This morning I have a breakfast recipe for you all- sweet potato + five spice muffins from the It’s All Good cookbook by Gwyneth Paltrow.
Now, whether you like Gwyn or not, she seems to be in amazing shape and live a pretty healthy lifestyle. The cookbook does a pretty decent job of explaining the types of ingredients, their uses, and why they’re good for you. While
some most of the recipes involve items I would probably never buy because of expense, or the sheer fact that they would get used once and then rot in my pantry or fridge; I always enjoy trying new spices (because I know they’ll last for a while) and I like the idea of trying something that my whole family will eat without giving me ‘the look’ (there’s even a kids’ section, however it’s very short). I also enjoyed the fact that each recipe is labeled for different diets i.e. elimination, allergy-free, vegan etc.
One of the first recipes that struck me was the sweet potato + five spice muffins in the breakfast section. My family loves sweet potatoes, and who doesn’t love muffins? By the way, when you hear the word muffin, do you ever think of the line from the movie “Wierd Science”, where Chet is getting introduced to the hot computer lady? Beware, it’s not for childrens’ ears…
Yeah, I grew up on some pretty r-rated movies…
Anywho, back to the muffins. I did make one major change (and a cheat) to the recipe; I switched out using gluten free flour for whole wheat. I simply didn’t have it in my pantry, and decided I wasn’t ready to spend a bunch of money on flour at the moment. I used whole wheat instead, and the muffins came out just fine. Also, I microwaved the sweet potato rather than oven-baking it. This took 8 minutes, as opposed to waiting around an hour for the potato to bake.
The chinese five spice was interesting, in that while mixing I thought it smelled strongly of licorice(I’m guessing that’s the fennel), but once the muffins were baked, that smell was completely gone. At first I thought the flavor of the spice was very subtle, and decided I would probably add more the next time; the muffins were pretty bland. But then I realized I added 1.5 teaspoons of spice rather than 1.5 tablespoons- gah! However, I rather liked that they were plain, as you can then serve them with just about any fruit on the side to give it a whole new edge. Mer and I topped ours with banana slices, while Colette preferred cherries and honey. Next time, I’d like to add more spice to really get the flavor it’s supposed to have. So without further ado, here’s the recipe with some optional variations.
Sweet Potato + Five Spice Muffins
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 c unsweetened almond milk
- 3/4 c good-quality maple syrup or xylitol plus extra for brushing(I used syrup)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 c whole wheat flour (or gluten-free flour, if the gluten free doesn’t include xanthan gum, add 1 tsp)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 T Chinese five spice powder
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt (I used regular fine salt)
Preheat oven to 400· Prick the potato, and bake until soft (about an hour) or microwave on potato setting for 7-8 minutes like I did. Set aside until cool, or rip into it, burning your fingers and cursing under your breath as you go- like I did. (I don’t have patience) Discard the skin and mash the fleshy insides in a large bowl. Whisk in all of the wet ingredients, and set aside. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl, and fold into the wet mixture. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with liners and distribute mixture evenly into all 12 liners. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove and brush with extra syrup, then bake an additional 5 minutes. Cool slightly and dig in.
Hope you all enjoy the recipe above and check out the book- I think it’s worth looking at (even if it’s just for the pretty pictures).
Alrighty, I’m off to clean house, and get these kids active. I opted to sleep in this morning until 8:00, so I didn’t get a workout in before the kiddos were up. I’m thinking a swim workout at the local pool sounds like a fun alternative. I’ll keep you posted.
*Update* To check out photos of the muffins from this post click here.
Enjoy your Thursday