Back in the days before I understood how harmful sugar is, I used to adore chocolate or cinnamon swirl pastries. However, they are made with a large amount of sugar and glazed with icing sugar, and so a pretty unhealthy snack. So today I decided to create my own healthy version of these sweet treats, and am extremely happy with the result! They are not only delicious in taste, but also in texture, and if you end up making these I guarantee you won't miss the sugary pastries!
Sweet potatoes are a great choice for adding sweetness to your baked goodies. Not only are they sweet (of course!) but they are very nutritious. They are high in fibre, complex carbohydrates (the good carbs), are a great source of the antioxidant beta-carotene (transformed into vitamin A in the body), vitamin C and potassium, and also contain manganese, vitamin B6, vitmain B5 and vitmain E. Sweet potatoes are especially good for children to eat regularly, as they aid in eye health, immune function, aids blood sugar regulation, and aids digestion.
In a previous post I highlighted the health benefits of cacao, which you can read about here if you wish.
I recommend using organic ingredients if you can, particularly if children will be eating them. Non-organic flour, for example, contains pesticide residues due to the fact wheat is sprayed with glysophate 3-7 days before harvest, and can cause digestive problems as well as other allergies. Horrible!
What you will need: (Makes about 18-20)
175g (approx) or 1 medium sized sweet potato
8oz fine wholewheat flour
3-4tblsp cold water
4 tblsp honey
2 tsp organic raw cacao powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
100g nibbed almonds
Honey to glaze
Peel the sweet potato and dice into small pieces. Steam for about 15 minutes until soft, then mash into a puree. Leave to cool.
Put the flour into a large bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the bowl. Using your fingertips rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Add just enough water to bind, roughly 3-4 tblsp, a little at a time and mix with your hand
Roll out on a floured surface until about 0.3cm thick
Add the honey, cacao powder, nutmeg and cinnamon to the sweet potato puree and mix in well
Spread evenly over the pastry, then sprinkle on 2/3 of the nibbed almonds
Carefully roll the pastry up and place on a baking tray
Drizzle on honey and use your fingers to spread it evenly over the pastry, then sprinkle to remaining almonds onto the tray and roll the pastry over them so they stick
With a sharp knife slice the pastry into portions, roughly about 1cm thick, then lay the pieces flat on the tray. Pop into a preheated oven at 190 degrees Celcius for 30-35 minutes until golden looking and the pastry feels crusty
Allow to cool on a wire rack
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