Kitchn Love Letters

This Baked Sweet Potato Breakfast Made My Only Whole30 Attempt Worth It

updated Jan 6, 2020
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Credit: Meghan Splawn

Several years ago a half-dozen Kitchn editors tried the Whole30 diet together, and wrote about our experiences. Reviews were mixed. Some editors loved it — and they continue to do a Whole30 once a year. I did not. I found it hard to get adequate calories, felt tired and grumpy most of the time, and ended up calling it quits on day 28.

But it wasn’t a complete loss. I did have one really positive life change: a new favorite way to eat sweet potatoes for breakfast. And I’m still making this Whole30 recipe three years after trying the diet. It’s a baked, split breakfast sweet potato topped with creamy nut butter and toasted cocoa nibs.

The Greatest Breakfast Sweet Potato of All Time

There are plenty of Whole30-compliant ways to enjoy sweet potatoes. You can roast them, of course. But you can also slice and toast them

like a faux bread

chicken nuggets. Still, most Whole30 pros will tell you that having baked sweet potatoes on hand at all times is a smart move.

Baked sweet potatoes can be halved and topped with sautéed veggies or browned meat. You can top them with a fried egg or eat them with ghee and salt as a quick meal. My favorite sweet potato topping came out of a craving for sweet oatmeal and landed me a combination that I still eat regularly: I add creamy almond butter, toasted cocoa nibs, diced apples, and a sprinkling of cinnamon. Sometimes I swap the almond butter for peanut or cashew butter or use pears instead of apples, but the base always remains the same.

Because this dish hits every texture — soft and creamy from the sweet potato and nut butter, crunchy from the apple and cocoa nib, warm sweet potato with cool crisp apples — it never fails to be a satisfying breakfast.

Credit: Meghan Splawn

Here’s How to Make Your Own Whole30 Sweet Potato Breakfast

Whole baked sweet potatoes are still one of those ingredients I regularly make during my weekend meal prep, so when I’m ready for breakfast I start by reheating one in the microwave or by splitting one in half and gently warming it in a skillet while I get the other ingredients ready. While the sweet potato heats, I melt a few teaspoons of ghee in a skillet and add a tablespoon of cocoa nibs to toast. Toasting the cocoa nibs only takes about a minute, which is just enough time to dice an apple. When the sweet potato is hot, I drizzle (or plop) a tablespoon of almond butter directly on top, followed by the toasted cocoa nibs (ghee and all), the diced apples, and finally a sprinkle of cinnamon and salt.

There isn’t exactly a recipe for this — I more or less made it up myself. But 40 Aprons has a similar thing that starts with sweet potato purée. If you make it, definitely try to get the cocoa nibs and ghee. All the contrasting flavors and textures encourage you to slow down and enjoy each bite, which is what I love most.

A slightly different twist: Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl from 40 Aprons.