Spicy Chocolate Chip Sweet Potato Bars (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Low-Carb)

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Well hello there! It’s been a while, I know. Over a week. I hardly want to think about how long I’ve abandoned you. Not because you missed me (heck, if you’re anything like me, one less item in your Google reader is a good thing) but because I’ve missed you. And I’m totally not doing my job of dreaming up new yummies and sharing them with you. Not to say the dreaming isn’t happening – but laziness is taking over when it comes to actual execution.

I’m blaming it on the cold from hell. Do colds come from hell? This one feels like it did, two days before Rosh Hashanah and still lingering. Do know what’s it’s like to prepare dinner for 12 when you can’t breathe/smell/taste? Don’t worry, I washed my hands about 7 bajillion times. I always say I *never* get sick but something is going on. I blame it on the sudden (welcome) change in season. Maybe I’m in the clear, or maybe the fact that it’s going to be 70-somethingº again this weekend and then cool off again is going to hit me like another ton of bricks. Don’t get me wrong, having four distinct seasons is something I’d absolutely miss if I ever moved away from New England. But it’s this blurry in-between-the-lines stuff that can drive one crazy. I just want to be living in legging and sweaters right now, without having to resort to shorts and flip flops on a random Tuesday, is that so much to ask?

Anyway. I have this theory. If you cook it, it shall come. Cook like fall has arrived in full-force and maybe, just maybe, it will stick around for good. I whipped up these Sweet Potato Blondies when I was feeling very fall and over-buying sweet potatoes for a couple other recipes I’ve been tinkering with. With these. there was very little tinkering. I hit ‘em on the first try – though I didn’t quite realize it until after they had sit in the fridge for a day. That’s right, these are the kind of sweet that gets better with age, transforming from something a little spongy (as many coconut flour baked goods are) into a chewy bite with a hearty crumb you can really sink your teeth into. One that’s laced with just the right amount of spice, not too much sweet, and surprise hunks of dark chocolate.

Now, I probably should have started with a diatribe about brownie recipes that call for an 8×8″ pan and claim 25+ servings. To see a feature last spring or winter in a popular supposedly-healthy cooking magazine with three decadent brownie recipes sent me on this little tirade. There was nothing healthy about these recipes except that they were cut into miniscule crumbs. I doubt I’m not the only one that needs help with portion control, but I would have also appreciated seeing some more healthful grains tossed in besides regular ol’ flour and perhaps some more nutrient-dense natural sweeteners in place of white or brown sugar. Of course if you take a “regular” brownie or blondie recipe and slice it up into tiny bites, it’s going to have less calories – but I can guarantee you that I’m just going to eat more of them!

So. If you’re wondering why I cut this 8×8″ pan of blondies into 25 pieces, it’s because I was a tad bit nervous about the nutritional content, having some skewed idea that even those little pieces would be quite the indulgence. The truth? Not so much. Once you see the nutritionals on this one, you’ll feel a-ok taking a second, or a third, still knowing that those three pieces are a heck of a lot better for you than any “regular” blondie. Not to mention that they’re filled with such good-for-you ingredients magically united into something so sweetly perfect for fall. Now that’s my kind of blondie.

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Spicy Chocolate Chip Sweet Potato Bars

Yield: 25 pieces

Lightly sweet, perfectly spiced sweet potato blondies with hunks of dark chocolate. Gluten-free, dairy-free, refined-sugar free, and one hundred percent delicious.

Ingredients:

1 cup (packed) cooked, mashed sweet potato (225gm)
3 tablespoons (45gm) almond butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (56gm) coconut flour
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
heaping 1/3 cup (45gm) chopped dark chocolate (70% or greater)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

In a food processor fitted with steel blade, blend together the sweet potato, almond butter, and maple syrup until smooth. Add eggs one a time, processing until smooth and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed. Add vanilla, spices and baking soda, and blend again.

Add coconut flour, and pulse to combine. The mixture will become thick and spongy. Add almond milk and process until smooth, stopping once or twice to scrape the sides of the bowl. Add chopped chocolate and pulse to combine.

Spray a 9x9" baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the batter into the pan and spread into an even layer. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool and slice. Store the bars covered in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Facts:

Amount Per Serving
Calories 55.0
Total Fat 2.5 g
Saturated Fat 0.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.8 g
Cholesterol 22.2 mg
Sodium 37.6 mg
Potassium 72.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 7.0 g
Dietary Fiber 1.7 g
Sugars 3.2 g
Protein 1.7 g

Cara Lyons, www.carascravings.com

This recipe is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.

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18 Responses to “Spicy Chocolate Chip Sweet Potato Bars (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Low-Carb)”

  1. 1

    Alyssa | Queen of Quinoa — September 20, 2012 @ 10:32 am Reply

    Love these! So making them this weekend (perhaps with pumpkin or butternut squash!).

  2. 2

    Hallie — September 20, 2012 @ 11:54 am Reply

    Love everything about this recipe, Cara! Sorry you’re still not feeling 100% but glad you made blondies to share with us. :)

  3. 3

    Alisa — September 20, 2012 @ 12:34 pm Reply

    These look and sound amazing Cara! I love using spices in baked goods, but don’t usually combine with chocolate – have to trial that.

    I hope you are feeling awesome soon!

  4. 4

    Beth @ Tasty Yummies — September 20, 2012 @ 2:06 pm Reply

    Oh my gosh I am loving this recipe! They look amazing. Sorry you have been under the weather. We have had a heck of a drop off here in Western New York too. After having a few last lingering 90º days a week or two ago, we have been in the 60ºs and 70ºs which is nice, but the mornings and evenings have been zoo cool. Last night I was driving home and it was 48º brrr, I am not ready for all that yet. I haven’t gotten sick, but I have definitely been feeling sluggish, slow and just plain drained. Change in seasons is nice, but it is definitely hard on my body. Feel better soon Cara!

  5. 5

    Maggie — September 20, 2012 @ 3:01 pm Reply

    Cara you are too cute. I hope you’re feeling better now – I can’t imagine cooking and then entertaining while feeling under the weather. You’re a superstar. Love these blondies. And I love that they get better with age. YUM!

  6. 6

    Dawn — September 20, 2012 @ 3:46 pm Reply

    I think colds really do come from hell. It sounds like yours was a doozie. This recipe sounds amazing though!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. 7

    Kate — September 20, 2012 @ 8:50 pm Reply

    I’ve got your cold too! It must be the high holidays.

  8. 8

    Karen — September 21, 2012 @ 12:02 am Reply

    I only tried sweet potatoes for the first time last hear and am a recent/late convert. These look like a yummy treat, will definitely by trying them!

  9. 9

    lauren @ wholewheatorbust — September 21, 2012 @ 1:12 am Reply

    I just made these and they taste great but they seem really undercooked, the inside is super gooey. I tried baking them for an extra 15 minutes but then I gave up.. Still super delicious though!

    • 9.1

      Cara — September 21, 2012 @ 8:21 am

      Lauren, I am so sorry to hear that! I don’t know what could have happened. Like I mentioned in the post, I wasn’t totally set when I first took them out of the oven – the texture was a bit off (I would call it spongy, not underdone) and then after a night in the fridge the set up nicely. Thanks for the feedback, though, I will have to try these again soon.

  10. 10

    Beth — September 21, 2012 @ 10:52 am Reply

    Yesterday I was searching for a recipe to use my sweet potatoes and took it as divine intervention that you had just posted this delight. It was so good! I did end up cooking mine for about 45 – 50 minutes at 350ºF in the 9×9″ as it was thick. So delicious! Thank you for this great recipe!!

  11. 11

    Sara — September 22, 2012 @ 12:19 am Reply

    Am I the only one that thinks that sweet potatoes are odd? I dont have anything to do with them. Although, I tried sweet potato fries and they wernt bad but still off to me. Dont know why.

  12. 12

    Lucy — September 24, 2012 @ 8:46 pm Reply

    I am not allowed maple syrup or the sugar in the choc chips at the mo. I am going to brave it & try this without them. I thought I might just blend the raw cacao through the mixture. I’ll let you know how i go!

    • 12.1

      Cara — September 24, 2012 @ 9:36 pm

      Good luck! Are there any sweeteners you can have? I bet you could make some substitutions.

    • 12.2

      Lucy — September 24, 2012 @ 10:45 pm

      I’m hoping the sweet potato will be sweet enough for my new found taste buds! I could probably have stevia if I asked, but I am just learning to avoid all sweeteners. Just discovered your blog this morning, great recipes :)

  13. 13

    Shannon — September 30, 2012 @ 8:20 am Reply

    ha. i might have to chime in on your diatribe about cutting a 9″ pan into 25 pieces :) or maybe i will just have to make these and cut them my own way!

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  15. 14

    Jenn @LeftoverQueen — October 4, 2012 @ 7:37 pm Reply

    Yummy! These sound really good!

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