janet @ the taste space

Coconut Sweet Potato Pie + True to Your Roots cookbook GIVEAWAY

In Book Review, Desserts on November 21, 2015 at 8:18 AM

Coconut Sweet Potato Pie + True to Your Roots cookbook GIVEAWAY

I scouted out white sweet potatoes for this recipe, but I think it would have been even better with purple sweet potatoes. Purple sweet potatoes are taking over the blogosphere! In any case, without the typical orange hue, you may have a hard time believing this is a sweet potato pie but it is.

The white-fleshed sweet potato is combined with coconut milk, spices and a but of agar to hold it perfectly together (no jello consistency here). It sits atop a crunchy, cookie-like crust, sweet and flavourful by itself. The panko really made this a crunchy crust. If you have the inclination, I am sure this would be lovely with a dollop of coconut whipped cream, too.

Coconut Sweet Potato Pie + True to Your Roots cookbook GIVEAWAY

It has been pleasantly mild for mid-November, but it wasn’t so long that we were grilling up a storm over our BBQ this summer. That was when I enjoyed experimenting with Carla Kelly’s cookbook Vegan al Fresco. Understandably, I was excited when I heard she had a new cookbook focusing on root vegetables. True to Your Roots cookbook GIVEAWAYThe publisher was considering naming the cookbook Ugly Vegetables, but I am glad they went with True to Your Roots: Vegan Recipes to Comfort and Nourish YouIt took me a while to warm up to the recipes, or rather allow the weather to cool down before I jumped into the creative comfort-type foods. She highlights new ways to use your favourite root vegetables – think carrot, potato and beet – as well as those you might not know how to cook as much, including kohlrabi, rutabaga, jicama and lotus root.

Coconut Sweet Potato Pie + True to Your Roots cookbook GIVEAWAY

Carla likes her recipes to be similar to you, yet with a root veggie twist. Her breakfast recipes are unique and include Turnip, Ginger and Pecan Toffee Scones, Fermented Potato Bread and Carrot and Herb Sausages. Her innovative juice recipes include ones with sweet potato, parsnip, celeriac and rutabaga (not all in one, though). The appetizers include Sunchoke and Spinach Pakoras, Rutabaga Samosas and Roasted Garlic and Celeriac Hummus.

Her comforting soups make you want to head to your kitchen to make Drunken Turnip Soup or Yuca and Tropical Yam Peanut Soup. Root vegetables are not forgotten in the salads, such as Rutabaga and Pumpkin Salad with Pumpkin Seeds, Parsnip Tabbouleh and Burdock and Bok Choy Udon Noodle Salad. The entrees are equally enticing – Celeriac-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms, Lotus Root Thai Green Curry and Yuca Empanadas with Avocado, Plantain and Black Beans.

If the other recipes intimidate you, the sides are more approachable and simple, e.g., Stovetop Roasted Parsnips and Brussels Sprouts, Sweet and Heat Glazed Sweet Potatoes and Seasoned Yuca Fries.

As you can see here, desserts are well represented. Again, the offerings are creative. Salted Almond and Potato Macaroons, Jicama and Asian Pear Tart and a Turnip Rum Raisin Cake.

This would be a great cookbook for a cook who likes root vegetables, unique recipes or anyone who would like to enjoy delicious vegan foods.

Thankfully, the publisher allowed me to giveaway the cookbook to a reader living in the United States or Canada. To be entered in the random draw for the book, please leave a comment below telling me which root vegetable you like the most and how you like to eat it. The winner will be selected at random on December 4, 2015. Good luck!


Recipes from True to Your Roots spotted elsewhere:

Kalecannon and Avocado (with another giveaway, too)

Potato and Kohlrabi Rosti

PS. I am sharing this with Vegetable Palette for white vegetables.

Coconut Sweet Potato Pie
Reprinted, with permission, from True to Your Roots: Vegan Recipes to Comfort and Nourish You by Carla Kelly. Published by Arsenal Pulp Press, 2015.

Author’s note: With a not-too-sweet-creamy filling and a crisp I-wish-this-was-a-cookie crust, this decadent pie with Lemon-Infused Vegan Whipcream makes an ordinary day seem like a holiday.

Best if prepared a day before serving.


1 cup (250 mL) panko or gluten-free breadcrumbs
1/2 cup (125 mL) ground almonds
1/2 cup (125 mL) ground pecans
1/2 cup (125 mL) brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) softened (not melted) coconut oil


3 cups (750 mL) peeled and finely grated white-fleshed sweet potatoes
2 cups (500 mL) full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup (125 mL) pitted Medjool dates, about 5
1/4 cup (60 mL) agave syrup
1 3-in (8-cm) length cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
1/4 tsp ground sumac
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp agar powder

Make crust

1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Oil a 9-in (23-cm) pie plate.

2. In a large bowl, mix together panko, ground almonds and pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Make a well. Add coconut oil to well and rub in to combine well. With dampened hands, press into base and sides of prepared pie plate.

3. Bake for 10 minutes until edges are browned and crust is fragrant and a little puffy. Remove from oven and, using the back of a spoon, press puffy crust back into sides and base of pie plate. Let cool as you prepare filling.

Make filling

1. In a large saucepan, combine grated sweet potatoes, coconut milk, dates, syrup, cinnamon stick, cloves, sumac, salt, nutmeg, and allspice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sweet potatoes are tender and dates plumped, about 12 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick and cloves.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together agar powder with 2 tbsp water until smooth. Into agar water, whisk 2 tbsp cooked mixture from saucepan. Once combined, transfer agar mixture into saucepan and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, until thickened.

3. Transfer to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Pour filling onto cooled pie crust. Cool at room temperature for 20 minutes, then transfer to refrigerator to fully set.

Makes 8–10 servings.


PHOTO CREDIT: photo by Tracey Kusiewicz | Foodie Photography

Note: I was given a copy of the cookbook from the publisher.  I was under no obligation to share a review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Contest Rules: No purchase necessary. Contest period begins Saturday, November 21, 2015 and ends Friday, December 4, 2015. For US and Canadian residents only. Approximate retail value $26.95. Enter by writing a comment answering the prompt for a chance to win.  Entrants must supply a valid email address. Winners will be notified by email and must respond within 48 hours.

  1. PSPs should take over the world 😉 Best potato out there!
    I don’t consider potato a root veggie though, they are their own category completely! Hahaha!
    My favorite root veggie (if you go with my definition) would be BEETS! Raw chopped up beets get in my belly every day!

  2. i <33333333333333333 parsnips! boil them & puree them with coconut oil, salt, lemon juice. delish!

  3. My favorite root vegetable is the beet! Delicious cooked or raw in juices, just wonderful!

  4. I cook lots of sweet potatoes, buying them by the bushel from a local farmer. When making soup I often use a variety of root veggies–parsnips, carrots, rutabaga, turnip, etc.

  5. How does one choose a favorite. Not only delicious but good for you. At this time of year we think sweet potatoes and all the lovely squash. I do have a favorite though and it’s carrots, a carrot and cashew puree.

  6. It’s tough to pick a favorite, but I really enjoy yukon gold potatoes. They make great home fries.

  7. My favourite root veggie is the sweet potato. I love it baked and topped with anything – gravy, salsa, etc.

  8. I love those Japanese sweet potatoes. It’s hard to choose one favorite though!

  9. Awesome! I love that there is sumac in thaat pie recipe, it sounds crazy good! I love root veg in general, but i really really love lotus root. I do mandolined slices and bake them with soy and maple syrup, they almost candy when they come out of the oven. Got that recipe from another vegan cookbook-would love to win this one for sure!

  10. I love root vegetables and I am always on the lookout for new recipes. Beets are my favorite root vegetable. I crave that sweet earthy taste. I love to juice beets with apples, celery, ginger, carrots and lime.

  11. That sounds like a great cookbook – I love the pictures on the cover – so different from the usual glossy photos these days – and your sweet potato pie did fool me with its whiteness – I was looking for sweet potato inside – but it does look gorgeous

  12. I’ve recently discovered how amazing fennel root is carmalized on a hot grill!!!

  13. I remember eating this pie! It was super dee duper deeelicious!!

  14. I am a lover of pretty much all the root veggies. My favorite root veggie dishes are mashed rutabega and roasted mixed root veggies with maple and ginger.

  15. […] Source: Coconut Sweet Potato Pie + True to Your Roots cookbook GIVEAWAY | the taste space […]

  16. that’s too hard to narrow down but my most recent favourite are parsnips. But this changes all the time, lol. Other than rutabaga and turnips I love them all.

  17. Now this is an interesting (and innovative) recipe! Thank you for sharing!!

  18. I have yet to find white-fleshed sweet potatoes, but this recipe gives me a terrific reason to go look for them. And if I can’t find any, I don’t mind the pie being orange: it sounds so good, it’d be silly not to make it with whatever sweet potatoes I can find!

    As for a favorite root vegetable, I’ll name Jerusalem artichokes, which I love to eat roasted: they’re sooooo good that way!

  19. […] PS. There is still time to enter the giveaways for Roberto’s New Vegan Cooking (3 winners!) and True to Your Roots. […]

  20. This cookbook looks innovative which I crave in vegan cooking!

  21. I love roasted veggies — roasted carrots? Heavenly. Roasted onions — wonderful!

  22. Every veggie is terrific roasted, especially root veg! I’m partial to sweet potatoes, but when I can find celeriac I like to mash it. It is especially silky-smooth & delicious!

  23. Thanks Janet for this very nice giveaway. With my own garden, I think this book would be very useful 😉.

    My favorite root veggie ? Hummm…good question. I’m not very original, but I really my Yukon Golden potatoes from our garden. They make such a nice puree. Miummm…! Lately, we really enjoy raw turnip as a snack. Yummm..!

  24. Oooh white sweet potato pie. Sounds dee-licious!

  25. I would have to say carrots are my favourite root vegetables but I pretty much love them all. Especially when they’re roasted.

  26. I’m a huge fan of roasted sweet potatoes. Add some cinnamon and I’m a happy girl!

  27. Loooove Beets! Roasted or cooked and finely sliced 🙂

  28. roasted parsnips are my fave! 🙂

  29. Wow, this looks and sounds absolutely incredible! I’m Pinning and Tweeting now to save for later. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this recipe, Janet.

  30. I am stomping my feet that I can’t enter this – I want a copy of True to Your Roots 😦 I love my root veg, well I have come to love them
    Thanks though, for sharing this delicious white fleshed Sweet Potato Pie to The Vegetable Palette challenge.

  31. I love roasting potatoes, all kinds. =)

  32. I love beets! My daughter thinks they taste like dirt.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: