Am I the only one who hadn’t already thought of putting toppings on apples spread with peanut butter? We regularly eat nut butter on apples and other fruit, but I never thought about toppings giving the snack a little more pizzazz.
Then I wondered if sweet potato might partner up with the peanut butter well, to give the classic combination a little more oomph and nutrition. My husband was skeptical at first, but it only took one bite of the apple slice topped with walnuts, pecans, and a drizzle of maple syrup to convince him. I hope you are pleased too!
This makes a nice simple snack, breakfast, or light lunch if you have a leftover sweet potato in the fridge. (Just toss an extra one into the oven the next time you bake some.) Around here, our sweet potato routine is once a week or so, I start a few baking when I get home, leave them alone while I work out, and then for dinner we top them with ground flaxseed meal, walnuts and maple syrup, or black/pinto beans and sea salt. Leftovers go in the fridge to pack up as a lunch or use in smoothies, soups, or things like this.
Sweet Potato Peanut Butter Spread
1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. sweet potato puree scooped from a cooled, baked sweet potato*
1 Tbsp. peanut butter (could also use walnut or pecan butter)
scant 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
finely ground sea salt to taste (I put in 3-4 shakes)
cinnamon to taste (I liked 2 shakes)
maple syrup to taste (I used 1/4 – 1/2 tsp.)
Stir all ingredients together thoroughly and adjust flavors to your liking. Of course you can make a bigger batch or change the proportions of sweet potato to peanut butter. I liked it best with this 4:3 ratio, or a 5:3 ratio (1 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. sweet potato for every 1 Tbsp. peanut butter), but you can make this any way you want to suit your taste!
Toppings and How To
(Adapted from Keep Your Diet Real)
1. Cut an apple or pear into rounds about 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick.
2. Spread the fruit slices with sweet potato peanut butter mixture, or any nut or seed butter.
3. Sprinkle on toppings of your choice, such as:
- chopped dark chocolate, cacao nibs, or chocolate chips
- flaxseed meal
- sliced bananas
- unsweetened finely shredded coconut
- chopped walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, peanuts, almonds, pistachios, etc.
- sunflower or pumpkin seeds
- raisins, apricots, cherries, cranberries, dates, or other dried fruit
- chia or hemp seeds
- granola, oats, Grape Nuts, or any cereal
- honey, maple syrup, or molasses
- cinnamon or nutmeg
- crystallized ginger pieces
Using plain peanut butter and some of the toppings listed above, this made quite a breakfast for me the other day. I could also see it being fun for kids since it is so hands-on. Maybe it could even be a healthy substitute for a cookie-decorating activity at a children’s party?! I don’t have kids so I can’t speak to that, but it seems like you could make this simple concept pretty fun and colorful depending on what toppings you choose and how you present them.
The picture of the breakfast apple slices spread with plain peanut butter shows them sprinkled with chia seeds, golden raisins, chopped dark chocolate, chopped hazelnuts, hemp seeds, unsweetened shredded coconut, honey, ground flaxseed, and walnuts. I thought the coconut was particularly good- it almost melts in your mouth. I also liked the combination of walnut and flaxseed together; it was hearty and smooth. The sweet potato versions of the photographed slices are topped with crystallized ginger; sliced banana; walnuts, pecans, and a drizzle of maple syrup; and sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
*To bake sweet potatoes: Lay a piece of aluminum foil across the middle rack of your oven to catch any juices that leak from the potatoes. Preheat oven to 375. Scrub your sweet potatoes with a potato scrubber and pat dry. Rub a little bit of olive oil all over the potato skin, and put the whole potato on top of the foil you laid in the oven. Bake for at least 45 minutes and up to 90 minutes (depending on potato size), until soft. Cut open down the middle to fill with dinner toppings or just help them cool faster.