While I was on a jog this morning (with a girlfriend in tow -- see health + fun = 2014), I brainstormed a way to transform a breakfast rut I'm in and thus the Bejeweled Sweet Potato Bites with Cashew Creme were born. After the interminable mountain of sugar and breads I ate this past month, I'm craving whole foods and these little gems fit right into my groove. Accompanied by a First Flush Darjeeling, they make an ideal breakfast or afternoon snack. They ride that edge of a tad sweet, a pinch salty, totally earthy and absolute glam hippy cuisine! While pomegranates are in season, you really must get into the kitchen and whip up a batch of these darlings. So easy and luxe and absolutely divine!
BEJEWELED SWEET POTATO BITES WITH CASHEW CREME
makes about 2 dozen individual bites (serves 3 generously for breakfast or tea time)
for the potatoes:
2 average sized sweet potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch discs
glug of canola oil (any neutral oil would do - coconut would be lovely too)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
generous pinch of sea salt
for the creme:
1 cup raw, unsalted cashews
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon cardamon
3/4 cup water
seeds from 1 pomegranate - see this method for deseeding
a handful of chopped pistachio, for garnish
Soak cashews in a bowl of water. Let sit overnight or at a minimum, 30 minutes. Drain soaked cashews and set aside.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.Line two baking pans with parchment or tin foil (easier for clean up). Toss the sweet potato discs in oil, maple syrup, ginger and salt, until all pieces are uniformly dressed. Place all pieces on baking sheets, don't overcrowd onto one pan. Bake for about 25 minutes until golden/toasty on all edges. Allow sweet potatoes to cool on a plate. Meanwhile make the creme.
Put cashews, date, vanilla, cardamon and water in a blender and blend until completely smooth (this takes about a minute in a Vitamix, other blenders will take a little longer, but that's ok!). Refrigerate creme for about 30 minutes before serving, to yield a firm, silky texture.
Deseed the pomegranate.
Dress each room-temperature sweet potato disc with about 1 tablespoon or so of cashew creme and sprinkle with a few pomegranate seeds and an ample dusting of chopped pistachios.
Enjoy with an elegant cup of Darjeeling -- I was told not to add milk to this tea, but I enjoy a splash and a tiny spoonful of brown sugar.