Sweet Potato Graham Cracker “French Toast” Sticks

Please do not judge a book by its cover.

Sometimes the strangest and weirdest looking food tastes the best.

These lumpy, bumpy, crusty potato sticks may not win any beauty pageants, but they are the best potatoes I have ever eaten.

I don’t really love potatoes, but I loved these.

These crazy looking potato sticks, which look like they came from the depths of the ocean and belong in a Jacques Cousteau book, don’t actually taste like potatoes.

They taste like french toast sticks that weren’t actually made with any toast.

Haven’t you heard?  French toast that’s orange and bumpy is the best kind.

Confused yet?  Okay, good.

Start with a dry rub of graham cracker crumbs, corn starch, cinnamon and sugar, and beat an egg.

Slice the potato into sticks.

Batter and bread the sticks, and place them on the lined baking sheet.

It’s okay if you have excess mixture at the bottom of your baking sheet.  The excess crumbs and egg run-off turns into the sweetest tasting “bread crust” on the “French Toast” sticks.

And those blobs of graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, and sugar?

They bake up into an almost streusel-like topping for the potato sticks French Toast sticks.

I’ve heard of self-glazing cakes before and I’d call these little spuds self-glazing or self-streuseling.

You could finish them off with a sprinkling of powdered sugar or serve them with warm maple syrup, but I don’t think they need anything more.

That’s a bold statement coming from me because I love a vat of syrup for two bites of pancakes.  I keep waitresses at pancake houses busy, asking for extra syrup x3.

Brown sugar and graham cracker crumbs can do no wrong.

These sticks were sweet and wonderful both from the dry-rub-turned-streusel-coating and because sweet potatoes are already sweet, which is how I prefer anything, including potatoes.

Please trust me that despite these sticks looking like they hailed from another planet, they were ridiculously good.

Soft and tender like French toast.

If you are looking for crispy ‘n crunchy potato sticks, these are not that.  Try these potatoes instead.

If potatoes can masquerade as French Toast, or as dessert, this is how to pull it off.

 

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Sweet Potato Graham Cracker “French Toast” Sticks (with Gluten-Free and Vegan suggestions)

1 large sweet potato or yam

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

1/3 cup cornstarch

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375F and prepare a baking sheet with a Silpat liner, foil, parchment paper (lining your sheet will save you immense headache in the cleanup process). Peel the sweet potato, rinse it with water, and slice it into sticks about 1 centimeter wide (the length does not matter as much as the width). In a large bowl, beat an egg with a fork and place the sweet potato sticks into the egg mixture and toss. In another large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and stir to create the dry rub. Grab a handful of egg-coated sweet potatoes and toss them in the dry mixture, then place them on the prepared pan. Repeat with all remaining potatoes. If you have extra egg mixture or extra dry rub, you can sprinkle that over the top of the sweet potatoes on the baking sheet before baking them. I used up all the coating mixture in the photos shown, but if you do not want your sticks as breaded, don’t dredge them as fully with dry rub. Bake potatoes for 30 minutes, then flip them. The will likely have become stuck to the pan so use a spatula and flip the entire thing over. Bake for another 10 to 20 minutes, and use your judgment based on browning levels, thickness your coating mixture was applied, the size of your potato sticks, and personal taste preferences. Remove from the oven and if the potatoes are stuck together, either tear them apart with your hands after they’ve cooled a bit or place them on a cutting board and slice with a knife as needed. Serve immediately, with or without a dusting of powdered sugar over the top or maple syrup for dipping. Store extras in an airtight container for up to 2 days on the countertop, using common sense. They won’t stay crispy and will become almost donut-like and spongecake-like the longer they are stored.

To keep gluten-free, use gluten-free graham crackers. To keep vegan, replace the egg with a chia or flax egg or other liquid egg replacer.

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These potatoes made a potato lover out of me.  I made this recipe with sweet potatoes, not yams, but as discussed last week, Americans tend to use the names interchangeably and sometimes incorrectly.

And I’ve nearly confused myself when it comes to tubers.

There are so many varieties of sweet potatoes, and yams, which adds to the name-game confusion.

All I know if if I can make plain ole orange-colored potatoes taste like rich, sweet, decadent baked french toast, I’m not going to get hung up on nomenclature.

I’ve got sweet crust bites to nibble on.

If you’d like to try something a little less sweet and decadent, while still using sweet potatoes, try Roasted Sweet Potato Fries

I also made Cinnamon Sugar & Ginger Roasted Potato Sticks from regular Russet baking potatoes when I was trying to butter Scott up awhile back.

Last week I made Caribbean Citrus Roasted Sweet Potatoes.  Crunchy on the outside, soft ‘ n tender on the inside.

It’s been very tuberous here lately.

Are you a potato fan or a sweet potato fan?  Do you label yams and sweet potatoes interchangeably?  Do you know how to tell the difference?

As I’ve mentioned, potatoes in general aren’t my biggest love.  They’re fine, but they’re not something I go out of my way for because I’d rather allot my mindless carb-eating to something more useful.  Like a donut.

But I will say that if all potatoes taste like French toast, potatoes may be replacing donuts.

I thought I finally had it figured out but realized that true yams are rare in the U.S. and that most of us are probably eating sweet potatoes, rather than yams, in one of their many different varieties, shapes, and colors.

Are you a French toast fan?

I love French toast but it’s been ages since I’ve made it.  Must work on that.

I prefer French toast to pancakes and I’d say that it ties with waffles.  I don’t have a waffle iron though.  Must work on that, too.

What was the last “ulgy” food you ate that tasted great?

I don’t think most traditional “comfort food” is all that pretty.  Foods like soup, chili, mac ‘n cheese, beans, casseroles, dips and anything that’s warm, mushy, soft, or brown is notoriously hard to photograph but it sure can taste great.  Don’t judge a book by the cover, I say.

As photography went, I had a ball photographing these spuds.  I thought they were going to be my nemesis but it turns out I had lots of fun with my extra-terrestrial taters and the light was hitting them so perfectly.

Have a great week!

   

133 Responses to “Sweet Potato Graham Cracker “French Toast” Sticks”

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    Kelly @ Foodie Fiasco — January 30, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    Excuse me, SWEET POTATO FRENCH TOAST STICKS?!?!?! You are brilliant.

    I wonder if this would work with butternut squash…

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — January 30th, 2012 at 10:50 pm

      Possibly…but the texture is not going to be the same nor is it as sweet so you’re losing that, too. I’d personally stick with sweet potatoes.

      Reply

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    kris (everyday oats) — January 31, 2012 at 12:23 am

    you.are.amazing. these look SO good!

    Reply

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    Sara @MasPublicHealth — January 31, 2012 at 12:39 am

    Hey Averie, I was at TJ’s on Garnet in OB the other day and I noticed new chocolate bars at the checkout line, including one that you would like: dark chocolate filled with Speculoos! (Pic I found online: http://lh6.ggpht.com/-OSDk9Sb6Qdo/TxzJm9Hq0RI/AAAAAAAAD1o/jZDYMcjC628/Chocolate2%25255B3%25255D.jpg). I thought of you. :)

    Reply

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    Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes — January 31, 2012 at 12:40 am

    These are genius!

    Reply

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    Kathryn — January 31, 2012 at 1:17 am

    I often find that “ugly” food is the stuff that tastes the best and these look like a prime example of that!

    Reply

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    Beetlejuice — January 31, 2012 at 2:11 am

    These look SO YUMMY! I’ll take a half dozen with a generous portion of maple syrup please!

    I did just want to mention that Graham actually is a glutinous flour, but there are plenty of GF versions out there!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — January 31st, 2012 at 2:16 am

      I know that it has gluten in it, yes. There are GF graham crackers that exist or other flours that are GF, of course, for those wanting to avoid the gluten.

      Reply

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    genevieve — January 31, 2012 at 2:19 am

    I;m pretty sure this has to be one of the greatest recipe inventions of all time. LOVE this idea! The “french toast” sticks look absolutely amazing.

    Reply

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    Erica — January 31, 2012 at 2:47 am

    This is like an awesome version of sweet potato casserole in stick form. So creative. I always knew there was a difference between yams and sweet potatoes and know that most of what we have in the us is sweet potato…but ive still called the potatoes yams before :)

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — January 31st, 2012 at 10:55 am

      I know you love your sweet taters and with a baby, I bet you’re making TONS right about now.

      Reply

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    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — January 31, 2012 at 3:21 am

    What a healthy switch up from regular french toast! Yum!

    Reply

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    Alyssa (Down To Earth) — January 31, 2012 at 3:37 am

    Why, I just happen to have a sweet potato on the counter that’s begging to be made for tonight’s dinner. I think I’ll pair this with some super-easy vegan chili and go salty/sweet tonight. Thanks for this recipe! I’ll be looking forward to it all day!

    Reply

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    Paula — January 31, 2012 at 3:50 am

    Such a yummy idea for a coating! I like watching Chopped on the Food Network and your recipe reminds me of some of the clever combinations the chefs come up with– you could totally win the dessert round!!! I’m anxious to try it this weekend. My smoothies are generally ugly because I always throw a handful of greens in them. Some people are really grossed out by green drinks, but I always think my blender concoctions are tasty.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — January 31st, 2012 at 10:52 am

      Thanks, Paula. I try to come up with things that are creative and a little “out there”. The staples like oatmeal raisin cookies and smoothies are nice, but when I can, I try to challenge myself to think of new things. If I had more time, I’d live in the kitch creating stuff.

      Reply

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    Lesley — January 31, 2012 at 3:53 am

    These look amazing!!

    Reply

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    chelsey @ clean eating chelsey — January 31, 2012 at 4:23 am

    I can’t believe you don’t really enjoy potatoes! I could live off of them and be a happy girl!

    Reply

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    Marla — January 31, 2012 at 4:46 am

    Certainly one of the best recipes I have ever seen! SP’s are one of my all time favorite foods and you have elevated them here my friend!
    “look like they came from the depths of the ocean and belong in a Jacques Cousteau book, don’t actually taste like potatoes.” ~~~~ crack up!
    Pinned & FB’ed :)

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — January 31st, 2012 at 10:53 am

      You are so sweet, my friend. Pinning, FB tagging, and that’s SUCH a high compliment, coming from you, no less: “Certainly one of the best recipes I have ever seen! ” <— (blushing). Thank you!!
      xoxox

      Reply

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    Aggie — January 31, 2012 at 4:59 am

    Wow!!! These look amazing!! What a brilliant way to make sweet tater fries! Pinning! :)

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — January 31st, 2012 at 10:52 am

      And they are more like french toast than fries! Your kids would love em I bet! Thanks for the pinning :)

      Reply

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    Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit — January 31, 2012 at 5:00 am

    Wow, interesting. I need to try this just because I’m so intrigued. Way to go, Averie :)

    Reply

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    Heather (Where's the Beach) — January 31, 2012 at 5:23 am

    Yum yum yum. Love sweet potatoes. I saw something about adding in the corn starch to help them crisp up, but keep forgetting to try it out. These look incredible.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — January 31st, 2012 at 10:50 am

      Yes and it will help the coating stick, too, but not totally essential I am *guessing* as I just told the commenter right after you but being that I only made them with the cornstarch, can’t guarantee but I’m sure it’s a pretty flexible and forgiving recipe…I mean, it’s potatoes :)

      Reply

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    Shira — January 31, 2012 at 5:59 am

    These look awesome! I love sweet potatoes and french toast… Is the cornstarch important? What does it do? I don’t think i have any, but I have everything else :)

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — January 31st, 2012 at 10:49 am

      It’s going to help the coating stick a bit better; if you don’t have it, you could probably just use a little whole wheat or white flour even and it’ll be fine. Just something to mix with the graham cracker crumbs.

      Reply

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    claire @ the realistic nutritionist — January 31, 2012 at 6:05 am

    What an awesome idea!! I would have never, ever thought of that.

    Reply

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    Katie — January 31, 2012 at 6:24 am

    I’m not even a potato fan, but these look great! And super creative. I’m thinking of all the other root veggies this would work with. Hmmmm *gearsturning*

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — January 31st, 2012 at 10:48 am

      I felt like a mad scientist with the creative streak but it all worked out…other root veggies…it could work but that coating is sweet and without a sweet veggie and something hearty, it could be a hot mess, i.e. zucchini or even some squashes. Not so sure. Not that it wouldn’t work, just that it may not be “ideal”.

      Reply

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    Sally @ Spontaneous Hausfrau — January 31, 2012 at 6:27 am

    These look absolutely delectable – very creative, too!

    Reply

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    Cookie and Kate — January 31, 2012 at 6:27 am

    Those look mighty delicious! I usually need some savory spices to enjoy sweet potatoes, but these French toast sticks may prove to be an exception!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — January 31st, 2012 at 10:46 am

      I think you’d really enjoy them and I know you’re a great cook so lmk if you try them.

      Reply

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    Alyssa — January 31, 2012 at 6:45 am

    oh my gosh. I need these in my life right now!!! These look beyond delicious!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

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    Kim — January 31, 2012 at 6:54 am

    I haven’t seen a recipe quite like this before. You are so clever! I’ll be making these this week.

    Reply

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    Deborah — January 31, 2012 at 7:02 am

    These are brilliant!! I love sweet potatoes, and could do some damage while eating these! :)

    Reply

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    Amber Shea @Almost Vegan — January 31, 2012 at 7:17 am

    SO creative! This could take my love of sweet potatoes to a whole new level.

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    Anna @ On Anna's Plate — January 31, 2012 at 7:21 am

    Oooooooh, I want these!!! Like, NOW!!! :-)

    Reply

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    Mariel — January 31, 2012 at 7:22 am

    these are so creative and brilliant! Yum!

    Reply

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    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen — January 31, 2012 at 7:36 am

    Just saw these on Tasteologe, how did I miss them yesterday?! I swear I didn’t see them in my reader. Holy friggin yum! I’ve roasted sweet potato “fries” many times before but never like this. Definitely giving this a shot next time around!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — January 31st, 2012 at 8:36 am

      I just posted it at like 9pm my time but if you really do think it was a Reader “miss”, LMK. It showed up in mine but I had one glitch last week that gave me a heart attack but I think that was a total fluke…

      Reply

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    sally — January 31, 2012 at 7:40 am

    you’ve done it again, averie! just like your yummy sweet chickpeas, these are another creative, sweet, and delicious way to jazz up a veggie!! and i loooove french toast. :)

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — January 31st, 2012 at 10:43 am

      I think you’ll dig these if you like those chickpeas, these will be RIGHT up your alley I bet!

      Reply

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    Felicia (Natural + Balanced) — January 31, 2012 at 7:53 am

    wow! this is so creative!

    Reply

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    Kelly — January 31, 2012 at 8:12 am

    Ohh my these look amazing!! What a brilliant idea!! :)

    Reply

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    Ingrid — January 31, 2012 at 8:20 am

    This would be a great appetizer! Love the idea! Thanks for sharing!

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    Rachel @ The Avid Appetite — January 31, 2012 at 8:26 am

    I will judge this book by its cover because they look A-mazing!!! What a fantastic idea! Gorgeous photos, as always.

    Reply

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    Cassie — January 31, 2012 at 8:29 am

    These are gorgeous, Averie! I love sweet potatoes, I can imagine that they lend themselves very well to the sweet flavors of French toast. And the graham cracker crumbs…genius!

    Reply

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    Lana — January 31, 2012 at 8:38 am

    We love sweet potatoes in our house and I tend to buy a lot throughout the fall and winter (although it’s hard to talk about fall and winter in SoCal:). I have to try these on my girls – I see no reason they would not fall in love with them.
    And I don’t think they are ugly – more ruggedly handsome:)

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — January 31st, 2012 at 10:42 am

      ruggedly handsome <– I like that :) LMK if you make them and how they are received!

      Reply

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    Bev Weidner — January 31, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Uh, OMG. I’m dying. I want 400.

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    Koko — January 31, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Genius!!!

    Reply

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    Jenny — January 31, 2012 at 9:45 am

    These look fantastic! My boys would love these. And I just so happen to have graham cracker crumbs and sweet potatoes. It’s meant to be :)

    Reply

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    teabagginit — January 31, 2012 at 10:44 am

    these look so good! i’m definitely going to try it w/ ground up TJ Fiber cereal instead of graham crackers!

    Reply

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    Amber K — January 31, 2012 at 11:28 am

    I absolutely LOVE potatoes – one of my favorite carbs. Mashed, whipped, roasted, french fried, pretty much delicious any which way. I never understand what the different between sweet potatoes and yams, all I know is I hate the orange-fleshed one. But there is a lighter “sweet potato or yam” that is delicious.

    As long as it tastes good I don’t care if my food is pretty or not. The one that people look grossed out by the most though is a simple green monster. I finally convinced my husband to try it and he had to admit that it “wasn’t bad.” But my mother-in-law still thinks I’m insane! lol

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — January 31st, 2012 at 3:34 pm

      Green smoothies can be really good; some are awesome, some are…not. I’d love to try your version one day.

      Reply

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    Ela — January 31, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    No apologies necessary for the appearance of those sticks–I think they look beautiful! And I know a lot of people who would love them, although they wouldn’t work for me (but you know I’m always on the lookout for goodies for my peeps’ tastes).

    “Yam” and “sweet potato” get interchanged somewhat, but “potato” is such a different thing it never gets conflated in my experience.

    So is your system completely ok with gluten nowadays? I’ve heard that for some people, gluten intolerance can resolve, or you can end up being ok to have it 2-3 times a week or some such threshold. If so, congrats! Definitely a sign of improved health and vitality!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — January 31st, 2012 at 3:33 pm

      If I have one cookie, one brownie, some sweet potatoes, with gluten in the breading, I am usually fine. But if I over-do it, I will pay the price. So I’m fine, up to a point. But I think most people are that way; they just don’t realize they’re gluten sensitive or intolerant, whereas I notice the tiny little things like headaches and moodiness and relate it to overdoing gluten whereas other people may just dismiss it and not put the pieces together.

      Reply

      • Ela replied: — January 31st, 2012 at 4:05 pm

        Yes, I think you’re right that many people are that way. Of course, there’s also those of us (like me) that can’t take any gluten at all without being sick for days. I guess that’s the difference between sensitivity and allergy. Cool that you’re exploring like that.

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    Gena — January 31, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Absolutely creative and whimsical recipe!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — January 31st, 2012 at 3:32 pm

      I know you love your sweet taters and you could probably replace the egg wash with a chia or flax egg, just something kinda gooey for the coating.

      Reply

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    Kelli@kellird.com — January 31, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    You are so creative! I love all your ideas! I eat a sweet potatoe every day, so these are a must try for me. I know my kids will eat them up too. They always beg me to make french toast on the weekends!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — January 31st, 2012 at 3:31 pm

      You eat one per day? Ok then you have to work these into your repertoire and LMK what you think!

      Reply

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    Lorrie / The Token Fat Girl — January 31, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    No judgement here, lady! I think they look fantastic. This is such a creative use of sweet potatoes. Luckily, I have all the ingredients to make these very soon.

    Reply

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    Jen @ pretty plate — January 31, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    I can not WAIT to try these. What an amazing idea.

    : ))
    Jen

    Reply

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    T — January 31, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    De-lurking, love your blog! I never would have thought of this but it looks SO GOOD. I will definitely have to make these soon. Very creative idea!

    Reply

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    Krissy @ Krissy's Creations — January 31, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    OMG Averie!!! Ahhhh I want these right now. In my face, in my stomach. LOVE this!

    Reply

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    Sara — January 31, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    I didn’t have time to read through all your comments today, so if I’m repeating anyone.. just bear with me.

    1. I did not think ‘ugly’, I thought ‘wow, that looks delicious’. Crunchy on the outside is the way I best appreciate my sweet potato/kumara.

    2. In NZ we call sweet potato ‘kumara’ (the Maori word) and ‘yams’ are a whole other thing. There is a New Zealand yam; apparently it’s not a real yam so who knows why we call it one?. I put some pics on this post http://sanafit.blogspot.co.nz/2011/09/rugger.html, which is about the rugby, but I get on to yams later in the post.

    3. A blog suggestion. Is it possible that when you make links on your blog, they could open in a new window? That is handy because I like to click the links as I’m reading, then after finishing reading your post I’ll check out your links, which would then be open on other tabs.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — January 31st, 2012 at 3:29 pm

      Many people don’t like the new window so I disabled it based on feedback. If you do, what I do when I’m on other blogs is I just open with a right click rather than regular clicking it, that way I get the new window feature regardless :)

      Reply

      • Sara replied: — January 31st, 2012 at 4:30 pm

        Ok, good thinking. That’s what I’ll do. :D

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    Sara — January 31, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Also.. have you done a post on food photography? I would love that. I have a kick-ass camera and so few camera and editing skills that I just use my phone instead… Your pics are always amazing and I’m envious.

    Reply

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