If you’ve been following along here for a while, then something you probably already know about me is that I have very strong opinions about desserts being desserts. I’d much rather enjoy the real deal from time to time in all its sugary, fatty glory, than suffer some sad dessert imposter that will leave me feeling unfulfilled.
You know then, on the few occasions when I have shared things like whole wheat chocolate chip cookies, or brownies made from beans, that it is not because they are healthier versions of their treat analogues, but because they are damn delicious.
This Chai Spiced Sweet Potato Pudding is something I’ve been making for several years now, ever since my friend Gena posted a version on her blog a few years ago.
I know what you’re thinking: Give me a break, nutrition lady! Sweet potatoes aren’t dessert!
But hear me out.
Sweet potatoes are one of the most gloriously versatile foods around, and they straddle the sweet and savoury continuum with ease and grace. Sweet potato fries? Yes, please! Loaded sweet potatoes? Sign me up! Chai Spiced Sweet Potato Pudding? Tell me more!
Here’s the deal: you throw a couple of sweet potatoes into the oven and let them get all roasty toasty. While that’s happening, you heat up some non-dairy milk (I used oat milk) and add a couple of chai tea bags to steep. I used rooibos chai, and I think that saccharine nature of rooibos really goes well with the sweet potatoes. Plus you can steep rooibos for ages without it ever getting bitter.
Once the sweet potatoes have cooled off, you scoop them out of their skin and put them into your food processor along with the chai-spiced oat milk, a splash of vanilla, and a pinch of sea salt. Blend until velvety smooth, and then it’s sweet potato pudding time!
Let me tell you this: my child shows early signs of having inherited the sweet tooth which runs rampant on his father’s side of the family, and the few times I’ve made him a “healthier” treat (because he is, after all, a tiny monster) he has sniffed out the whole-grain-naturally-sweetened nonsense and immediately rejected said treat.
So I expected a similar reaction when I tried to pass off this sweet potato purée as dessert, but once he’d had one taste of it he stood in front of me, mouth open like a baby bird, and could not get enough of the stuff. And folks, if that doesn’t sell you on this velvety smooth chai spiced sweet potato pudding, I’m not sure what will.
Orange fleshed sweet potatoes are incredibly rich in beta-carotene, a pre-curser to vitamin A. In fact, some studies have shown that sweet potatoes contain even more bioavailable beta-carotene than leafy green vegetables. Sweet potatoes also contain storage proteins called sporamins which have unique antioxidant properties. Also valuable for their anti-inflammatory benefits and blood sugar regulation, sweet potatoes are loaded with fiber, which helps steady the pace of digestion and regulate glucose uptake. They’re also a great source of vitamin C, manganese, vitamin B6, potassium, dietary fiber, niacin, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, and phosphorus complex carbohydrates.
Chai Spiced Sweet Potato Pudding
Velvety smooth Chai Spiced Sweet Potato Pudding made with just four ingredients is a good-for-you dessert you're sure to love!
- 2 medim sweet potatoes
- 3/4 cup unsweetened oat milk or other plant-based milk
- 2 bags rooibos chai tea
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 pinch flaky sea salt
Preheat your oven to 200°C / 400°F.
Pierce the sweet potatoes in several places and place in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, or until soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Heat the oat milk in a small pot over medium high heat. Once it comes to a simmer, add the tea bags, and turn off the heat. Let sit for 20 minutes while the potatoes are baking.
Split the sweet potatoes open, and scoop the flesh into the bowl of a food processor.
Remove the tea bags from the oat milk, and squeeze to drain any remaining liquid back into the pot.
Add the tea-infused oat milk to the sweet potatoes, along with a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a pinch of sea salt.
Run the food processor until the pudding is very smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides if needed.
Transfer the pudding into bowls, and chill until ready to serve.