The Weekly Kitchen: A new use for an old-favorite vegetable

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By ANGELA McRAE, The Weekly Kitchen

Sweet potato casserole is a must at my family’s Thanksgiving celebration, and my sister makes it best, so we leave that dish to her. But our dad grows lots of sweet potatoes in his garden, and since I receive quite a few of them, I’m always up for a good sweet potato recipe.

Simple baked sweet potatoes are great anytime, and if a little butter and cinnamon and brown sugar can be added, that’s even better. I’ve enjoyed them baked a few times lately, though, so it was time to find another use for my sweet potatoes, and I thought, “Muffins.”

Now, I like muffins, but I don’t usually think about them until I’m at a bakery, where I see them and think, “Oh yeah, muffins. I could make those at home.”

I came across an old sweet potato muffin recipe online and decided to tweak it, incorporating a bit more of the spices to go along with those good-for-you sweet potatoes. I knew they were fat-free and high in fiber—so a good vegetable to sneak into dishes—but I didn’t realize they’re also high in Vitamin A and Vitamin C.

When I’m preparing sweet potatoes to go in another dish, I bring the potatoes to a rolling boil then reduce the heat and simmer them until they’re soft and can easily be pierced with a fork. The skin practically slides itself off, and I don’t have to bother peeling them.

For this recipe, I upped the spice content because a) it’s fall and b) a little extra cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice never hurt anybody. Just be sure to serve these fresh from the oven so you can enjoy the pleasure of eating a few hot chocolate chips!

Sweet Potato & Chocolate Chip Muffins

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons milk
1-1/4 cups sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed (about 2-3 medium sweet potatoes)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar (divided use)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and prepare the muffin pans with cooking spray. (Be sure to spray around the tops of the “wells” so the tops of your muffins won’t stick!) In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together then set aside. In a smaller bowl, combine the eggs, milk, sweet potatoes, vanilla, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Blend well. Add wet ingredients to dry ones and stir just till combined. Last, stir in the chocolate chips. Fill wells of the pan about 3/4 full of batter and add a pinch of the remaining brown sugar on top of each one. Bake for 22-25 minutes, just until the muffins begin to brown around the edges. These are best eaten hot so that you can enjoy the yummy melted chocolate! Yields 16 muffins.

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