I was shocked to see the email from Foodbuzz stating that I had received enough votes to move forward in this amazing game!  I was, to say the least, NOT PREPARED!  My sister-in-laws’ birthdays were yesterday and I was on cake duty (you’ll get that post tomorrow) and today is a big game day and I had to find a way to make an amazing interpretation on a classic before heading out the door.  I wouldn’t want to miss this opportunity to move forward yet again!  You can view my profile here 🙂

A few years ago I went to Puerto Rico with my family and I can still remember some of the best food I have ever eaten at a small restaurant. 

We ate mofongo (traditional plantain meal), fresh fruit, and yummy sweet potato balls.  Sweet potato balls are traditional end to meals in Puerto Rico.  Sometimes they are served with custard, sometimes not, but however they are served, they are delicious.

I decided that I wanted to put a spin on these sweet potato balls…since my hubby doesn’t like sweet potatoes and I’ve been craving pumpkin…I’d try my hand at pumpkin balls with a basic vanilla custard. 

Traditional Sweet Potato Balls (Nesperos de Batatas)

  • 2 lbs Sweet Potatoes, cut into cubes
  • 6 c. Water
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 2 Coconuts, made into 3/4 c. Coconut Milk
  • 3 c. Sugar
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • cinnamon
  • whole cloves


  1. Boil pealed and chopped sweet potatos in water and salt, ~40 minutes
  2. Drain and push through a rice strainer.
  3. Add egg yolk, coconut mik, and sugar.  Stir with a wooden spoon.
  4. Transfer to dutch oven, bring to rapid boil while stirring with a wooden spoon in a back and forth motion.
  5. Turn down heat to medium, and continue to stir until the mixture is pulingl away from the bottom and sides of the pan.
  6. Remove from heat.
  7. Cool slightly.  Roll into small balls and dust with cinnamon.  Place one whole clove in each ball.

My twist – make this vegan and with pumpkin!  This took a bit longer than I had anticipated…but the ending is VERY TASTY!  It is not perfect, I couldn’t get the right consistency and will be tweeking this recipe until I get it right, this ended up more like a custard…tricky to form into a ball and roll into spice and coconut.  BUT, since I’m short on time, this will do (and nicely at that).

Pumpkin Spice Balls

  • 1 can Pumpkin
  • 1.5 Tbs. Chia Seed
  • 1/2 c. Almond Milk
  • 2 Tbs. Coconut Butter
  • 1 1/3 c. Cane Sugar
  • 1/2 c. Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 c. pecans

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Make certain everything is well mixed and turn into a dutch oven.  Heat on high until it starts to boil.  Reduce to medium heat and stir back and forth with a wooden spoon constantly.  This took me about 25 minutes.  It will look something like this:

Allow the mix to cool for about 15 minutes and scoop the mixture one Tbs. at a time onto a tray.  Sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice and coconut flakes (if you want, you can roll these in the mixture…it’s messy, but possible and then stick in the fridge to harden before eating).   The PERFECT END to a meal.

These are sweet, so one or two will be plenty…Enjoy!