Sweet Potato Corn Muffins

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There are a thousand ways to make healthy muffins, but I like them best when they are soft and squidgy, low in fat, and a little bit sweet. The great thing about these particular muffins is that the bulk of them is made from vegetables commonly found in desserts. Sweet potato puree, stoneground cornmeal and whole wheat pastry flour compose the bulk of the batter, while nut milk and natural yogurt add plenty of moisture. I also have a soft spot for this recipe because I can make it 100% organic without breaking the bank or sacrificing flavour, and the potato puree results in a pleasantly tender texture similar to that of banana bread. Although totally addictive on their own, the muffins are made even better with fun add-ins, like a cup of toasted chopped pecans or a mixed and matched cup of nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. One batch will have you looking forward to breakfast all through the work week.

Sweet Potato Corn Muffins

Inspired by: Minimalist Baker, ‘Sweet Potato Almond Butter Muffins’

Ingredients:

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (130g)
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (100g)
1/3 cup stoneground cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup natural yogurt
3/4 cup almond milk
1 egg
3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon sweet potato puree (from 9 oz cubed sweet potato)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons oil of choice
1/3 cup raw granulated sugar of choice

Optional Add-Ins:

Choose one of the following:

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans
  • 3/4 cup dried fruit such as raisins, cranberries, or chopped dried apple
  • 3/4 cup dried coconut flakes
  • 1 cup mixed nuts, seeds and dried fruit

Method: 

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Brush the muffin moulds with a small amount of oil.

In a large bowl, whisk to combine and aerate the all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. If using add-ins, toss them in with the dry ingredients.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the potato puree, yogurt, vanilla extract, oil, and sugar until the ingredients are well combined. If you are using a large granulated raw sweetener, allow the sugar to dissolve for a few minutes while occasionally whisking the mixture.

Whisk in the egg until it is well combined. Gradually add the almond milk while whisking until the mixture is smooth.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the well and use a spatula to fold everything together just until no streaks of flour remain.

Fill the muffin cups almost to the top for large domed muffins (the batter will fill approximately 11 of the muffin moulds). Bake immediately in the preheated oven for 20-23  minutes or until the tops spring back to the touch. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

The muffins will keep for 3-4 days in a sealed container at room temperature.

 

 

Sweet Skillet Cornbread & Baking with Grains

Come this February, you can expect to see plenty of alternative and flavourful flours, meals, oats, and other cereal grains that are used more widely in different parts of the world. Grains are the perfect subject for next month’s ingredient spotlight because they are exactly the kind of good that is stored away for the sparsest months, along with long-keeping sugar products like honey and molasses. Take for example sugar cream pie, a popular treat in pockets of North America and western Europe, which was traditionally made when there was nothing left to fill pies with except for flour, butter, sugar, salt, and cream.

The first of the cereal grains to hit our kitchen was a bag of coarsely ground and beautifully aromatic cornmeal from a local mill. And while the last thing I wished to do was quibble about what ‘real’ cornbread is (Sean Brock knows), I could not resist the opportunity to butter up a cast iron skillet.

Just for fun, the first choice was a middle-of-the-pack recipe, courtesy of Alex Guarnaschelli, that consists of a 50/50 blend of cornmeal and all purpose flour, a moderate amount of sugar, buttermilk, whole milk, and melted butter. The batter is a breeze to make and the sound of it hitting the fiercely hot skillet has to be heard to be appreciated. The bread was delicious warm out of the oven with the sweet, unobstructed flavour of the cornmeal shining though, a sign that it can only get better from here.

Recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alexandra-guarnaschelli/cast-iron-skillet-corn-bread-recipe.html