Sweet Potato, Date & Walnut Muffins

Who doesn’t love sweet potatoes? (People with inferior taste buds, that’s who.) And if you’re yet to try them, first of all, where have you been? And secondly, think of it this way: If white potatoes are the practical, cerebral types who study Journalism, earn a PhD and work their way up the corporate ladder, sweet potatoes would be their liberal, flamboyant Socialist siblings who drop out of college to pursue an acting career and now live in San Francisco with a dachshund and some dude who passed out on their sofa. I don’t know how that helps but I feel like it should.

They’re the candy of the vegetable world. And being one of my favourite foods, I could quite happily and unashamedly them in excess. I probably already do. Plus, they’re inexpensive, colourful, flavoursome and very easy to cook, which is why potatoes are never in short supply in student kitchens. Potatoes in general are one of if not the most versatile food on the planet – they can be chips (fries), crisps (chips), curly fries, wedges, hash-browns, waffles, salad, soup, baked, roasted, mashed, dauphinoised, hassle-backed, skinned…

So I figured, why not bake sweet potato muffins? Seeing as I’ve recently developed a penchant for dates (the fruit, not the activity, sadly) and think walnuts make everything better anyway, they both had to be incorporated too.

These muffins aren’t actually very savoury, so if you wanted to make them more savoury you could leave out the dates or add a pinch of salt. Any nuts and dried fruit can be substituted; perhaps swap the dates for dried apricots and the walnuts for pistachios, or keep it minimal and let the sweet potato speak for itself. I was chuffed with these muffins; the flavour combination works really well. I guess sweet potatoes can do no wrong.

Ingredients:

200g baked, skinless sweet potato (can be baked in a microwave or a oven)
200g self-raising flour
90g light brown sugar
100g caster sugar
2 flax eggs
150g dairy-free butter
50g almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
Preferred amount of chopped dates (I used roughly 50g)
Preferred amount of chopped walnuts (I used roughly 40g)
Optional: Preferred amount of grated orange zest (I used roughly a tsp)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200-210c
  2. Cream together the butter, sugar, maple syrup, almond milk & vanilla
  3. Add the flax eggs [optional orange zest] and apple cider vinegar, stir in
  4. Add the baked sweet potato to the mixture either in small chunks or mashed, then whisk either manually or using an electric whisk (the latter will work much better)
  5. Once the sweet potato has completely bound with the mixture (it should look like an orange mixture, not a mixture with orange flecks), fold in the flour and the baking powder
  6. Once the flour is completely mixed in, add the chopped walnuts & dates, mix again
  7. Spoon the batter into cases inside of a cupcake/muffin tin
  8. Bake at 200-210c for 20-30m or until golden
  9. Enjoy!