Monday, January 3, 2011

Recipe success!

While I was off of work last week, I began feeling really adventurous and brave. It all started with these two sweet potatoes hanging out in the kitchen that really needed to be eaten. And then I was thinking about how I needed to restock our muffin supply for the freezer, but I didn't have anymore canned pumpkin (usually the kind I make to up our fiber) and didn't really want to go buy any, as I was perfectly in my $30 grocery budget this week. So, I decided to attempt to make sweet potato muffins without a recipe. Yes, I probably could have gone online and found a recipe quite easily. But I didn't want to have to buy anything that I didn't already have, and I had everything on hand that I needed for the ones I was envisioning. I sort of mixed together knowledge of muffins I have baked recently and added in some new steps, omitted some things, and figured I would wing it on timing. They are DELICIOUS! The hardest thing was figuring out the time (they took quite a bit longer than I expected), but they also made 12 very full muffins so I probably could have made 16-18 smallish muffins and cooked them for a shorter amount of time. The recipe will always be kind of 'play it by ear' since no two sweet potatoes are alike. Just try not to use gigantic ones because they might not set up if the ratio of sweet potato to flour is too high.

First, I baked two small/medium sweet potatoes. I didn't boil them, even though that's WAY easier and more time efficient, because sweet potatoes lose some flavor and nutrients when you boil. In anything else I do with sweet potatoes, we eat the skins (I swear you don't notice them in mashed sweet potatoes!), but I knew I didn't want them in this and that was another reason to bake. I baked them for an hour at 400 degrees and then carefully pulled the skins off. They come off very easily, but it's definitely a game of 'hot potato' for the tips of your fingers! I used a fork to help.

Yes, I'm aware that my pan looks sort of nasty, but I wanted you to see how easy it is to peel the skin off. This one came off in just two pieces, but the first one came off in a bunch of strips. 

I then pulled out my Magic Bullet which I got for free, brand new, probably a year or so ago, if not longer, and had yet to pull out of the box. My other thought was to use the blender, but the MB seemed like a better size, and it gave me an excuse to play with it. I first used the cross blade, and after about 5 attempts was considering throwing the bullet out! It just wasn't working. Of course, I didn't read anything so who knows if I was doing something wrong. I switched to the other blade and still had to try a few times, but finally it pulled all the sweet potato down into the blades and pureed it. Is it weird to think food is pretty? Because it was really pretty when that part was done! It had this awesome swirl going on and the sweet potato was such a pretty, vibrant color. I set that aside and started putting the mix together.
The swirl is on the other side, but I couldn't get the picture to turn out. This looks pretty too, though! I had to resist grabbing a spoon and snacking!

I mixed together:
1.5 cups of white whole wheat flour (Trader Joe's is my favorite because it's way cheaper than other brands and tastes just as good. You can use whole wheat or white flour instead depending on your preferences. White whole wheat is as healthy as whole wheat, but with a lighter flavor.)
1 tsp of nutmeg
2 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of ginger
1/2 tsp of salt
1 tsp of baking soda
1/4 tsp of baking powder

After you mix this together, add in:
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup honey (it's easier to do it in this order because the honey doesn't stick to the measuring cup after the oil has been in it)
1.5 tsp vanilla extract (I used my homemade kind!)

Mix it all together and then fold in the sweet potato puree. You can also add chocolate chips (because everything tastes better with chocolate). I actually only added it to half the batter so I could taste it both ways. You can also fold in whatever else you might like but make sure not to do too much or it might not bake correctly.

Before I folded in that sweet potato puree. This is a good bowl to lick- so tasty! 

Put it in the oven, preheated for 350, for 25-32 minutes and make sure the knife comes out clean before you take them out. Mine took right at 30 minutes, but I started checking them at 18 minutes, which let the heat out each time I would check... so I would check at 25 minutes and then again every 2-3 minutes until they are finished.


This muffin meets all of my criteria.... there is no sugar or sugar substitute in it as it's sweetened with honey, it is whole grain since I used white whole wheat flour, it was really cheap to make especially since I pureed uber cheap farmer's market sweet potatoes and used my homemade vanilla (I still have my store bought kind but couldn't resist trying mine out), and it's able to be made in large quantities for freezing. As long as I have a protein with it, it's pretty PCOS friendly, too!