Yam Gingerbread Muffins
I am always on the hunt for delicious muffin recipes, especially ones that use fruit or veggies in them. As a general rule muffins are something I only eat if they are home baked. For one they taste way better and secondly the ones you can buy in coffee shops and grocery stores are really just cupcakes posing as muffins. The majority of muffins are filled with refined flour, sugar and poor quality fats. It is marketing at work making us feel good about eating cupcakes for breakfast, let’s be honest.
Besides, there is something very satisfying about baking your own treats and who doesn’t love waking up to the smell of cinnamon and ginger on a cool fall morning. This particular recipe uses yams or squash to sweeten and moisten the muffins and provide a boost of nutrition. The earthiness of the yams with the warm spices and molasses is a perfect combination and will have you coming back for more.
I have made them with pumpkin and roasted yams and both versions turned out very nicely. While yams aren’t usually grown in BC, I had the pleasure of trying some locally grown (on Vancouver Island) yams at Thanksgiving and they were delicious. If you can’t get local yams and want to keep these as close to home as possible use pumpkin or squash instead. Since we are only two in our house, I freeze quite a few and we take them out as we need them to pack for lunches or for a treat.
I prefer unrefined cane sugar in my baking and replace it one to one for white or brown sugar. My mom successfully made these muffins using 1/3 cup of honey instead of the 1/2 cup of sugar- making them even more of a local treat.
Yam Gingerbread Muffins
This yummy recipe was inspired by a recipe in a great cookbook called Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Maddison. This recipe works best if you roast up some extra squash or yams the day before or if you have some in the freezer. The roasting takes a bit of time and you want the puree to be cooled before you make the muffins.
Makes 10-12 muffins
1/4 cup coconut oil or unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup unsulfured molasses
1/2 cup unrefined cane sugar or brown sugar
1 cup mashed cooked yam or winter squash
1/2 cup plain yogurt (up to 2/3 cup if your squash/yams are on the dry side)
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger (or 1 tsp fresh grated)
1/4 tsp ground cloves
Options: 1/3 cup chopped candied ginger, pineapple, dates or raisins.
Preheat oven to 400F. Grease muffins tins.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the melted butter, molasses, sugar, cooked yams/squash, eggs and yogurt.
In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Fold together until just combined. If adding any dried ginger or fruit stir in at the end.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until they are nicely browned and a toothpick comes out clean.
Note: To roast yams heat the oven to 350F, poke the yams a few times here and there with a fork. Bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment until soft, about an hour. Slice them open, let them cool and then take off the skins.