After a long period of rebellion from all things branded “healthy baking”, I’ve made a slight U-turn. Whilst I still mostly hold my old belief that the essence of baking is butter, sugar and white flour and if you really want to lose weight, just don’t eat cake, I’ve found that a diet period without any form of baked treat whatsoever is just too sad. The original recipe for these “healthy” (meaning wholefood based, refined sugar free and low in saturated fat) muffins comes from Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s all good, and if they’re good enough for Gwyneth they’re definitely good enough for me. Although healthy substitute baking is often very disappointing, thanks to the moist fudgy texture given by the sweet potato, these muffins are actually pretty satisfying, and a lot sweeter than expected. What’s also great is you can alter the taste and nutrition by adding in whatever you fancy; the two ways I propose are dark chocolate and mixed spice, and blueberry and cinnamon. If not eating hot from the oven, my favourite way to eat these is heated in the microwave for 10 seconds – especially good if you have dark chocolate in there!
1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes
115ml olive oil
115ml plant milk
125ml maple syrup
1.5 teaspoon vanilla extract
100g wholemeal flour
100g rye or spelt flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gun or 1 egg white if not vegan
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspooons baking soda
1 way: 1 tablespoon mixed spice, 50g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
2nd way: handful blueberries, 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- Pre-heat oven to 180°C. Prick sweet potato with a fork and spray lightly with oil. Bake for 40 minutes – 1 hour until completely soft. Let cool. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with cases or grease a silicone tray.
- Peel the sweet potato and place in a medium sized bowl. Mash well with a fork, and add in the oil, milk, syrup and vanilla. Beat well until combined.
- In a separate bowl sift the flours, baking powder and baking soda. Add the egg or the xanthan gum and mix lightly, before gradually pouring in the liquid mix.
- Pour in any add-ins, and mix well until everything is combined.
- Fill the muffin cases to roughly 2/3 full and smooth off the tops. Bake for 20-25 minutes in the oven until browned on top and a metal skewer comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack. For extra sweetness, drizzle the tops with extra maple syrup.