Lessons From A Recipe FAIL + Coconut Almond Sweet Potato Spread Recipe

September 15, 2014

The other night I decided to attempt a new homemade protein bar recipe. Per usual, I took a perfectly good recipe from Oh She Glows and replaced it with my own ingredients, hoping I could make it tastier and more fitting to my personal preferences.

I was dying to try the coconut flour that I had bought from Trader Joe’s weeks ago. So I used this paleo-friendly flour instead of Angela’s recommended rolled oat flour. With its wide-array of health benefits, I use coconut in nearly every aspect of my life: as a deep conditioner for my hair, as a moisturizer and KP treatment on my body, and in the majority of my cooking. Why not add it to my baking, right?


Before you go playing with coconut flour, know that it is much denser than most flours. Because of this, it literally soaks up any wet ingredient in your recipe until all of the moisture is gone.

I should have seen it as a big red flag when I mixed my ingredients together and my usual gooey mixture was powdery and dry. But I was in denial about wasting all of these good quality ingredients (Medjool dates, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, etc.).

So I yelled F**k! really loud and kept on trucking.

The end product looked something like a desert land. A vast coconut, pumpkin, sesame seed desert land. When I tried to cut them into bars, they literally burst into powder (kind of like when Clark Griswold cut into the holiday turkey that cousin Eddie cooked). The taste wasn’t horrible. Just incredibly dry, crumbly and inconvenient. So I decided to keep it and use it as a topping to yogurt. Not bad for a crunchy topping. But still, not a recipe worth trying again.

Whenever I ruin a recipe or burn a dish, I get incredibly frustrated and immediately start hunting through my refrigerator to find something to satisfy my craving. Well, the recipe gods were upon me that evening because, out of the coconut desert ruins, I created a delicious new recipe that just might become a new favorite. I’d like to present to you…

Coconut Almond Sweet Potato Spread

This snack is for when you have that peanut butter/nut butter craving (a weekly thing for me), but want to avoid spreading it on gluten-ous bread. It may seem decadent (and it kind of is), but it’s actually pretty damn good for you. Among its zillions of health benefits, coconut oil increases energy expenditure, helping you kill more fat. Sweet potatoes offer iron which plays an important role in stress reduction (again, among tons of other health benefits). But most importantly for me after my recipe FAIL, I felt super satisfied when I was done eating my inventive (slightly weird) snack.  

Note: I am instructing you to make way more sweet potatoes than you need because it’s really nice to have them on hand for a quick and awesomely healthy snack.


  • 3 sweet potatoes or yams (you’ll just need 1 for this specific purpose; the rest are for you to enjoy on-the-go.)
  • 2-3 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. almond butter, crunchy and unsalted
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Dash of salt and pepper
  • Tiny dash of cayenne powder (optional, for people who like a kick)
  • Shredded coconut for topping (optional)
  • Mary’s Gone Crackers, to serve on


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Put a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet.
  3. Slice the sweet potato into 1-inch rounds. (Yes, you could roast the whole potato and scoop out a soft-delicious spoonful, but roasting a whole potato takes up to 2 hours and let's face it – Ain't nobody got time for that).
  4. Put the rounds in a bowl and drizzle coconut oil all over them until they are covered on both sides.
  5. Sprinkle them with cinnamon, cayenne, salt and pepper.
  6. Roast them in the oven for 15 minutes.
  7. Turn them over with a spatula and roast the other side for another 15 minutes.
  8. Once done, remove from the oven, mash them up with almond butter, and sprinkle with cinnamon and shredded coconut. Keep mashing until you have a creamy spread. I added a drop of coconut oil to get it nice and smooth. NOTE: If you don't want to make a spread, you can simply use the sweet potato rounds as your "crackers" and spread the almond butter on top. See above.
  9. Eat it straight with a spoon (totally appropriate) or put it on top of Mary’s Gone Crackers (the nutrient-dense, gluten-free crackers that I am addicted to).

Not to toot my own horn, but if you don’t love this deliciousness, you’re crazy (Toot, Toot!).

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