Written by: Lauren Duffell, Registered Holistic Nutritionist
I love cooking. To be honest, I rarely use recipes. Sometimes, I use them just for ideas but then creativity takes over combined with whatever I have in the kitchen and my own taste to make something new and special.
Last month I provided finger food for a party of about 30 people. One of the creations I served was born out of a magic moment in the kitchen where I wasn’t sure what I was making, but it turned out to be amazing.
I bought these beautiful purple sweet potatoes and I knew I wanted to make disks with them to top with something delicious (like a cracker but softer) but couldn’t decide what to use. Cashew cheese? Nut butter? Olive tapenade?
I though I would somehow incorporate fresh figs but those are out of season so I couldn't find any. I bought dried figs and fresh strawberries instead, not really sure if I would use them for anything.
It was now about 1hr before I had to leave and I still hadn't made a topping for my sweet potato 'crackers'. I threw a pile of walnuts in the Vitamix with a couple figs and some salt. I expected it to be bitter. But when I tasted it, it was delicious! OMG.
Packed everything into the car and drove to the party to get set up. Once I had put the walnut and fig butter on the sweet potatoes, I realized it really needed something colourful so I was thankful that I had those strawberries! I topped the whole thing with some cinnamon and salt.
People started tasting them and saying things like 'this just blew my mind' and 'these just changed my life!'
Then it occurred to me that I should probably try one LOL. The salty walnuts were balanced by the sweetness of the figs, strawberry and sweet potato. Wow. I literally had to stop myself from eating them all!
Here is the recipe:
- 4 long purple sweet potatoes cut into disks (you can only find the purple ones at Farm Boy at certain times of the year, it’s totally cool to use normal orange ones. Find longer thinner ones for nice little circle slices)
- Avocado oil
- 2 cups of walnuts
- 6 dried figs
- 1/2 pint strawberries, sliced into little chunks
- Heat oven to 400F
- Put sweet potato disks into a large bowl and drizzle on a few tablespoons of oil and season with salt. Use your hands to mix everything and get the oil onto all surfaces.
- Put in the oven on a baking sheet with parchment paper and check in 20 mins.
- Put walnuts, figs (remove the woody end), and ¼ tsp salt in the blender. Works best if you have a good blender like a Vitamix. Use the plunger to keep the mixture close to the blades. The end product will be a thick and sticky nut butter.
- Once the sweet potato is cooked, take them out and let them cool. Top with the walnut fig butter and a strawberry piece. Sprinkle some salt and cinnamon on top!
- Enjoy! And have fun with your own variations.
Written by Lauren Duffell, NutriChem Registered Holistic Nutritionist
Lauren is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist who is passionate about using nutrition to support busy lifestyles and reduce stress. Her education also includes a certificate in Applied Preventative Nutrition, a diploma in Hotel and Restaurant Management, and a B.Comm in Hotel and Food Administration. Lauren is constantly hungry to learn more and remain up to date with her knowledge.
Cardiovascular health is a main focus because our diet and lifestyle can make such a huge impact in this area. She also loves debunking heart health myths! Her services emphasize the importance of education, eating real food and simplifying healthy choices. Looking at the whole person, Lauren finds opportunities for improvement in diet, lifestyle, and stress management as they relate to supporting the body’s nutritional needs. She feels that educating clients and finding their intrinsic motivation is the key to creating meaningful and lasting change.
Lauren’s special interests include cardiovascular health, the microbiome, inflammation reduction, blood sugar support, anxiety and nervous system support.
Call: 613-695-5405 to book an appointment with Lauren.