About two years ago, I fell in love with roasted sweet potatoes. I had been avoiding eating them ever since every single health related magazine article said I just had to try this 'super food'. I prefer to come to ideas on my own, or at least convince myself that I did.
What a goof, I know. I used to tell my high school tennis coach that I enjoyed doing my backhand wrong. Yes, enjoyed. He would come over and try to correct my form and I would resist. I'd tell him to go away. And I wonder why I never did as well as I wanted to...
I firmly believed that eventually the right way would just miraculously come to me with one swing and I would forever be relieved of my wrongness. I see the error of my ways.. kind of. I'm still guilty of this stubbornness on occasion. Case in point, I probably should have tried sweet potatoes sooner.
|Dates, dates, lovely dates. They add so much to these muffins!|
I roast up a big bag of sweet potatoes fairly regularly, about once or twice a month. I eat them sometimes with my smoothie for breakfast, as an afternoon snack or with dinner. I just adore them. Their flavor is amazing to me- the wonderful not-quite-potato-more-like-squash texture and the natural sweetness. They are incredibly satisfying.
|So aesthetically pleasing, no?|
I've done all this roasting, but rarely do anything else with them. That's why this recipe has knocked my socks off something crazy. I've made it three times. I love it, but at first I thought I'd be the only one.
|Do you see the chunks of sweet potato? The little bits of orange there at the bottom and top? No? Trust me, it's the best part.|
I made mini versions of it the first time I made them, to share with some friends. They were gone so fast! Even when I said "whole wheat sweet potato muffins with dates".
People didn't run away screaming "What's wrong with you!?". I thought they might; the ingredients can sound a tad bit strange on their own, but just imagine each of those flavors mixed together and baked. Heavenly, eh? Well, so far, everyone I share these with just loves them.
These are great right out of the oven, but I usually make them for breakfast/morning snacks for the week. Even my picky husband gobbles them up, though I need to solve the 'sticks to the wrapper' problem as it really drives him bonkers.
Sweet Potato Muffins
adapted from Good to the Grain
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon all spice
2 ounces (1/2 stick) unsalted cold butter
2 large roasted sweet potatoes, about 3/4 lb (I sometimes use 4 small ones if that's what I bought)
1/4 cup sugar (or raw sugar)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup plain yogurt or kefir
6 large medjool dates, pitted and chopped
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roast sweet potatoes on a baking sheet covered with parchment or foil. Roast for 1-1.5 hours, depending on their size. The bottoms should be dark and almost burnt looking and the juices should be caramelizing. After they have cooled, peel them and leave them in tact.
Lower the oven to 350 and grease your muffin pan. Use muffin liners if you wish, though they stick sometimes to the paper cups.
Sift the dry ingredients together. In a small bowl, mix the buttermilk and yogurt.
Add the butters and the sugars to a medium sized bowl and mix either with a standing mixer or by hand. Mix until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and just half of the sweet potatoes (yes! just half!) and mix until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. On low speed, add the dry ingredients until they are just partly combined. Follow this up by adding in the buttermilk mixture and mix until combined.
Add the dates and separate them over the surface so they don't all clump together. You want them spread throughout the batter. Next (my favorite part!), add the remaining sweet potatoes and mix until only barely combined- you want pockets of sweet potato in the batter. Scoop the batter into 10 muffin tins, skipping every other muffin cup if you want to keep the tops from touching as they bake.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the bottoms are dark and tops are springy to the touch. The author of the cookbook suggests placing the muffins on their sides to cool, as pictured above. They can be stored for 3 days or frozen for future enjoyment.