October 25, 2011

Sweet potato spelt muffins


Hi friends,

It's the start of week 4 in my sugar-free challenge and so far things are going great. I love how this challenge has not only got me to pay even more attention to what I cook and eat, but also think creatively and research alternative ways to cook and bake without sugar. Along all the sugar, I have also been cutting down grains in my diet. Not altogether, however, but on a daily basis I have had maybe one serve or no grains at all. I've also been strictly off all yeast products during the challenge. All this, I'm sure, has made me feel even better.

I've experimented with brown rice syrup in this recipe. Brown rice syrup is a great alternative to honey and agave, but make sure to check there are no added nasties in the product you choose. The only ingredients listed should indeed be rice and water! These muffins could just as easily be baked into a loaf, but I really love the simplicity of muffins - perfect portion size, easy to pack as a snack, easy to freeze. What's there not to love?

If you are curious about starting a sugar-free challenge, this e-book is a great way to get you going!

Sweet potato spelt muffins
(makes 12 muffins or 1 loaf)

1 large sized sweet potato (should yield to about 1 cup cooked and mashed)
50g organic butter or coconut oil (alternatively, use 60ml olive oil)
2 large eggs (organic, free-range)
2 tablespoons brown rice syrup*
125ml milk
150g whole-grain spelt flour
30g flax meal
20g chia seeds
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground clove
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of sea salt

* Brown rice syrup is available at most health-food stores. It is a low glucose alternative to other sweeteners, like raw honey. You can leave this out altogether, if you prefer.

1. Preheat oven to 180C and grease a 12-cup muffin pan.

2. Peel and chop the sweet potato and cook until fully tender. Mash with the butter, coconut oil or olive oil into a smooth purée.

3. Whisk together the eggs, milk and brown rice syrup.

4. Mix together the dry ingredients.

5. Whisk the egg mixture into the sweet potato purée. Fold in the dry ingredients.

6. Scoop the mixture into the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until firm to touch and a tester inserted in the muffin comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack before serving.

7. Store in the fridge for 2-3 days or freeze.


PS. Remember my little balcony make-over?  Well, the wait is finally over! My balcony (and me) is featured in Don Burke's new Organic book (2nd edition), available now!