Maybe it was just the “three clever sister” household, but when we were growing up, sweet potatoes were none too visible–they made an appearance at Thanksgiving, and we loved the fact that you could eat something with marshmallows and not call it dessert. But, like a roast turkey, it was another year until we saw them again.
Now sweet potatoes (which by the way, in the US are probably the same things as yams) have risen to prominence as a “superfood” along with other rediscovered vegetables such as butternut squash and even chard and kale (the latter two I don’t think I had even seen until 5 years ago). Sweet potatoes, perhaps are the best of this virtuous bunch, as they are easy to peel (butternut squash, ahem) and you can almost forget they are good for you (kale chips are a good try but not my cup of tea). And they are pretty much unavoidable in baby food these days!
Here, sweet potatoes come to the rescue for those of you who don’t go for the whole “whole-wheat thing.” These are subtly sweet and warmly spiced. Delicious. And light–no hockey pucks in sight!
These are homey and comforting, a perfect antidote to the excessively wintry weather we’ve been having here.
Certain of the sisters like the batter as well as the finished product.
Whole-Grain Sweet Potato Muffins
- 2 1/2c whole wheat flour
- 3/4c sugar or brown sugar (see note)
- 2t baking powder
- 1/4 t baking soda
- 1T cinnamon
- 1/2t nutmeg (freshly ground if possible)
- 1/4t allspice
- 1/4t salt (preferably kosher)
- 1/4 c melted butter
- 1/4c vegetable oil
- 1c mashed sweet potato
- 1 egg
- 1/2c yogurt, buttermilk, or milk soured with 1t white vinegar
Heat the oven to 375. Grease or line with paper liners 12 muffin cups. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In another bowl mix together the remaining ingredients, and fold into the dry mixture until just combined.
Fill the muffin cups approximately 3/4 full and bake for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool for five minutes, then twist the muffins out and set on their side over the wells in the muffin pan (as shown above). This will allow the muffins to cool without getting gummy and damp. (Thanks for the tip, Kim Boyce, who along with Mark Bittman was my inspiration for this recipe!)
Notes (updated 02/16): This batter is thick. You may have to add more liquid, depending on whether you use buttermilk, vinegared milk, or yogurt. (Thanks to the commenters for reminding me to mention this!) If you have brown sugar that is not too lumpy, you can use it instead of white sugar (in fact, I find it preferable). A few little lumps melt nicely into the muffin and are little sweet bursts to enjoy.