Whether it’s sweet potato pie, candied yams or sweet potato soufflé, sweet potatoes will likely be the center of at least one dish during this holiday season and throughout the winter months. Sweet Potato Muffins are one of my family’s favorite things to make with this colorful root vegetable. My daughters and I have been known to make hundreds of them at this time of year to give as holiday/thank you gifts to their many wonderful teachers. My version is extra special because it is vegan and begins with steamed sweet potatoes. I prefer steaming because it is a quicker method of cooking potatoes than baking them and better preserves the nutritional benefits of the sweet potato, which includes being a great source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), vitamin C, fiber, potassium and iron. In addition, we substitute 1/2 cup of applesauce for the two eggs that are often called for in traditional muffin recipes. We enjoy them at brunches, for weekend breakfasts, for breakfast on-the-go, and even for snacks. I’ve come up with the vegan version below after experimenting over time with substitutions in non-vegan versions of muffin recipes. I invite you to try it. Be sure to let me know how yours turn out.
medium pot that has a tight fitting lid
metal steamer basket
paper muffin cups/liners (optional)
*makes 12 medium muffins
Nonstick canola cooking spray
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (King Arthur’s brand in the red and white bag is one of my favorites)
3/4 cup to 1 cup of sugar depending on how sweet you want them (try Sugar in the Raw in the brown box or organic brown sugar)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup steamed, mashed sweet potatoes (about 1 large sweet potato)
1/4 cup of applesauce (for two eggs)
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
Optional Topping: 1 Tablespoon of organic brown sugar or sugar in the raw sugar, a dash of cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg, plus a slither of Earth Balance Vegan Butter substitute for each muffin.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Take a medium pot and place a metal steamer basket in it. Add water to the pot until it barely touches the bottom of the basket. Put lid on the pot so that the water comes to a boil more quickly.
While water is coming to a boil, peel and slice the potato (not too thick and not too thin). Place the slices of potato in the pot on the steamer basket and put the lid on the pot.
While the potato slices are steaming, spray the muffin pan with nonstick canola cooking spray. Flour the pan by sprinkling flour in each muffin cup and then maneuvering the pan until the cups are coated with flour. Or you can place the paper muffin cups/liners in the pan in place of the cooking spray and flour.
Put all of the dry ingredients together (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt). Take a fork and thoroughly mix the dry ingredients.
Once the sweet potato is tender and even more brilliantly orange, add the cooked sweet potato to a medium bowl. Mash the potato and measure out 1 cup. Add this cup of mashed potato to a large bowl, along with the applesauce and oil and stir with a large spoon until the ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
Add the well combined dry ingredients to the sweet potato mixture. Do not sift the dry ingredients, but simply mix the dry and the wet with a large spoon until all of the ingredients are just combined and you don’t see any white flour.
Evenly spoon the mixture into the muffin cups. If you would like to add the optional topping, sprinkle the dry part of the topping on the muffins, then add the slither of Earth Balance Vegan Butter to each muffin.
Bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove muffins and serve warm or cold.