My mother makes a sweet potato recipe similar to this for Thanksgiving. A few years ago, I modified her recipe to make it dairy free for one of our dinner guests. Last year I healthified it more and amped up the flavor by adding a bit of orange juice and orange zest. It’s definitely a keeper.
My clients have been brainstorming ways to eat healthfully and deliciously during the holiday season. This recipe is a good start. If you’re preparing a holiday meal, it’s smart to include a few traditional favorites and a few foods that are more healthful. Some of my clients are making a plan to have a certain number of not-so-healthful must-have foods and at least as many lower-calorie, wholesome choices. One of my clients is planning a healthy recipe contest with her family. I think that’s a clever way to get everyone interested in both great taste and good nutrition. It’s a win-win in my book.
Both the nuts and the sweet potatoes in this recipe are loaded with heart-healthy, brain-healthy nutrition. You’ll love this recipe for its taste but also for its wholesomeness. For my carb-counting friends with diabetes, each ball has only 12 grams of carbohydrate. Plus, these little sweet potato balls look beautiful on a holiday table or any dinner table. Make lots because they reheat well both in the oven and in the microwave.
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes
- 1 Tbsp real maple syrup (feel free to use honey if you prefer)
- ¼ tsp kosher salt or other coarse salt
- ¼ tsp coarse ground black pepper
- ½ tsp orange zest, preferably freshly grated
- 1 Tbsp orange juice
- 4 Tbsp honey
- 1.5 cups chopped walnuts, pecans or a combination of both
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Microwave sweet potatoes until soft. Cut each potato in half, and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Discard the skins.
- Mash the sweet potatoes with the maple syrup, salt, pepper, orange zest and orange juice.
- Shape the mashed sweet potato mixture into 18 balls.
- Heat the honey gently in the microwave.
- First roll each ball into the honey and then into the chopped nuts.
- Place each ball onto a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick baking spray or lined with a nonstick baking mat. Bake for 20 minutes.