You’ll Never Guess the Secret Ingredient in This Dreamy, Superfood-Packed Dessert

Photos: Fettle Vegan

Each week we spotlight a healthy-delish recipe that’s truly genius (and easy to make) from someone who’s wowed us in the food world. We’re talking buzzy cookbook authors and Instagram foodies to brilliant chefs. Here’s the healthy dish you’ve got to make (and share) right now! 

Traditional sweet potatoes are probably in heavy rotation in your kitchen right now. The gorgeously pigmented, vitamin-rich root vegetable makes good (and good-looking) fries, salad, and even toast.

But if right now the sight of anything, er, orange turns your stomach, you don't have to swear off the tuber for good: 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? Amber St. Peter, aka the Fettle Vegan (whose plant-based creations are so damn good that her fiancé went vegan, too), has an 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. You better take a pic quick before they're gone....

Ready to give your Instagram feed some gorgeous color and your friends an unforgettable dessert? Keep reading for the delicious sweet potato pie bar recipe.

Fetty Vegan's purple sweet potato dessert bars

Fettle Vegan's 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:
1.5 lbs 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 the food processor. Add in the pitted dates and coconut oil and process until a sticky crust forms.

2. Grease or line a 9x9 inch 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.

Need an excuse to dish up this dessert? Dietitians want you to eat more potatoes! And if you're a fan of hiding vegetables in your sweet treats, you'll love this white chocolate cauliflower dip, too.

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