As you know, the Balanced Beyars love to bake healthy treats. We can't help ourselves.
Unfortunately, lots of experiments have gone wrong. Most of the time, we blame it on the fact that we never use traditional flours and we only use almond flour 99% of the time. Boo hoo. But never fear! We won't use that excuse anymore - because it's time to explore other options.
For this recipe in particular, we tried tapioca flour and had excellent results!
After doing some research, it turns out that tapioca flour, which comes from the cassava plant, can be a game-changer to help improve the texture of gluten-free baked goods (gluten is usually the component responsible for giving baking goods that moist and chewy consistency. *If you're wondering, we don't intentionally look to be GF, but most of the foods we chose to eat are GF.). Tapioca flour can provide a crispy crust and chewy texture in baked goods, making it feel and taste more like traditionally baked goods. It can also replace cornstarch as a thickener in lots of other recipes. Plus, tapioca flour is gluten-free, grain-free, and nut-free, so it's a great alternative for those who have to avoid those types of foods.
In terms of the nutrient makeup, tapioca flour is rather high in carbohydrates. According to Dr. Axe, "Tapioca has more carbohydrates and water proportionally than many other gluten-free flours, including buckwheat, teff, rice, corn, garbanzo, almond and coconut flour. Because it has very little protein, sugar or fat, it’s low in calories and can be used in many healthy recipes if you’re watching your weight." . You can read more in depth about tapioca flour in Dr. Axe's article here.
With all that being said, this recipe involves one of our favorite things in the whole wide world: SWEET POTATOES. They provide such a wonderfully subtle sweetness... there was no need to add extra syrup. And it was so fun to see the small orange chunks in the muffins when you bite into them.
Here's the recipe below. We've adapted it slightly from the legend himself, Fit Men Cook.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
1 cup sweet potato (about 2 baked sweet potatoes, without skin)
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 cup olive oil (or use whatever other oil you'd like - like coconut oil or avocado oil)
1/4 cup nut milk
1/4 cup organic maple syrup (you can also use honey)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup cacao chips or chocolate chips (optional)
1/3 cup raw chopped pecans (optional - I like a little crunch!)
WHAT YOU'LL DO
Set your oven to 400F.
Bake the sweet potatoes:
With a fork, poke a few holes in 2 small, raw sweet potatoes and place them on a baking sheet.
Bake for about 45 minutes or until soft (You need the insides to be nice and soft to make the batter!).
Once the sweet potatoes are done, allow them to cool. Chop off the ends and remove the skin. Set aside.
*If I know I want to make these muffins, I like to do this step earlier in the day and/or week if I am baking other things at the same time. #multitasking
In a bowl, mix together the wet ingredients: olive oil, eggs, milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
Then, in a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and flours.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix together thoroughly.
Gently fold in the cooled, baked sweet potato and chocolate chips/pecans if you're planning to use them!
Lightly coat a muffin pan with some coconut oil or nonstick olive oil spray. Scoop your batter into each muffin tin.
Bake in the oven for 20-23 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. To test and see if it is ready: stick fork or toothpick into the muffin. If they come out clean, you're good to go!
Allow them to cool before eating!