October 02, 2011

Thanksgiving Week - Day 1: Sweet Potato Bites

Welcome to Thanksgiving Week 2011! Every day from today until Saturday, I will be posting recipes for Canadian Thanksgiving, which is coming up next weekend. My sister Natalie of Once Upon a Cutting Board is doing the same this week, so be sure to check out her blog too!

I have never actually hosted a Thanksgiving myself, so my cooking contributions to the holiday in the past have been somewhat limited. But now that I have this blog, I am so excited to create an entire Thanksgiving menu myself and share all of the dishes that I made here!

I already knew that my menu would be vegetarian, but I also decided to challenge myself a bit and post only vegan recipes. So that means that anyone reading my blog this week - including omnivores, vegetarians and vegans - can look forward to recipes for every part of your Thanksiving feast - an appetizer, bread, soup, salad, side, main dish, and dessert!

The perfect Thanksgiving meal should start with an appetizer to tide everyone over until the main event. So to kick off the week, I made these delicious little sweet potato bites!

These are basically mashed sweet potatoes rolled up into balls and coated in a mixture of oats, walnuts and coconut. They are a bit on the sweet side, but to prevent them from turning into a dessert,  I used unsweetened coconut for the coating and added a pinch of cayenne to the sweet potato mixture.

I think these would make a great addition to a Thanksgiving meal - the combination of sweet potato, spices, maple syrup and nuts ends up tasting kind of like Thanksgiving dinner all rolled into one bite!

Sweet Potato Bites
Adapted from Surly Kitchen

2 medium sweet potatoes
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cayenne
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup rolled oats (or quick oats)
3 to 4 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
1 to 2 tbsp brown sugar (depending on how sweet you want them to be)

Wrap the sweet potatoes in aluminum foil and roast in the oven at 375°F until tender, about 40-60 minutes (If you are pressed for time, you could cook the potatoes in the microwave instead). Remove from oven and let cool.

Peel the potatoes and mash in a bowl. Add the cinnamon, maple syrup, nutmeg and cayenne and mix thoroughly.

Combine the walnuts, oats, coconut and brown sugar on a shallow plate for coating the balls.

Scoop out portions of the sweet potato mixture using a tablespoon measure and roll into a ball with your hands. Roll each ball in the topping mixture, then place in a greased 8x8 baking dish.

Bake at 375°F until the topping is golden brown, 20-30 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temperature. You could also serve these with toothpicks if desired.

Makes about 24 balls (I made half of the recipe and got 13).

Don't Miss:
Thanksgiving Week - Day 1 recipe on Once Upon a Cutting Board: Apple Orchard Punch - the perfect holiday drink to serve your guests!


  1. Thanksgiving is not an italian tradition but every year my family and I celebrate it... I think I will prepare these delicious potato bites!

  2. @Graziana

    That's so nice that your family still celebrates Thanksgiving over there! My roots actually trace back to Sicily (on one side of the family), but we don't really incorporate any Italian food into our Thanksgiving meal....Anyway, I hope you like them!



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