I love experimenting with ingredients I’ve never tried before, and purple sweet potatoes are one new food that I immediately wanted to eat again. I had expected them to taste more or less the same as regular orange sweet potatoes, but their unique flavor blew my expectations out of the water. Of course, once I tasted them, I knew I couldn’t stop with puree. As usual, I had to turn them into muffins.
Purple sweet potatoes taste even sweeter than orange sweet potatoes, but they also claim an enticing vanilla flavor and a slightly smoky kick. After roasting, the potatoes were incredibly sticky (and prone to staining things, beware!) I couldn’t stop sneaking spoonfuls of sweet potato puree as I baked.
Whenever I set out to make a paleo muffin, I start with this recipe for pumpkin-almond muffins. You can usually substitute sweet potato for pumpkin and, depending on the consistency you want, vary the amount of flour used. The spices, of course, change every time.
I played with the recipe, substituting purple sweet potato puree for pumpkin, and adding complementary flavors: rosemary to enhance the earthiness of the tubers, golden raisins for sweetness and a little extra vanilla extract to play off the sweet potatoes’ natural flavor.
My favorite part of these muffins is the brilliant purple color, from the plain puree’s rich and royal hue to the lighter shade of the final product. Finding a natural, delicious food that produced such vivid natural food coloring was a treat. I’m already tempted to use them in more dishes, for the taste as well as the color, so if you have any suggestions, let me know!
As they bake, the orange-gold top of each muffin cracks open to reveal a vivid purple interior. Oddly enough, the color fades over time. The muffins were at their brightest (and tastiest) when they were fresh out of the oven. Over the course of a day or two, they do become sweeter. I’ve found that most baked goods made with squash, pumpkin or root vegetables tend to sweeten over time.
These muffins are solid, and they won’t rise much as they bake. They’re sturdy enough to throw in a baggie in your lunch bag or grab as you rush out the door in the morning. While the outside is firm and nicely browned, the inside is delicate with a great crumb. Golden raisins burst as you bite in, which is my favorite part of baking with dried fruit.
You will love yourself forever if you serve these muffins warm from the oven, smeared with butter or maybe even goat cheese. This was the perfect baking project for a snow day, which it seems like we’ll have more of this winter!