Hey Friends! How’s it goin?
It’s been super cold since I got back to Waterloo last week and I’ve been craving comfort foods like crazy. Two of my favourite comfort foods are sweet potatoes and bread. I don’t usually put them together, but the obscene cold yesterday called for some desperate measures and these Cranberry Pecan Sweet Potato Muffins were born.
I know, I know, muffins aren’t exactly bread, but in my defence, I had planned to make something similar to this Butternut Squash Bread, but I couldn’t find my loaf pan. I have a couple new roommates this term and the kitchen cupboards are in a bit of a mess and I can’t find anything. But, I had left one of my muffin tins, on the counter before I left for vacation, and it was still there when I got back, so muffins it was.
Regardless of misplaced pans and overflowing kitchen cupboards, it’s awesome being back in my own kitchen again. Don’t get me wrong, I loved being at home for the last 3 weeks, and it was fun to experiment with my family around but I was a little limited in what I could make because of ingredients.
Take these muffins for example. We have sweet potatoes in Trinidad but they’re different to the ones I get in Canada. They’re sweeter but a lot drier when cooked and they probably wouldn’t have worked in this recipe in the same way.
And that 1/2 cup of maple syrup? Forget it. There was no way I would have bought another million dollar bottle of maple syrup to make these muffins, no matter how good they tasted. I’ve become very spoiled by the price of maple syrup in Canada it seems.
Oh and coconut oil. It’s relatively easy to get coconut oil in Trinidad, but it’s usually liquid because of the heat. I had the bright idea to store mine in the fridge while I was home and it ended up being rock hard. I’d have to microwave it every time I needed to use some, cuz trying to spoon it out in the state would just end with a broken spoon.
So there you have it. As much as I loved being home and complain about the cold here, being back in Waterloo has it’s perks. And, in any case, if the weather gets to be too much, I always have these dense, refined sugar-free Cranberry Pecan Sweet Potato Muffins with their out of this world granola-like topping to comfort me. Life could be a lot worse I think.
- 1¼ cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1½ cups sweet potato, cubed (or a heaping ½ cup sweet potato puree)
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup apple sauce
- ½ tbsp vanilla
- ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup pecan pieces
- ¼ dried cranberries
- 1 pecan half for each muffin (I needed 10)
- 2 tbsp quick cooking oats
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 4 tsp maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease a muffin tin and set aside
- Cook the cubed sweet potato in the microwave until tender (about 4 to 5 minutes)
- Puree the sweet potato in a food processor or blender (should yield a little more than ½ cup)
- In a medium bowl. whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice
- In another bowl, whisk together the butternut squash, coconut oil, vanilla, maple syrup, apple sauce and eggs until well blended
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix gently until the batter is smooth
- Fold in the nuts and cranberries
- In a small bowl, mix together topping ingredients
- Pour batter evenly into muffin cavities and top with oatmeal mixture. Add a little water to any empty cavities to encourage even baking
- Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean
- Allow the loaf to cool for 5 minutes then remove muffins from the tin and place on a wire rack
What about you?
What’s your idea of comfort food? What do you miss from your kitchen/home when you’re on vacation? Share in the comments below!
More Muffin & Loaf Recipes:
More Winter Comfort Food: