Sweet potato in a smoothie. This is a new discovery for me, and oh, it is a great one. This smoothie is pie in liquid form. It has all the delicious sweet potato pie flavors- sweet, caramel-y dates, earthy sweet potato, cinnamon and nutmeg, and an undercurrent of apple cider, but is made only from delicious healthy ingredients.
It's Smoothie Week over at Williams Sonoma, and the theme is Weird, Wild, and Crazy Smoothies. I would certainly say throwing a boiled sweet potato in a frozen smoothie is my idea of a wild morning! I've experimented with vegetables in smoothies before, but have always stuck to greens- kale, avocado, and spinach, and I've never made a smoothie with an element I had to cook first before.
My inspiration for this smoothie was a sweet potato pie from a little Caribbean takeout place in Chelsea that I fell in love with in college, it was rich and decadent with the perfect touch of spice, sweet, but not overpoweringly so. I wanted to channel that sweet earthy-fruity flavor into a healthy smoothie.
This was my first attempt at putting dates in a smoothie at home, and they added just the right caramel-y sweetness which really helped drive home the pie flavor. I softened mine up a bit by cooking them with some maple syrup first because my blender isn't very powerful. If you have one of those fancy high speed blenders like the Vitamix (which I regularly drool over online), then your dates will probably blend down perfectly smooth without being softened first.
Boiling the sweet potato first didn't turn out nearly as laborious as I expected it to feel. One potato didn't call for a large pot or much water, so it got to boiling pretty quickly and softened up in less than ten minutes. You could certainly do this the night before to speed up your process if making this smoothie for breakfast, but I did not have that kind of forethought. I popped my boiled potato in the freezer while I prepped the other ingredients and it chilled plenty in that time. And gosh, it was worth it, this smoothie turned out tasting just like pie!
I'll be putting dates in more of my future smoothies. they'd make a brilliant sweetener for a coconut milk and coffee dessert smoothie, or a chocolate peanut butter shake. The sweet potato was fantastic too, it adds a lovely silky texture to the drink, and pairs beautifully with the sweet and tangy pineapple. The notes of cinnamon and nutmeg shout of pie, and the dates and apple cider add a lovely sweetness. Not to mention its brilliant orange color makes it fabulously seasonal!
Sweet Potato Pie Smoothie
1 medium sweet potato
1 C frozen pineapple
1 C apple cider
heaping 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
5 dates, pitted
Peel and chop the sweet potato into 1 inch cubes, add to a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook about ten minutes, or until soft all the way through. Drain potatoes and bring to room temperature on counter or in refrigerator. You can also boil the potato the night before.
If your dates are fairly dry, like my Deglet dates were, pop them in a small pan with 4 tablespoons of apple cider and cook over low heat until the dates have softened, about 3 minutes. If you're using a soft date variety, such as medjool, this will be unneccesary
Add the drained potato cubes, the frozen pineapple, softened dates, apple cider, cinnamon, and nutmeg to your blender and blend on high until smooth.
Pour into glasses and serve immediately. Enjoy!