Sweet Potato and Raspberry Brownies

November 15, 2014

These “brownies” first came to my attention from Deliciously Ella and then the paleo crew. I wasn’t sold initially, clearly. “Pfffft”, I said. “I’ll save my sweet potato for abundance bowls, thank you very much!” But then one day I had a craving for baking, along with a serendipitous sweet potato and bunch of extra sticky Medjool dates, so I got to steaming and blending and baking and eating. The preparation was incredibly simply and the eating part? Well, it was really, really tasty. Not a true brownie (look to Alice Medrich for those), but really, truly tasty.

I feel like I’m constantly handing Ben and my brother sweet potato brownies from my freezer stash because, man, the dudes love this recipe. I’ve made them quite a few times over the past four months and no matter how I tinkered with the recipe (upping the dry ingredients and cooking time, etc) they remained moist and dense and just not a brownie... In the end I decided to roll with it and accept them for the rich, sweet, gooey slab they are. Those Paleo kids did good here, and this raspberry version is my favourite yet.

You can play around with the ratios and alter them to suit your preferences, sampling the batter before baking and adding more maple/cacao/raspberry to taste. The amount of sweetener required will vary due to differences in your sweet potato and dates. Also, a suggestion – eat these brownies cold. I find them noticeably more delicious compared to when warm from the oven. Fight your cookie instincts and leave them to cool, people! Also, right before serving I like to top them with a sprinkle of bitter cacao powder for a texture and flavour contrast. Or you can slather a blasphemous “ganache” on top, made from greek yoghurt or avocado + raw cacao + maple syrup (ratios to taste).

“Brownies” with “ganache”, I know, I know… but don’t fight it, this is power food, for those afternoons when you need to smash out work. And tomorrow you can make a pie so that you feel less Paleo/more in balance. In fact today I am making a pie! It’s for Friendsgiving with Yasmeen (see last year’s post here). I am so excited I just ran around the room.

Have a great weekend, folks! I hope there are brownies, “brownies” and/or pie in your future.


Sweet Potato and Raspberry Brownies

Adapted from Deliciously Ella’s Sweet Potato Brownies

Makes 10 brownies (depending on how you slice them)

2 small Sweet Potatoes (~280g raw weight)
120g pitted Medjool Dates (~8 large ones)
2 tablespoons Flaxmeal*
1/4 cup water
1 scant cup (~100g) Almond Meal
1/3 cup Raw Cacao
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/4 cup Pure Maple Syrup
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/3 cup Raspberries (fresh or defrosted and strained of juice)

* Flaxmeal = ground flaxseeds, from health food shops or the health food aisle in supermarkets. A worthy purchase indeed for added health to recipes. Also, it is used as a vegan binder in baking.

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a baking tray with baking paper (you’ll want one that is similar to my 16cm square pan above. If you don’t have that size just use a different pan but adjust the cooking time accordingly).
2. Wash and peel (or leave the skin on) the sweet potato, cut it into chunks then steam for ~20 minutes until soft (cook for a longer/shorter time depending on chunk size, just aim to be able to easily insert a knife through the sweet potato). Allow to cool slightly.
3. Meanwhile, mix the flaxmeal and water in a small bowl and allow to sit and gel for ~15 minutes.
4. Pit the dates, weight them to ensure you’ve got ~120g, then add them to the food processor. Add the cooled sweet potato and puree to form a paste.
5. Put the almond meal, cacao and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the gelled flaxmeal and sweet potato/date paste, along with the maple and vanilla and mix everything until well combined. Taste and adjust as desired (more maple/vanilla/cacao etc). Finally fold in the raspberries.
6. Pour the mixture into the lined baking tray and press down with the back of a spoon or spatula (moistened with water so the mixture doesn’t stick). Bake for 25-30 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean and the top is firm to touch. They will remain be moist, as I mentioned in the post, unless you super overcook them. Allow the brownies to cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before lifting out with the baking paper and cooling on a wire rack (or leave them to cool completely in the pan, I’ve done both methods). Top with a scattering of raw cacao or a ganache, see recipe below.

Quick not-a-proper-but-healthy-and-still-quite-tasty Ganache
1/4 cup thick Greek Yoghurt (something really wonderful and creamy, like Five:AM)
1 tablespoon Raw Cacao (more or less to taste)
1 tablespoon Pure Maple Syrup (more or less to taste)
Optional: 1/2 an Avocado

Method: add all the ingredients to a food processor or mixing bowl and combined well. Taste and adjust as desired. Chill for a thicker spread.

Alright I’ve offended enough true baking sensibilities for today. Bye! I’m off to make pie.


 Heidi xo


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  • laurasmess November 15, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    My views on paleo and substitution baking (chickpeas, black beans, sweet potatoes and the like) are pretty similar to yours, I just… well… despite how they’re ‘labelled’ they’re just not the real thing to me. But in saying that, these sound absolutely delicious. And much better for the body, so it’s win:win. I love the ingredient list, such delicious goodness packed into a little slab! Gorgeous xx

    • Heidi November 17, 2014 at 9:37 am

      It’s a tasty, wholesome little slab for sure! I’ve never tried black bean brownies….again, you know? I just….hmmmmm. But I do like avocado mousse, so there you go x

  • InTolerant Chef November 15, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    These sound very good indeed Heidi, no wonder the boys can’t get enough!

    • Heidi November 17, 2014 at 9:37 am

      🙂 x

  • Millie | Add A Little November 15, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    I love the idea of these – the raspberries add a nice touch!

    • Heidi November 17, 2014 at 9:37 am

      Thanks, Millie! x

  • Mariam November 15, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    Heidi, I’ve made a batch of sweet potato brownies which were a true fail to put it nicely, but these look like they may redeem my view on them! They look seriously yum. I really enjoy black bean brownies though, mm. And I can’t go past Medrich’s recipe for a true brownie, they are reeeally something (I use the slightly adapted version by Cookie + Kate) Not Quite Nigella’s “better than sex brownies” are truly incredible too as the name may suggest haha!

    • Heidi November 17, 2014 at 9:38 am

      I will hunt that one down, lady, thank you!! I so know what you mean. A brownie is a real classic to me. I’m all for fudgey & chewy, not cakey! x

  • dixya@food, pleasure, and health November 16, 2014 at 7:43 am

    i have been craving brownies lately – this will certainly take care of that.

    • Heidi November 17, 2014 at 9:39 am

      Hopefully they satisfy, even if they are more alternative 😉 x

  • Dilani November 17, 2014 at 11:30 am

    I’m a big fan of Deliciously Ella’s and I’ve been meaning to try the sweet potato brownies too but was still worried how they’d turn out. You’ve reassured me though and can’t wait to try it! Great addition with the raspberries too!

    • Heidi November 18, 2014 at 12:18 pm

      Thank you, Dilani! They sure are different but worth a shot I think. You might love them! I had one yesterday & yep, they’re tasty. x

  • Rheagan November 18, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Such a great idea! Do you think they would work as well with frozen blueberries? It is winter here, and we have a surplus left over from the summer.

    • Heidi November 18, 2014 at 12:18 pm

      Totally, Rheagan! That’s a great idea. Let me know if you do try them x

  • Amy @ Thoroughly Nourished Life November 18, 2014 at 10:25 am

    I do make sweet potato brownies occasionally and I’ll have to give this recipe a whirl, but there is nothing like the buttery ‘real’ version for a true treat. I think sometimes when we substitute everything in a recipe (as a former dietitian who specialised in weight loss this was kinda my bread and not-butter) we end up craving the real thing even more.
    I’ll have to give this wholesome, nutritious slab a try 🙂

    • Heidi November 18, 2014 at 12:23 pm

      Hey Amy! I so hear you. These are a totally different beast, in my opinion. I didn’t realise you were a former dietitian, I thought you were still in the game! x

  • Nicole- Seeking Victory November 23, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Mmm I don’t think I would agree with ‘brownie’ either but I do love a rich fudgy slab so will add these to my must-try list. 🙂

    • Heidi November 24, 2014 at 11:33 am

      Rad x

  • Yasmeen | Wandering Spice November 24, 2014 at 9:06 am

    1) These look amazing. They don’t have to be a ‘brownie’ to be a brownie, right? A chocolate slab sounds totally acceptable.
    2) I’d like to time travel back to Thanksgiving and eat the pie you mentioned here… that thing… yeah. So good.

    • Heidi November 24, 2014 at 11:34 am

      1) amen
      2) I’m going to post about it soon. I would also like to travel back in time. To stuff myself with, you guessed it, more stuffing. And all of the things x

      • Lyf September 29, 2015 at 6:42 pm

        Hi Heidi just double checking the sweet potato cooked weight is only 280 grams? This equals to one small sweet potato (half of what is used in other recipes).

        • Heidi September 29, 2015 at 7:18 pm

          Hi Lyf. The recipe should say 2 small sweet potatoes, not medium. But the 280g is correct, that’s the raw weight, before being cooked. No idea re other recipes, but these are a small batch! x

          • Lyf September 30, 2015 at 10:14 am

            Thanks for responding so promptly Heidi. So the sweet potato should roughly equal 1 cup mashed?

          • Heidi September 30, 2015 at 2:00 pm

            no idea sorry Lyf! i made this recipe loads before posting but it’s been almost a year x

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