When I think of sweet potato in desserts, I usually think cloying and sweet and heavy. I think pumpkin pie spices, or maybe marshmallow if we’re going the casserole route. Maybe it’s this association that has had me hesitant to bake with sweet potato until now (I’ve never been the biggest fan of pumpkin pie, let alone sweet potato pie). My change-of-heart can be attributed to a few things: 1) I learned that the lining of many canned goods contains BPA, which is a no-no if you’re at all concerned about carcinogens. To me, sweet potato is simply much easier to cook from scratch (and available more often) than is pumpkin, my usual canned go-to. 2) I might as well give pumpkin a break as it is, since it’s appeared in quite a few of my recipes as of late. 3) I saw a recipe — and unfortunately, I can’t remember where or for what — that called for sweet potato with orange zest, and I thought “yes. I like that idea.” And so I tried it. I’m glad I did.
I know I promised my red lentil kibbeh recipe, but I’m not happy with the individual photos I took of it, so it’s gonna have to wait until I can make it again. In the meantime, please enjoy these easy, healthy, moist and yummy muffins. My new barometer for a good health muffin is whether you realize it’s healthy when eating it. I had two (and a half) today and (unfortunately, perhaps instinctively) began calculating the caloric damage. Remembering that these are all whole grain, contain flax, and are sweetened with stevia helped to put my mind at ease, at least a little. Still, I had to remind myself of all the benefits. They’re not apparent upon conspumption — which is a good thing, no?
Yield: 12 muffins
Sweet Potato Muffins:
While the perfectionist in me cringed at the sight of jagged muffins tops, don’t let their exterior fool you — these are moist and spongey on the inside. The sweet potato helps them to retain their moisture well after they’ve been ziplocked away and refrigerated. I mashed my sweet potato with a little texture — mostly smooth, but enough so that every once-in-awhile you bite into an actual piece of it. It creates a pretty speckled effect with the dried cranberry as well.
2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Brown Rice Flour
¼ cup flax seed meal
¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups unsweetened soy milk
2 tablespoons canola oil (plus more for greasing tins, if needed)
1 teaspoon Nunaturals vanilla liquid stevia (or two teaspoons pure vanilla extract plus 1 teaspoon NuNaturals stevia)
1 ½ cups mashed cooked sweet potato (I boiled mine until fork tender, then drained)
1/2 cup fruit-sweetened dried cranberry
Zest of 1 organic orange, washed (use a good, microplane zester for best results)
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Whisk together flour, flax, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk in soy milk, stevia and oil until incorporated into the dry ingredients. Add orange zest, cranberry and sweet potato and fold into batter until evenly distributed.
3. Using an ice cream scoop or a 1/4 cup measure, drop batter into greased or lined muffin tins. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in tins for about 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.