October 25, 2011

Sweet potato spelt muffins


Hi friends,

It's the start of week 4 in my sugar-free challenge and so far things are going great. I love how this challenge has not only got me to pay even more attention to what I cook and eat, but also think creatively and research alternative ways to cook and bake without sugar. Along all the sugar, I have also been cutting down grains in my diet. Not altogether, however, but on a daily basis I have had maybe one serve or no grains at all. I've also been strictly off all yeast products during the challenge. All this, I'm sure, has made me feel even better.

I've experimented with brown rice syrup in this recipe. Brown rice syrup is a great alternative to honey and agave, but make sure to check there are no added nasties in the product you choose. The only ingredients listed should indeed be rice and water! These muffins could just as easily be baked into a loaf, but I really love the simplicity of muffins - perfect portion size, easy to pack as a snack, easy to freeze. What's there not to love?

If you are curious about starting a sugar-free challenge, this e-book is a great way to get you going!

Sweet potato spelt muffins
(makes 12 muffins or 1 loaf)

1 large sized sweet potato (should yield to about 1 cup cooked and mashed)
50g organic butter or coconut oil (alternatively, use 60ml olive oil)
2 large eggs (organic, free-range)
2 tablespoons brown rice syrup*
125ml milk
150g whole-grain spelt flour
30g flax meal
20g chia seeds
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground clove
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of sea salt

* Brown rice syrup is available at most health-food stores. It is a low glucose alternative to other sweeteners, like raw honey. You can leave this out altogether, if you prefer.

1. Preheat oven to 180C and grease a 12-cup muffin pan.

2. Peel and chop the sweet potato and cook until fully tender. Mash with the butter, coconut oil or olive oil into a smooth purée.

3. Whisk together the eggs, milk and brown rice syrup.

4. Mix together the dry ingredients.

5. Whisk the egg mixture into the sweet potato purée. Fold in the dry ingredients.

6. Scoop the mixture into the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until firm to touch and a tester inserted in the muffin comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack before serving.

7. Store in the fridge for 2-3 days or freeze.


PS. Remember my little balcony make-over?  Well, the wait is finally over! My balcony (and me) is featured in Don Burke's new Organic book (2nd edition), available now!


  1. Delicious looking muffins!



  2. These sound perfect for the Fall! (I'm in the North :) But even on a chilly Spring day these would be welcome.

  3. I was sold on these muffins from the moment I read the title of this post. I love sweet potatoes!

  4. Maria, these look absolutely delicious! I could definitely take some lessons with this challenge. I know I need to cut down on my use of sugar and this challenge would certainly raise my awareness. Lovely recipe! And the light is beautiful.

  5. M-mmm! I love that your feeling so great without the sugahh, Maria<3 These muffins look insanely tasty. If I could pick one veggie to eat for like a month (!?) right now it would be sweet potato. YUM!

  6. These muffins sounds delicious! Have a great day!

  7. I'm with Elenore - I ♥ sweet potatoes, too! Well done on cutting down sugar and grains in your diet ... I often make my muffins decidedly 'stern', so these would fit right in to my household.

    And wow- your balcony is *amazing*! I love it. We live in a townhouse, and have started building garden beds etc in our little courtyard, so I can appreciate the use of small places :)

    HOpe you're well xx

  8. I also love muffin sized things, just easier and cleaner and more convenient to eat! I've been wandering into some health food stores and I keep seeing ingredients that you use and go OHHHH that's what Maria uses and now i know where to get it! :)

  9. Hi, Maria. I love sweet potatoes and this muffin looks so delicious! My post today was about sweet potatoes, too! What a coincidence!

    You must feel great without sugar and I want to try to do so someday if I am brave like you:-)

  10. This really is something else, next time I'm in a health-food store I have to look for some brown rice syrup!


  11. I'm absolutely fascinated by the sugar free challenge - I eat far too much sugar and always thought it would be so hard to give up, but if you can make gorgeous treats like this it might not be so hard!

  12. These look delicious. I tried baking with butternut squash for the first time the other day, and sweet potato sounds like it could be really delicious too. I'm intrigued by brown rice syrup - is it better for you than natural sweeteners like honey and agave?

  13. Just spied you in the Don Burke book whilst in Myer this morning. Great feature on small garden spaces. I like the use of fax and chia in these muffins. I think it makes a great addition to baked good especially for children.

  14. These look delicious and sooo healthy ! Just what I am looking for - thanks !

  15. These look good. An excellent way to use sweet potato.

  16. These look delicious! And congratulations on your feature in the magazine. Will you put a clipping up? :)

  17. what a fantastic idea to use sweet potatoes in muffins- if you can bake with them in pies and cookies and cakes why not muffins!~ Love this recipe

  18. Your muffins look wonderful...so healthy! The perfect way to start the day.

  19. Congratulations!
    I know just how wonderful it feels to cut the toxins and pollutants in the diet. Sugar really is the devil and it makes a lot of difference to leave it out all together.

    I am about to embark on my final detox stint for the year. It will be hard to do so after weeks of 'Swedish indulgence' since we arrived in July. I will visit your blog for food inspiration, just as I did last time.

    Lots of love from our beautiful North.
    x Charlotta

  20. ah, sweet potato--is there anything you can't do? :)

  21. Thank you so much. I made these yesterday. I made some changes to make it vegan. I used flax gel for the eggs, almond milk for the milk and I don't have the brown rice syrup so I used honey.
    These are so tender and moist. The spices in these muffins are great. I usually don't do much with cloves but they make you think you're getting something sweet. Shared them at the office and they were gone! I'll be trying more of your recipes. Thanks Carol

  22. Lovely....loving all these healthy treats!

  23. Just made your muffins. I added cacao nibs to half the batch and served them warm with butter. Beautiful. They hit the spot after our bike ride.

    Thank you so much for all the sugar free recipes. I am also on the challenge, with my 3 year old (cant connivence my husband to join us). Your recipes are making the experience fun. Looking forward to many more.

  24. I have to complement you again on this recipe. I have now used it as a base for making muffins over and over, changing certain elements to get a different flavour very successfully. I have used almond as well as hazelnut meal instead of flax meal, replaced some of the spelt flour with teff flour, used banana instead of sweet potato, etc. I also like to warm up some rice malt syrup and drizzle it over them whilst they are still warm so they are really moist and satisfy the sweet cravings without eating fructose when they occur (I don't worry about fructose in fruit). Today I am going to try using peaches. Thank you for such a wonderful and adaptable recipe. Even my sugar eating friends have enjoyed them!

  25. Hello - I just made these muffins this afternoon and they were really a treat. Thank you! It is a pleasure to find a recipe without sugar and not a greasy muffin either. I didn't have any brown rice sirup in the house so I used agave and a little bit of maple syrup instead. Mine took about 40 minutes.
    I can't wait to make some other recipes from your website!

  26. Hi just wondering do you have a bread recipe like this? Want to make something for my sister inlaw who just had baby can have a yummy bread with avo of snack. Any ideas that would be nice but not to out there? Thank you :-)


Thank you for your comment!