Monday, October 7, 2013

Life is Sweet

We've been working hard to harvest what's left in the garden and get it cleaned up for the season. Today we pulled up over-your-head okra plants, old chard plants, pepper bushes and the tomato cages.

We also harvested more than 100 pounds of sweet potatoes. Dirt and all, they are currently out on our back porch curing -- which allows the sugars-creating enzymes to develop. After they have cured for a week or so, we'll store them in the basement where they will continue to develop their sweetness for six to eight more weeks.

Sweet potatoes are one of the world's healthiest foods, loaded with vitamin A, C, B3, B5, B6, manganese, tryptophan, potassium, fiber, and copper. Like with my overload of cherry tomatoes, I'll have to come up with some new recipes. Here's one I know I'll make over and over again this winter.


Sweet Potato Muffins
I like to make these in mini-muffin pans. They don’t rise very much -- but are really moist. The muffins can be frozen and reheated. I made these for my Dad's birthday brunch earlier this month and used a gluten-free all-purpose flour. They turned out perfectly.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1-1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1-1/4 cups cooked sweet potatoes, mashed (canned ones work as well)
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup milk
Optional: 1/4 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped and 1/2 cup raisins, chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease regular or mini-muffin tins. Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and mix well. Blend in the sweet potatoes. Sift the flour with the baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add alternately with the milk. Do not over mix. Fold in the nuts and raisins (if adding). Fill the greased muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes for the mini-muffins and 20 minutes for regular-sized muffins. 

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