With fall coming around (for those in the northern hemisphere anyways), now is the time when out come the recipes for squash, yams, sweet potatoes and pumpkins. I am adding to that assortment of recipes. While some recipes for autumn are an introduction to the fatty, complicated desserts that are soon to come with the holidays, this recipe is the opposite of those. Five-Ingredient Autumn Crunch is simple and healthy enough for anytime of the day—breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert—and promises to leave you feeling full and satisfied afterward without the too-full feeling of high-fat concoctions.


One reason I created this recipe: I had a sweet potato that needed to be used. I already made sweet potato fries recently so I wanted something different yet still simple. With just a general idea of this recipe in mind, I got to work.  I wasn’t looking to get all that creative with my sweet potato, so I decided to go with the standard sweet potato flavor profile. I pulled out the cinnamon. I was going to pull out other individual spices like ginger, nutmeg, etc. but decided that I wanted to include a variety of spices with minimal effort, so I also retrieved the pumpkin spice.  No, I don’t care that I am not making anything with pumpkin in it. I will still use the pumpkin spice without care. I am all about multi-use items; this philosophy applies to all things in the kitchen (and life): foods, utensils, spices and whatever else you can think of.

After I had the flavor profile and spices picked out, I needed to make it a meal. It was lunchtime and I was hungry. Without much thought I grabbed rolled rye and wheat bran. I usually eat rye for breakfast as cereal or as Carob’s Apple Crumble; however, since this recipe is similar to the apple crumble recipe, I decided that I could have rye for lunch as well. As you can see, I don’t care much for rules. Pumpkin spice without pumpkins. Dessert for breakfast. Breakfast for lunch. I do what makes me happy and right then making a sweet potato bake was going to make me happy. I made up the recipe as I went, but fortunately you don’t have to. I already did the guesswork for how long to cook your sweet potatoes for and how much rye to mix in with your bran and the other fine details.

The amazing sweet potato

Sweet potatoes are amazingly nutritious. Whenever you can, choose sweet potatoes over regular potatoes

The reason that I revisited/created this recipe is because I am participating in a recipe of the month with another food blogger, Katie, from Adventures by Katie. I didn’t have a problem revisiting the sweet potato as it is one of my favorite foods. In addition, sweet potatoes are pretty awesome. Not only do they require no seasoning to be palatable but they are extremely nutritious as well! Thanks for making me revisit my beloved sweet potato, Katie!


Like Carob’s Apple Crumble recipe, Five-Ingredient Autumn Crunch is sweet enough to eat for dessert and still healthy enough to eat as a main meal. This would also be a great side dish for a Thanksgiving dinner for it requires minimal effort to prepare; you can divert your efforts from your sweet potato dish to other foods. If you don’t make it for Thanksgiving, make it anytime you want a warm, homey dessert, snack or meal that you don’t have to feel guilty about eating.

Vegan and free of added sugar, salt, oil, soy, nuts and seeds

Reasons to love this recipe: simple, seasonal, guilt-free, diverse use, five ingredients


  • 1 large sweet potato or yam, chopped into medium sections
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 3/4 cup rolled rye (may replace with steel cut oats or rolled barley)
  • 1/2 cup wheat bran
  • water

Serves 1 as meal, 2-4 as dessert


Begin by adding the sweet potato and 1 cup of water to a pressure cooker. Pressure cook the sweet potato on full pressure for 4 minutes then quick release. Place the fully cooked sweet potato into a small casserole dish and mush with a fork into an even layer on the bottom of the dish. Mix together the cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, rye, and wheat bran in a separate bowl. Add enough water to the dry mixture to thoroughly wet it (around 1/2 cup) to make a somewhat coarse dough. Pat the grain mixture over the mashed sweet potatoes evenly. Bake at 430° F (220° C) for 10-20 minutes or until the rye is fully cooked and the top is crispy. Enjoy after cooling for 5 minutes.

  • Updated 3 years ago
Sara Binde

Sara is a health and nutrition coach. She advocates for a whole foods plant-based lifestyle and teaches the world how to achieve weight loss.