea – mash them with almond milk, maple syrup, and spices and layer on top of a cashew macadamia crust to get a spotlight-stealing, healthy-sweet bar.
Vegan Purple Sweet Potato Pie Bars
Makes 16–20 bars
For the crust:
1 1/2 cups raw cashews
1 cup macadamia nuts (or skinless almonds)
1 cup pitted dates
3 Tbsp coconut oil
For the sweet potato pie layer:
750g purple sweet potatoes, boiled, skinned, and mashed (about 2 1/2 cups mashed)
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
1. Soak the cashews and macadamia nuts in warm water for at least one hour. Drain off the liquid and pour the soaked nuts into a food processor. Add in the pitted dates and coconut oil and process until a sticky crust forms.
2. Grease or line a 23cm glass baking dish. Scrape the crust mixture into the baking dish and use a rubber spatula or spoon to press the mixture firmly and evenly into the pan. Freeze to set the crust, about one hour. Wipe the processor bowl out with a paper towel and set aside.
3. Place the sweet potatoes into a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are fork tender, about 10–15 minutes. Remove from the water and let cool completely. Once cooled, remove the skins.
4. Place the sweet potatoes into the processor bowl with the almond milk, maple syrup, coconut oil, lemon juice, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Process on high until the mixture is completely combined and smooth.
5. Pour the mixture over the cooled crust layer and spread it evenly around. Place the baking dish back into the freezer to firm—they’ll be much easier to slice this way. Once they’re firm, about 3-plus hours later, slice the bars in even squares.
6. Serve immediately or let soften in the fridge until you’re ready to enjoy!
* Purple sweet potatoes are different than Japanese sweet potatoes, which are purple on the outside but white on the inside. Make sure you double-check or your pie squares—while delicious!—certainly won’t come out the same.