Owl pellets. Sounds super appealing right?! That’s what my husband calls these. My culinary works of art are dubbed as owl poop. Sweet. But they don’t taste like owl poop, I PROMISE. Actually my toddler promises. Because these are his fav. And you know what, I like ’em too. Totally pop-in-your-mouth, snack-on-the-go, nutrient-dense, finger-food superfood. THESE are sweet potato and spinach tots.
Phf, owls WISH they could eat these fun, cinnamon-y tots. They are soft, sweet, and loaded with good stuff like vitamins A, C, K, and B6. Stuff mommas can feel good about feeding their littles (because sometimes the ‘much-needed-TV-babysitter’ makes us feel guilty enough).
I started making these tots (PS does anyone immediately think of Napoleon Dynamite when the word ‘tot’ comes to mind?) when my son was 6 months old and we started baby led weaning (BLW). BLW skips rice cereal and purees and immediately introduces ‘normal adult’ food, in order for baby to get used to texture and taste. These spinach sweet potato tots were a perfect intro food, since they are soft and chewy (look mom, no teeth required!)
Even now that we BOTH have teeth, we share these cute little tots during lunchtime. He likes to grab them with his little hands (sometimes smushing them between his fingers which is really flipping annoying), and I like to eat them along a juicy turkey burger or as a side to my morning eggs. They are paleo, vegan, and Whole30 compliant.
This recipe makes quite the batch, so freeze what you don’t use. I do this all the time, hence why my freezer is a mismatch of containers and plastic bags covered in sharpie descriptions. You can also sub spinach for thinly diced kale or chard too. Get creative because you can’t go wrong with these paleo and vegan pleasers. Momma bear, you got this!
To start, poke an extra-large or two small/medium sweet potatoes with small spears and microwave on high, 4-6 minutes or until soft inside. Let the sweet potato(es) cool then scoop out the inside into a large bowl and discard the skin. Add the coconut flour, ground flaxseed, cinnamon, drained and thawed frozen spinach (make sure to squeeze out as much water as you can), and almond milk (you could also use coconut milk).
Mix well until a thick dough forms.
Take a small portion of the sweet potato ‘dough’ (about 1-2 tablespoons) and roll into an oval ball to make the tots. Place in the oven at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
Serve ’em warm, serve ’em cold, serve them to your kids, yourself, or your pet owls. Because no human or creepy-bird like thing can resist!
Have you tried sweet potato tots? What’s your favorite snack to share with your kiddos?
Spinach Sweet Potato Tots
- Yield: roughly 30-35 tots 1x
- 2 cups mashed sweet potatoes (1 extra large or 2 small/medium sweet potatoes)
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 3 tablespoons coconut flour
- 1/2 cup drained frozen spinach, or any finely chopped greens
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Thoroughly wash sweet potato(es). Using a sharp knife, poke small cuts into the sweet potato(es)
- Microwave on high for 4-6 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are soft
- Let cool then cut into the potato(es). Scoop out the insides into a large bowl. Mash with a fork
- Add the ground flaxseed, coconut flour, spinach, milk, and cinnamon. Mix well until a thick “dough” forms
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop a heaping mixture of the sweet potato dough (about 1 – 2 tablespoons) and gently roll into an oval to make the traditional ‘tot’ shape
- Once all the dough is formed into tots, place into the oven for 25-30 minutes
- Let cool and serve immediately. Or refrigerate. You can also freeze these for later
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
Hahaha! Omg Owl pellets! The first thing I ever dissected in school (6th grade) so gross! I had a boy partner and I STILL was the one who had to “take it apart”!
But omg, so fun!!! Napoleon Dynamite was my jam, back in the day 😉
All though these tots look 100000000x more appealing <3 DUNKED in ketchup please!
Um what?! You had to dissect owl pellets? I mean, they make kids DO that?? I’m so disturbed right now! Napoleon is a genius. He def would dip these pellets in some ketchup 😉
Stacey S says
Going to make this weekend! J’s become the pickiest (most annoying) eater these last few weeks. I’m thinking he’ll love these! Xxoo
THE most annoying thing ever. CHILDREN EAT WHAT YOUR MOMS FEED YOU! Let me know if he likes them!
Spinach and sweet potatoes combined genius. Kids will never know how good this is for them.
Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie says
Oh my gosh- I need to make these asap!! They look like the perfect way to sneak some greens into a meal 🙂
uhm YES PLEASE! These look so yummy!
Greta | http://www.gretahollar.com
Yummy and FUN! Thanks Greta!
Julia @ Lord Still Loves Me says
I’m not a veggie lover, so anything that can get me to eat some greens is a huge win!
The best way to eat ’em, is to sneak ’em! Hehehe. Thanks Julia!
Alanna @ Alanna & Company says
These look so tasty! Thanks for sharing.
Of course! Thanks for stopping by Alanna!
Leah M @ love me, feed me says
I’m in love!! These look so amazing. The sweet potato, the spinach, THE CINNAMON!! So excited about these and can’t wait to try.
Tater tots will forever remind me of Napoleon Dynamite and I’ll always just imagine shoving them in my pocket and eating them in class haah!
Napoleon made ’em famous!! I quote that movie all the time – because, how can you NOT?! I hope you love them Leah. Thanks for stopping by!
These look amazing! They look like hushpuppies to me.
They do! I never thought of that! Thanks Lisa 🙂
Laura Adney says
These look so delicious! I am definitely going to have to try and make them when I have some time over the weekend!
Have Need Want
Yes! They are great to make for the week and refrigerate. Thanks Laura!
Angela Tolsma says
What do you dip them in??
No dipping required Angela! They are great on their own. But I suppose you could dip ’em in ketchup if you wanted?
These look great! My husband has RA and sweet potatoes are really good for him as they are anti inflammatory.
Ah you know what, I didn’t know that! Thanks for the tidbit Beth! Enjoy.
Heather with WELLFITandFED says
This is why I love you. OVALLLLL!!! I love it. Not spherical! Also, your photos are fantastic in this post. Just keep getting better and better. Finally, why do I all of a sudden see the OUTBRAIN guy EVERYWHERE. He is in the banner ad at the top of your post. So curious about it.
XO I could hug you. Thanks, I’ve been werrrrrrking on my photo skillz! HA Mr Outbrain must be my Google ads hard at work. Maybe he just likes you? 😉
These look fantastic! Haha that’s so funny he calls them “owl pellets” by boyfriend has the weirdest names for some of my food too. We have “slug rice” and “tuna slop” all the time!
Ahhh slug rice! Tuna slop….I like it. Sounds so….appealing! HA. I totally get it, those men just don’t appreciate the fine work we do!
Oh my gosh, total yum! I cant wait to try these!
Total yum, total fun. Enjoy Alicia!
Wow, I love tater tots. These would be good!
They are surprisingly versatile to serve with any meal or have as a snack too!
Maris (In Good Taste) says
I love tater tots and these sound soo much better for you! 🙂
YES! No frying, no crazy preservative-laced tots here. And spinach, I mean, what’s healthier than spinach? Thanks Maris!
Such a great way to trick my kids into eating spinach. Heck, they’d probably be excited if I told them it was owl poop. Boys!
Bahahaha! So that’s what I have to look forward to?! Hey whatever works, right?!
I love sweet potatoes, so I bet I would actually like these a lot! Thanks for sharing!
If you like the sweet potatoes you totes would like these Kelsie!
these tots are such a good size and sound very tasty! i think of napoleon dynamite too when someone says tots
Tots owe everything to Napoleon for making them cool again 😉 Thanks Michelle!
Oh yum! Sounds like a good alternative to my tater tots obsession!
A pretty dang good obsession to have! Definitely gotta try them if tots are your thang!
Crystal // Dreams, etc. says
Totally laughing at the “owl pellets” description. I guess they do have that shape? I don’t really remember from dissecting one in science back in the day.
These look great, though! I’ll have to save the recipe for later.
You aren’t the first one say they had to dissect one. So gross!!! I really have no idea what they look like – and I’m ok with that. Thanks Crystal!
Bree Hogan says
Yum! I love sweet potato and these sound so good!
I hope you enjoy this fun way to eat ’em Bree!
These look so delicious! I love sweet potatoes and spinach never thought to put them together but hey I am willing to try it:)
Give it a whirl Andrea! You can’t even taste the spinach. Thanks for stopping by!
Crystal Escobar says
This sounds like it would taste fantastic, and the color is amazing! Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe!
You’re so welcome! I should totally tell my husband that owl pellets wouldn’t be this gorgeous orange. Thanks for the inspiration 😉
I’ve not tried these before, so I might just have to give them a go. Thanks for sharing this recipe with us 🙂
Just think of a yummy, pop-in-your mouth cinnamon sweet potato. And there ya have it. I hope you enjoy Nikki-Ann!
Mmmmm…owl pellets! 🙂
I bet these are delicious with your morning eggs! And I’m sure my kiddos would love them as well. Delish!
Totally the BEST with morning eggs. A great ‘good carb booster’ to get me through the mornings too!
These look divine. They’ll make a great after school snack for my teens.
Thanks Tara! These would make awesome after school bites! Good idea.
great to make and freeze the extra! I take to work for lunch – delicious!
PERFECT idea Shar! Totally easy to bring to work. Enjoy!
WOW these look amazing! Can’t wait to try!!!
Awe thank you Claire! Enjoy!
Jess @hellotofit says
That first paragraph is HILARIOUS!! It’s so funny, what goes on behind-the-scenes in the blogging world, e.g. Ray making fun of me photographing recipes….
Seriously! Having it all ‘put together’ online is so much better than seeing the chaos and comments behind the scenes! Have you seen “Husbands of Instagram”? View it with Ray – so funny!!
Kaila @healthyhelperblog! says
Making these like YESTERDAY. They look so good! Perfect for popping in your mouth right off the plate! I know what I’m doing this weekend. 😉
Time travel!!!! The best. Pop these beauties in your mouth today, tomorrow, and yesterday Kaila! 🙂 Thanks girl.
These look delicious! I am going to try them this weekend. Good news is that even if the tiny picky ones deny them, I know I will love them! Thanks for sharing your blog.
Ooooo YAY! I hope your littles love them! So happy you stopped by!
These look awesome! But owl pellets are actually closer to puke, not poop 😛 We had to dissect one too, because we were “lucky” enough to find it on a class trip. It’s just a ball of fur and bones, your tots definitely look much more appetizing 😉
Oh my gosh I’m giggling out loud. This is just too much! Totally gross but hey, I learned something! Thanks Stephie 😉
Can I use cow’s milk instead of almond milk?
Hi Ana – absolutely! Any milk would work for this recipe. Thanks!
Thank you for replying. My baby is so picky about food and allergic to eggs ???? so I’m hoping she likes these.
I hope she does too Ana! Keep me posted!
Love the idea and the ingredients but there is way too much cinnamon!! I thought a tablespoon was a typo so I put half and it was so over powering I couldn’t eat them. Maybe with a pinch it would work although next time I’ll try cumin or garam masala and maybe a tiny pinch of cinnamon.
Oh no! Sorry to hear Suellen! I’ll have to adjust it – maybe we are just hardcore cinnamon fans over here. Thanks for the feedback!
CJ Huang says
Wanting to try these out, but how much spinach is needed? it says half drained frozen. But is it a half package (what size?), half cup, something else? Thanks!
Gas good call! So sorry for the confusion and I can’t believe I missed that! 1/2 cup. I’m going to change it RIGHT NOW. Thanks CJ!
CJ Huang says
Thanks! I actually ended up using half a package (4 cups) of the spinach, and it still works. 🙂 Tomorrow’s the real test with kiddo!
More powerfood in the tots! Can’t be anything wrong with that. I hope your little likes them CJ!
I’m not sure what I did wrong. I cooked the sweet potato in the oven instead of microwave and used fresh spinach which I pan sautéed with some coconut oil. My pellets were really soggy and not moldable. Should I have squeezed the spinach to get all the juices out after cooking?
Hi Hoa – that could have been it. If the spinach was wet the extra moisture could have affected the tots. I’m sorry it didn’t turn out! The mixture should be slightly wet but still moldable to make the tots.
Delicious! Do you freeze them baked?
Ooooh I never have but I bet you could! That’s a great idea!
Out of all of these comments there’s only two people that have tried them? Lol! I guess this means I’ll have to give them whirl and come back and comment ?
YAY! Sounds great!
Can you use a different flour other than coconut? Would whole wheat work?
Whole wheat should work too!
My kiddo is 14 months and had decided to stop eating sweet potatoes which she previously loved, or any veggies really.
Until I fed her these tots! She gobbled them up! I used almond flour instead of coconut, and added a pinch of salt. Will definitely be making these again!
YAAAY mom win!!
I love the idea of these! Unfortunately, something was a bit off with them for our taste. My kids liked the initial bite but then said something didn’t taste good. There’s a hint of sweetness that tastes good but I think it might be all the cinnamon that overpowers it. I’m not giving up, I love all the goodness in these and the tot idea! I’m going to try adding salt And less cinnamon like a couple of people mentioned. I need to make these work! Great idea! I will not be wasting them regardless..they’re healthy and filling and the perfect snack bite size (and taste better out of the fridge imo).
Thanks for the feedback Lauren. I hope the second time around is better – please keep me posted!