Suitable for a paleo diet, this egg-free, grain-free acorn squash flatbread is versatile and easy to make. It can also be used as a paleo-friendly pizza crust. For a flatbread that’s keto-friendly, see Zucchini Flatbread on page 52. To save time, mashed acorn squash (or mashed sweet potatoes) can be made ahead and refrigerated up to 3 days.
What’s a White Sweet Potato?
Asian white sweet potatoes are lower in carbohydrates and higher in nutrients than the traditional orange sweet potato/yam. An Asian sweet potato may have creamy skin and creamy-white flesh or may have red-purple skin and creamy-white flesh or even red-purple skin and purple flesh. This recipe calls for a white flesh variety. Asian sweet potatoes are found in Asian markets and in many regular grocery stores.
Paleo & Keto: What’s the Difference?
Both the paleo diet and the keto diet recommend avoiding all grains, beans, sugar, most dairy and processed foods. They differ in carbohydrate limits and the amount of fat. A person may follow either diet on a doctor’s recommendation to address specific health challenges, to reduce inflammation or to lose weight.
The paleo diet allows all vegetables (except corn, which is a grain), meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, seeds, fruits, most oil/fat including butter and/or ghee and some sweeteners in moderation, including raw honey, 100% pure maple syrup, coconut sugar, stevia and some natural zero-calorie sweeteners, such as monk fruit (a sweet Chinese herb) and erythritol.
The keto diet is more restrictive; it limits vegetables to non-starchy items that are lower in carbohydrates. A general rule: If it grows above the ground, it’s probably allowed on the keto diet. This includes asparagus, avocado, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, eggplant, green beans, lettuces, leafy greens, tomatoes, some bell peppers and zucchini. Keto advocates suggest avoiding fruit, except a limited intake of berries, and limiting vegetables that grow underground. Beets, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes and some above-ground starchy vegetables, such as winter squash and acorn squash, are allowed in moderation.
For more information, consult a registered dietitian who specializes in these diets.
Contributing chef Sueson Vess is a food coach, cooking instructor and author of Special Eats, a gluten-free, dairy-free cookbook.Yields 1 flatbread
- 1 cup cooked, mashed, cooled acorn squash or white sweet potatoes
- 1/2 - 1 cup cassava flour
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or lemon olive oil, more to brush on top
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
- Fresh or dried herbs (such as rosemary, oregano, dill or herbs de Provence), optional
- Lemon zest, optional
1Preheat oven to 375°F. Place a pizza stone or a baking sheet in the oven to preheat.
2In a food processor bowl, combine mashed squash with 1/2 cup cassava flour, olive oil and salt. Puree until mixture forms a ball. If mixture is too wet to form a ball, add more cassava flour, a little at a time. (Wetter squash like acorn squash requires more flour to form a ball. White sweet potatoes are drier and require less flour.)
3Transfer dough onto a large sheet of parchment paper. Top with a second sheet of parchment. Roll dough with a rolling pin or pat it with your hand into a 12-inch circle, about 1/8 inch thick. Remove top parchment. Drizzle dough with more olive oil (regular or lemon). Sprinkle with additional salt, if desired, herbs of choice and lemon zest, if using.
4Transfer dough on parchment to preheated pizza stone or baking sheet and bake in preheated oven 16 to 18 minutes or until edges are slightly browned.
5Remove from oven. Cut flatbread into wedges with a pizza cutter and serve.