These sweet potato balls are made with loads of spinach, garlic and onions and are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Great as a side dish, snack, appetizer or a main with a salad or veggies.
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes (about 400 g)
- 1 + 1/2 cup wilted spinach, chopped (see instructions below)
- 1 large white onion, finely diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
- 4 sprigs of thyme, leaves only
- 1 teaspoon of lemon zest (1/2 to 1 lemon)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2/3 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup tapioca or cassava (see notes)
- Oil for frying (you can use coconut oil, macadamia oil, ghee or avocado oil)
- Place cubed sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan of cold water and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes, until soft when poked through with a knife. Strain the sweet potato completely and return to a bowl.
- To get 1 + 1/2 cups of wilted spinach you can use frozen spinach and place it in really hot water to thaw out; then squeeze as much water out with your hands as possible so you’re left with soft, wet but not dripping spinach mass that you can chop. Alternatively, you can get 2 bunches of spinach and sauté them in a little water for about one minute, until wilted (a.k.a wet and shrunk in size). Then cool it down and squeeze the excess liquid before chopping.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the onion for 10 minutes over medium-low heat, until translucent and golden brown.
- Add the chopped spinach, garlic, lemon zest and thyme leaves and cook for 3-4 minutes. Drizzle with lemon juice.
- Mash the cooked sweet potato with a fork or a potato masher. It’s fine if it’s not completely smooth. Add the spinach and onion mix, salt, pepper and tapioca or cassava flour and mix well together.
- Heat a thin layer of fat or oil in a frying pan over medium0high heat. Wet your hands slightly or use a tablespoon to roll equal amounts of potato and spinach mixture into small balls. You can also make them more oval or fritters-like.
- Gently place in a hot frying pan, leaving a little space in between balls. Fry for 2-3 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 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.
Tapioca or cassava flour can be replaced with arrowroot flour or buckwheat/quinoa/other gluten-free flour of choice. I wanted to keep this recipe grain-free but you can, of course, use other flours.