Twice-Baked Japanese Sweet Potatoes with Macadamia Herb Crumble

Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free, and Gluten-Free Treat to Try for Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving and other holidays around the corner, it can be hard to pass up on all those savory sweets. 

That’s why I decided to come up with a sweet, savory, but healthy dish that you can eat. 

Now since I’m not a chef, I turned to my savvy colleague and clean chef, Lizette Marx, for a culinary creation that would make us all go, “Yummy!”

Without further ado, here’s the recipe that Lizette created. 

Twice Baked Japanese Sweet Potatoes 
with Macadamia Herb Crumble

Twice Baked Japanese Sweet Potatoes 
with Macadamia Herb Crumble

Yield: 6
Prep time: 20 MinCook time: 1 H & 20 MInactive time: 1 H & 20 MTotal time: 3 Hour
Japanese sweet potatoes have a complex nutty flavor similar to chestnuts and taste even sweeter and more decadent than typical sweet potatoes. The texture is a little drier and when cut the color is creamy white instead of yellow or orange. In this recipe the potatoes are twice baked. After the first bake, the inside of the sweet potato is scooped out and mashed with spoonfuls of coconut cream, spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, and roasted garlic and onion. A little turmeric powder is also added into the mash to stain the light colored sweet potato a golden hue. Then, the mash is stuffed back into the sweet potato skins and baked again. The flavor and texture are downright decadent! You could stop there, but since this recipe is intended for a festive meal, each sweet potato is topped with a toasted macadamia crumble scented with thyme and rosemary. This is a perfect alternative to the overly sweetened sweet potato and yam recipes that grace the holiday table as it contains absolutely no additional sugar. The natural sweetness shines through and the macadamia crumble gives the mash a contrasting crunch.


  • 3 large Japanese sweet potatoes
  • 1 small onion, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 1 small head of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, divided (or more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, divided*
  • 2 tablespoons coconut cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder (or up to 1/4 teaspoon for a deeper golden hue)
  • 1 tablespoon ghee, divided
Macademia Herb Crumble
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, unsalted
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. Prick holes into the yams with the tines of a fork and set on a baking tray.
  3. Place onion quarters onto a 9×13” sheet of foil, lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle a pinch or two of sea salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice over onions.
  4. Make a shallow cut on the stem end of the garlic bulb to reveal the cloves inside and drizzle with enough olive oil to coat the cut end lightly. Nestle garlic bulb next to the onions.
  5. Wrap onion and garlic like a parcel in the parchment-lined foil and set on the baking tray next to the yams or on a separate tray if necessary.
  6. Bake yams, onion, and garlic bulb for 1 hour or until each of them are soft. The garlic should be as soft as butter and the yam should give easily when squeezed. The onions will look very soften as well. Allow everything to cook for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. Cut each sweet potato in half and scoop out the flesh carefully. Leave a little bit of the potato in the skins intact so the jackets don’t fall apart. Place the sweet potato in a medium bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher.
  8. Add remaining sea salt and pumpkin pie spice, coconut cream, turmeric powder, 1/2 tablespoon of ghee, roasted onion, and garlic. Using an immersion blender, purée until smooth and thick. Alternatively, you can also blend everything in a food processor or blender. If you use a blender, you may have to start and stop the blender several times to fully blend the mash.
  9. Carefully fill each sweet potato skin half generously with the mash. Drizzle with a little ghee and bake for 18 minutes.
Make Herbed Macadamia Crumble
  1. Toast macadamias until lightly browned in a dry sauté pan over low heat.
  2. Add macadamias to a large mortar and pestle or to a food processor.
  3. Sprinkle in sea salt, thyme and lemon zest. Pound together with the pestle until macadamias become crumbly. If using a food processor, pulse several times to achieve the same crumbly texture.
  4. Top each twice-baked Japanese yam with a generous spoonful of macadamia crumble. If there is extra, toss the flavorful crumble onto your salad or enjoy as a tasty snack!


*If you can’t find Pumpkin Pie spice, combine 1/4 teaspoon each of ginger and cinnamon with 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon of clove or allspice.

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