You can enter to win two Vitamix blenders at the bottom of this post (directly below the recipe).  Good luck!

I have been into no-fruit smoothies lately.  Nothing against fruit at all (love fruit and eat it every day), but sometimes I like to use smoothies as a way to sneak more vegetables into my diet early in the day.  It’s nice to kind of check that off my “list” so to speak.  Not that I have a daily to-do list that includes eating vegetables or anything…no that would be totally weird.  Anyhow, this smoothie is made with sweet potato to give it a vibrant orange color that lets you know you are getting all that immune boosting vitamin A (also helpful for vision and bone health).  Sweet potatoes also offer dietary fiber and potassium and are high in vitamin C.  So, with this recipe you may feel like you are eating sweet potato pie, but you can rest assured that you are getting important nutrients and a healthy breakfast.

As far as smoothie bowls go, this one is pretty decadent.  The smoothie base is naturally sweetened from the sweet potato itself and from dates.  I then flavored it with cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla for that classic sweet potato pie flavor.  I topped it off with my Easy Pecan Granola for a satisfying crunch that compliments the flavors perfectly.  And to make it even more filling I sprinkled chia seeds and hemp seeds for good measure.  You could also add unsweetened large flake or shredded toasted coconut, diced apples, sliced bananas, chopped raw or toasted pecans, chopped dates, a drizzle of nut or seed butter or melted coconut butter.  Have fun with this one and make it your own.  The granola is great because it sort of mimics a pie crust in a sense so I would highly recommend that topping.

A key component of this recipe is clearly the sweet potato.  Using a perfectly cooked sweet potato is important to the recipe. Here is my preferred method to cook the sweet potato:

  1. Place a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil on the bottom rack of your oven.  Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.  Pierce the potato with a fork on one side then place directly on the middle rack (not on a baking sheet and not wrapped in foil).
  2. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until tender and the skin is thin and toasty.  Baking time will vary based on the diameter of your sweet potato.  You may need up to 60 minutes for a large sweet potato.  The bottom baking sheet will catch any drippings for an easy cleanup.
  3. Remove from oven and pierce with a knife to ensure it is fully cooked.  Allow the potatoes to cool for 5-10 minutes for easier handling.  Slice the potatoes in half and split the flesh down the center.

For this recipe you will likely use one half of the sweet potato (1 cup).  You can store the other half in an airtight container for another smoothie.  For this recipe you will want the sweet potato to be fully cooled before using in the smoothie so I like to cook it the night before and chill in the refrigerator overnight.

It couldn’t be easier and I hope you find this method helpful.  It always works for me and yields the best baked sweet potatoes.  You can do this part the night before and then throw everything together in the blender in the morning.  I would also recommend making a batch of the pecan granola the night before.

I’m excited to be partnering with the North Carolina SweetPotato Commission (NCSPC) on this recipe.  Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite vegetables.  They are convenient and versatile and somehow serve as both a comfort food and health food all at once.  A medium sweet potato is just a little over 100 calories and they are loaded with fiber and nutrients.  They are available year-round, naturally sweet and easy to prepare.

The NCSPC has been supporting growers since 1961 and has maintained North Carolina as the number one sweet potato producing state in the United States since 1971.  November 13th is actually World Kindness Day, so in honor of that the NCSPC is emphasizing sweetness and created a ‘Be Sweet More Often’ initiative which is about finding little ways to make a difference.  “Be Sweet.”  Wouldn’t the world be just a little bit better if everyone followed this mantra? I think about that a lot and try and remember to resist the temptation to always be right or to defend myself and just be nice to everyone and give people the benefit of the doubt.  I try and be friendly to strangers and greet people by name (when I can remember).  I reach out to my neighbors and try and find time for random acts of kindness like making a meal for sick friends or calling relatives that I haven’t spoken to in awhile.  It all adds up and in the end it makes me feel happier too.  It really is true that if you put positive and sweet vibes out in the universe that you will feel it too.

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