Spinach & Sweet Potato Bombs

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buttermilk crepes recipe

Recipe: Spinach & Sweet Potato Bombs

These yummy balls of goodness are inspired by the Austrian and central European knödel dish, which are essentially rounded potato or flour dough balls poached in water or stock and sometimes pan-fried . They are usually served as a side dish with meats and stews. I think I saw some knödel balls in a deli window in Vienna and they had some spinach through it and I thought that’s a great idea to sneak in some green vegetables in a dish.

I used sweet potato and spinach as a base and just a little bit of tapioca flour to help the mix bind together better as there is no egg in this recipe. The mixture will be thick, and although sticky, will roll into balls easily.  I called them the bombs because when you bite through a slightly crispy outer layer, the cakes explode in your mouth and their warm, soft gooeyness spreads in your mouth. Perfect for active days when you need  more carbohydrates than usual. Also, I’ve been told that kids really love them!

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 1/2 cup wilted spinach (see instructions below)
  • 1 large brown onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 4 sprigs of thyme, leaves only
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2/3 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp tapioca (cassava) or arrowroot flour
  • Oil for frying (you can use coconut oil, macadamia oil, ghee or even duck fat, which would be totally decadent)

spinach_sweet_potato_balls_making

Instructions

  1. To get 1 1/2 cups of wilted spinach you can either use frozen spinach and place it in really hot water to thaw out and then squeeze as much water out with your hands so you’re left with soft, wet but not dripping spinach mass you can chop; or you can get 2 bunches of spinach and sauté them in a little water for about one minute until they are completely moist and shrunk in size (that’s what wilted looks like). Then cool down and squeeze the excess water out before chopping.
  2. Place cubed sweet potato in a saucepan of cold water and bring to boil. Cook for 10 minutes until soft when poked through with a knife.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté onion for 10 minutes on medium/low heat until translucent and golden brown. Add chopped spinach, garlic, lemon zest and thyme leaves and cook for 3-4 minutes. Drizzle with lemon juice.
  4. Strain the sweet potato completely and return to a bowl. Mash with a fork or a potato masher, it’s ok if it’s not completely smooth. Add spinach mix, salt, pepper and tapioca flour and mix well together.
  5. Heat a thin layer of fat or oil in a frying pan until sizzling hot and turn to medium heat. Wet your hands and roll equal amounts of potato and spinach mixture into small balls, a bit smaller than a golf ball. Gently place in a hot frying pan, leaving a little space in between balls. Fry for 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown crust forms, making sure to turn over gently using a fork and a spatula.  I do 3-4 sides (top, bottom, left and right) so they’re evenly crispy. Add a little more fat or oil as needed. Serve with a little thyme and lemon wedges and your choice of meat or fish if you’re having these as a side dish.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Number of servings: 4

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Check out my Eat Drink Paleo Cookbook  for more delicious paleo recipes, introduction to paleo nutrition and philosophy and a handy inventory of foods to focus on and avoid. Available on my website.
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20 Comments

  1. Nicole
    Posted April 28, 2014 at 2:50 am | Permalink

    These were delicious. Fantastic flavours. I didn’t get the crispy finish but still loved by all!

  2. Crystal
    Posted April 15, 2014 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Just made this tonight, it was so fragrant and delicious! I even couldn’t help myself but eat spoonfuls of the mix before frying them haha whoops.

  3. Wendy
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    These look delicious! Would it work the same with coconut flour instead of tapioca flour?

    • imacri
      Posted February 14, 2014 at 4:39 am | Permalink

      Yes but use sparingly as coconut flour absorbs moisture.

      • Colleen
        Posted February 26, 2014 at 2:14 am | Permalink

        I would definitely try coconut flour next time. My bombs were mushy…it was very hard to get them to form balls and what I did manage to get formed, stuck to the pan horribly so no crust formed – most stayed stuck to the pan. The mixture tastes fabulous though. I will make it again and may just serve as a ‘mash’.

  4. Katie
    Posted January 27, 2014 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    These are amazing!! With how delicious they are, this served 2 rather than 4.

  5. Posted November 19, 2013 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    These sound divine! Do you think it would work to lay out on a baking sheet and roast in the oven till brown? That is how I do meatballs, to save time because you can do them all at once with no turning.

    I also think this recipe would be awesome added to grass fed ground beef to make nice meatballs! I’m going to try it soon!

    • imacri
      Posted November 19, 2013 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

      Theoretically it should work like meatballs but I think you wouldn’t get the same crispy crust and the balls might collapse a little. I think they need to be fried quite quickly as they are quite soft and might not hold up in the oven. But hey, I haven’t tried. Maybe if you make a batch, you can pan fry some and then stick one in the very hot oven for 10 minutes and see what happens. I’d be curious to know as it would make them easier to make, not as much fussing over the frying pan.

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