They talk about the luck of the Irish, but apparently it doesn’t transfer to the Scots. Instead, a Scots word numpty is appropriate as I was making these. Basically it means idiot or fool, which is exactly what I thought to myself as I tried to take these green baked potato donuts out of the tins as I had forgotten one very simple thing. Oil the tin!!! So they were a bit of a pain to get out, as you might imagine, but I managed and it was worth the hassle. I guess a bit of silliness feels kind of appropriate given I came up with this recipe as a bit of St Patrick’s day fun. Plus they’re also pretty healthy and really tasty, especially rolled in a little cinnamon sugar.
These green baked potato donuts might seem a little unusual being made with potato and spinach, but honestly you wouldn’t know when you bite into them. True, I chose many of the ingredients with St Patrick’s day in mind – spinach to be naturally green, and potatoes and oats fit with the theme too, but they do really work in making these little donuts delicious. Potato donuts are ‘a real thing’ – true American rather than Irish from what I can figure out but hey, let’s run with it. They are usually fried, like most donuts, but they work baked as well which is both healthier and I think easier. The fantastic up-side to the ingredients is they are pretty healthy as well so you don’t feel bad about that little bit of cinnamon sugar (or eating a few).
How they’re made
These are pretty easy to make and while the potato needs to be cooked ahead of time, it doesn’t take long. I simply baked it in the microwave a few minutes each side then left it to cool. I think baking, whether in the oven or microwave, leads to a lighter donut than boiling or any other method. But do as works for you. The spinach, too, just takes a couple minutes to wilt in boiling water, then once it’s chopped up a bit, it’s just a case of blending the potato and spinach together then adding everything else in, wet ingredients then dry.
As with my maple apple donuts, I used a mini donut tin but you could use a larger size as well, just cook a little longer. I found the easiest way to fill the donut tin was to use a piping bag. That way, it’s easy to work around the hole. If you don’t have one, use a freezer bag and chop the corner off after filling it with the dough.
As I said these green baked potato donuts are really tasty and you would never guess what was in there. These are not as sweet as many donuts (at least if you don’t put the sugar on the outside) but I don’t think you miss it. The little bit of cinnamon sugar lifts them up to extra-tastiness and they really could almost pass for you’re unhealthiest indulgent donut. Except they have more flavor, they’re more fun being colored, and definitely a whole lot healthier. So don’t be a numpty, just give them a try. They’re much better than just a St Patrick’s day novelty.
Green potato donuts
- 7 oz potato 200g, suggest bake/microwave (see below)
- 5 oz baby spinach 140g, stems removed
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup honey 4tbsp/60ml
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt 60ml
- 2 tbsp milk 30ml
- 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 75g plain flour
- 1/2 cup oat bran 55g
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
For cinnamon sugar topping
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter 45g, approx
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- Cook the potato as suits. I baked it whole in the microwave (wash, pierce a couple times, wrap in kitchen paper then cook 2min. Turn and cook another 2min then test and up to another 2min depending on how done it is). Alternatively, you can bake in the oven ahead of time, or boil, though if so be careful not to over-cook so not too moist. Allow to cool to room temperature.
- Meanwhile put the spinach in a large bowl and pour boiling water over it. Leave it a minute to wilt and darken, then drain. Allow it to cool then squeeze out excess water either by hand or through a cloth. Finely chop the spinach then add to the cooled, peeled potato in a bowl.
- Preheat the oven to 350F/175C and lightly oil/spray a donut or mini-donut tin.
- Blend the potato and spinach to a fairly smooth paste. Add the egg, honey, vanilla, yogurt, milk and oil and whisk together.
- Add the flour, oatbran, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and mix until combined but try to avoid over-mixing.
- Transfer the mixture to a piping bag or freezer/ziplock bag, seal then cut off one corner and use this to fill your donut tin. You want to fill them to near the top but with a little space left. Flatten out the mixture if it looks lumpy then bake for around 15mins for mini donuts (probably around 20 for regular sized) until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow the donuts to cool completely before coating with cinnamon sugar. Once they are cool, mix together the sugar and cinnamon on a plate and melt the butter. One at a time, brush the donuts with the melted butter and roll in the cinnamon sugar.
Try these other healthier sweet treats:
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