Sweet Potato Walnut Balls – Healthy as They are Delicious

Healthy Sweet Potato BallsMy 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.

You'll love this fun and nutty healthy sweet potato recipe by @nutritionjillClick To Tweet

Healthy Holiday Sweet Potato Balls

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.

Sweet Potato Walnut Balls

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Course: Side Dish
Servings: 1
Calories: 109kcal
Author: Jill Weisenberger MS, RDN, CDE, FAND


  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 1 Tbsp real maple syrup (feel free to use honey if you prefer)
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt or other coarse salt
  • 1/4 tsp coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/2 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.


Serving: 1ball | Calories: 109kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 0.8g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 38mg | Fiber: 2g


Jill Weisenberger

Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, CHWC, FAND, is a Nutrition, Culinary & Diabetes Expert, Wellcoach®-certified health and wellness coach, Freelance Writer, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's also the author of four books, including a best-seller. She's a nationally-recognized media expert in high demand for print and online interviews, as well as corporate and one-on-one nutritional counseling. Jill's philosophy is that nutrition science should be understandable, realistic and oh so delicious.

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Like most of my patients and clients, I lead a busy life. You probably do too. Fortunately, you don’t need weeks, days or even hours to start living better and healthier. This blog offers timesaving strategies and bite-sized nutrition and health information. Come by often for tips and inspiration to healthy living – no matter how busy you are. I am a registered dietitian nutritionist offering credible, practical nutrition advice to keep busy people healthy. Yes indeed, we can be both busy and healthy.

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