Ahhh, holiday time — a time for festive decorations, family get-togethers, and of course, great desserts! We crave the sweet taste and smell of our favorite holiday dessert — just because we are eating healthier, doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy holiday sweets!
Sweet potato has a natural sweetness that helps create a mouth-watering dessert. Most people don’t know this, but the white potato, the sweet potato, and the yam are three completely different plants, not related. White potatoes are nightshade vegetables and are not recommended for people with arthritis and fibromyalgia. Yams are native to Africa and are white, ivory, cream, pink, or purple. Sweet potatoes are yellow, reddish, or orange. Sweet potatoes are rich in antioxidants, calcium, vitamins A and C. Known for feeding and nurturing the spleen, pancreas, and stomach, they also help quench thirst and lubricate dry conditions.
The trickiest part of making holiday pies is the crust. To make a good crust it should be flaky, light, and moist. For those who are gluten-sensitive, I have chosen to use oat flour. Another flour that works well is spelt. Spelt is an ancient form of wheat. It does contain gluten but has not been tampered with, like the wheat berry. Another great tip is to use ground nuts in your crust. It adds a layer of moistness without adding more liquid fat.
To ensure that you can roll out your crust, it must be cold. Attempting to roll out a warm crust is like putting peanut butter on your hands and trying to not have it stick! When the crust dough is cold, it won’t stick to the plastic wrap and will hold together when you pick it up and put it in the pie shell.
An ingredient you may not be familiar with is the amasake, a natural sweetener that won’t spike blood sugar levels. It’s made from fermented brown rice and is sold in the frozen section of health food stores. It is thick like a shake, good right out of the container, and adds another layer of creamy sweetness to the pie. Enjoy and Happy Holiday!
Sweet Potato Pie with Walnut Crust
5 cups sweet potato (peeled and cut up)
1/4 cup amasake
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup arrowroot
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. sea salt
2 T. olive oil
1/4 cup + 2 T. water
1.4 cup walnut meal
1 1/2 cups oat flour
pinch sea salt
To make the crust, mix oil, water, walnuts, and sea salt together. Mix in the flour. You should get a stiff dough. Form dough into a flat, round disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling out.
To make the filling, Bring a pot of water to a boil. Put sweet potatoes in water, and make sure there is enough water to cover them. Keep the water boiling, and boil them for approx. 10 minutes, until fork-tender. Drain the sweet potatoes and put in a food processor along with the rest of the filling ingredients. Puree until smooth.
To roll the crust out, place the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap. Roll out until it is big enough to fit the pie shell. Place the crust into an oiled pie shell. Fill the crust with the filling. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour. Let cool completely before cutting and serving.