Yam/Sweet Potato “Powerballs”

Have you heard of Bodyrock.tv? No? (I do have a warning: The photography/ videography is a bit… racy. I’d say borderline not-safe-for-work. The women on the site are in phenomenal shape, but they also don’t dress very modestly, so be warned!)
If you’re looking for something new and different for the gym, or just for a great workout, check it out. The workouts are generally designed to be high-intensity and last for about 12 minutes apiece. I haven’t done one in a while, but my good friend Anne and I used to bodyrock all the time during grad school! We loved them.

That being said, they also have some unique recipes to try. Take, for instance, Zuzana’s Power Balls. While the text of the post is a little inappropriate (ha), I loved the idea of having a nutrition-packed snack to have along with breakfast (or in the middle of the day when my energy gets low). 

Zuzana’s recipe calls for almond flour (which can be very expensive), and also uses carrots. While I love carrots, sweet potatoes added a little special something to this recipe, and we always have a ton of them in the house.

Do they taste like cookies? Nah, but they’re something to grab (on the go!) that is not unhealthy or highly processed!

Okay, here goes:
Did you know? There IS a difference between yams and sweet potatoes. Usually in the US, the names are interchangeable. However, when I came up with this recipe, I was lucky enough to get some real, white yams at an international market. For the curious, you can read all about the differences here.

The key players for this recipe are (minus the olive oil and plus some baking powder):

Natural honey, coconut oil, chickpea flour, oats, a (rather large) sweet potato, and chopped nuts (we chose walnuts). The full ingredient list can be found at the end of this post.

Step 1. Start by microwaving your sweet potato: Wrap it in a wet paper towel and nuke on high for 10-12 minutes. Or, you know, pre-heat the oven and bake it for a while if that suits you. When you’re done, remove the skin and it should look something like this:

Step 2. Add honey (4 tbsp)…

and coconut oil (5-6 tbsp, melted).

Looks appetizing! (Not.) I know.


Step 3. Mash up your honey/oil/potato mixture (and make sure to get an action shot if you’re taking pictures).


On a side note, I got this antique (and clearly functional) potato masher at an antique store in Rehoboth for $6. I use it all. the. time. I figured if it lasted as long as it did before I bought it, it was fully worth the investment.

Step 4. Once everything has been mashed to an even consistency, add in 3 rounded teaspoons of baking soda, 2 cups of oat flour (I ground whole oats using my food processor) and 1/2 to 1 cup of chickpea (or almond) flour.

Step 5. Mix well with a spoon. The dough should come out slightly sticky. If it’s too wet, add a little more chickpea flour. If it’s a little too dry, add a little bit more oil. It isn’t an exact science, so just play with it a bit…

…while one of my your cats looks on in awe.

Step 5. When the dough is ready, fold in 1/4 cup of chopped nuts.
(Alternatively, you can roll the dough balls in the nuts before baking. Personal choice, really. I find that if you roll the powerballs in chopped nuts beforehand, they tend to crumble off and make a mess in your car while you eat them on the go.)

Step 6. Roll out into 1” balls (the dough should roll easily between your palms without being too sticky) and place on a non-stick or lightly greased cookie sheet. Like so:

Step 7. Bake the powerballs at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes. Keep in mind that if you end up making smaller powerballs, they’ll cook more quickly. There’s nothing raw in them, though, so it’s up to you how cooked you’d like them. (I find they’re really great when the center is a little soft.)

I thought to post a picture of the final product but…really, they just look like this. Haha. Enjoy!

Here’s the picture-free recipe:

Yam-based Powerballs
(Bonus: they’re gluten-free if you use oats and chickpea flour that are processed in a facility without wheat. Just check the labels!)
Makes about 25 (I usually eat 2-3 at a time.)

Ingredients:
2 cups oat flour (I used my food processor to grind up 2 cups of oats)
1 cup chick pea flour (you could use almond flour, but it’s more expensive)
3 rounded tsp of baking powder
1 cup cooked yam, mashed (I wrapped mine in a wet paper towel and microwaved for 10 minutes)
4 tbsp coconut oil
4 tbsp honey
1/2 cup crushed nuts of your choice, for rolling (sunflower seeds are good too!)

Directions:
0. Preheat the oven to 350 F
1. Combine flours and baking powder, mix well.
2. In a separate bowl, combine mashed yam, honey, and coconut oil. Mix well.
3. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mixing as you go. A slightly sticky dough should form. (I needed more liquid when I made them last night, so I ended up adding 2 tbsp of olive oil– I was too lazy to heat up more coconut oil.)
4. Roll 1-inch balls between palms, and then roll in crushed nuts to coat (I think we got about 20 out of this last batch, but they were 1.5-inches)
5. Place on a non-stick or slightly greased cookie sheet, and bake for about 25 minutes. Since there’s nothing raw, their done-ness is personal preference. :-)

Thanks for reading!

– Kaitlin

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