Healthy Cinnamon Raisin Sweet Potato Muffins
Okay, so I have an overload of delightful sweet potatoes to use up. And if you’ve ever had pumpkin pie, or a piece of sweet potato pie that someone told you was pumpkin pie so you’d try it – you know they are sweet, delicious, and wonderful for baking – so much healthier, and tastier, than their plain-potato cousin. Enter: healthy sweet potato muffins.
Now here’s the thing. The internet is vast. There are dozens of recipes for sweet potato muffins floating around out there, and many of them are probably called “healthy sweet potato muffins.” What a generic name, right? But quite simply, and literally, that is what these are. They’re sweet potato muffins and they are really, truly, healthy (and don’t taste like the “healthy” stereotype!)
My point: I’ve come across upteen sweet potato muffin recipes falsely labeled “healthy” – and the things are so laden in sugar, white flour, vegetable oil, and other crappy ingredients, it’s not even worth adding sweet potato to them at all. Go eat a couple Snickers and call it a day. (mmmm speaking of Snickers – I’ll be making homemade healthy chocolate-covered granola bars with nuts in a future post – stay tuned for THAT one!) A crappy recipe with 3 cups of sugar and a half a cup of sweet potato is not at all worth your time or quality ingredients, and that marginal teentsy amount of veggie doesn’t make it healthy. Food manufacturers are getting smarter, too. They know that nowadays more and more people are figuring out that what’s on our plates and in our bellies has such a profound effect on our overall and longterm health, happiness, longevity, risk for cancers and disease, memory and brain function, and so much more; and are becoming keen to synthetic additives etc., that now you can even find boxed processed-food products (read: food products, NOT food), on store shelves that clever marketing teams have sneakily disguised as good-for-you. One sweet potato muffin mix — “just add milk!” ha! that I found at the store even contains dried sweet potato powder. What? Yuck. Luckily you’ve found your way here, to this recipe, and these babies are so quick and easy to make, you’ll never buy another boxed processed junk food muffin mix again, right? Right!
So, if you are trying to watch your cholesterol, perhaps your blood sugar or pressure, are working toward achieving a health or fitness goal of some sort, or just want to make something delicious you can feel good about feeding to yourself and your family, make. these. now. They are GOOD. And thank goodness they are so healthy, because after all, who wants just one muffin?
I should note that while in this recipe I used room temperature cooked sweet potatoes which had been either baked or steamed; some people also enjoy the added burst of flavor and color of adding a bit of shredded sweet potatoes, (think carrot cake) so if that suits your fancy, go for it. This recipe is incredibly versatile and customizable as you’ll see. Here, I’ve used raisins and dried cranberries as well as chopped walnuts, and the addition of cinnamon and other spices really makes these taste like autumn. Feel free to sub-in or out other dried (or fresh chopped) berries, fruits or nuts. Hopefully it’s too warm for me to want to make them again until football season. Fingers crossed!
Since these muffins, as I made them, combine healthy yummy fats like walnuts, old-fashioned rolled oats (or use quick oats for a slightly different texture in your final muffin), for fiber and sticking power, and are sweetened and spiced naturally by the sweet potato, raisins, and cranberries, you can enjoy them without the carb coma or sugar crash. I also included mini chocolate chips in a second batch and those are excellent as well – sweet potato goes great with just about every possible combination here! I gave some to family and friends who ate them up and had no idea they were eating such a healthy treat!
Since it’s summer now and lots of different berries are coming into season – feel free to use any of your favorite dried, or even fresh, berries for added flavor! Yum!
One step of this recipe that may differ from others is that your fresh sweet potato should be combined with your wet – not your dry, ingredients. If you try it the other way around, I’d be curious to know how it changed things, so let me know! Your wet ingredients probably won’t appear very “orangey” depending on the hue of your sweet potatoes. In fact, expect it to look a bit soupy and resemble some sort of banana creme. You may think it appears to wet – this is normal and will lend your muffins a dreamy moist texture that makes them so delicious they don’t even need butter or anything else, just eat them plain – right out of the oven or warmed for a few seconds in the microwave in the morning with your coffee or tea. These also freeze very well if you make large batch and want to save some for another day – just make sure your muffins are FULLY cooled before freezing in freezer bags, and thaw on the counter when you’d like to use them, then once thawed – heat up for a few seconds in your microwave to enjoy warm.
Here’s a shot of folding the wet ingredients in with the dry. Mix thoroughly. See, banana creme looking isn’t it? (By the way, a banana bread version of these is up next…)
After you’ve combined your wet and dry ingredients, gently fold in your “mix-ins” – I used raisins, dried cranberries, and chopped walnuts. A touch of flaxseeds are also included in this recipe, but I added those in the beginning with the dry ingredients. If you have another type of seed on hand, like chia, sunflower seeds, pepitas, etc., feel free to add those instead, or in addition to flax for added yum and nutritional punch! If you read my post on healthy cooking with sweet potatoes you know that sweet potatoes are packed with Vitamin A – which is a fat soluble vitamin. So, having a touch of healthy fats in these muffins (from walnuts, flaxseeds, or another type of seed), makes it easier for the body to absorb more of all that good stuff, so add nuts to your heart’s content!
What’s great about this recipe is that these muffins taste so fantastic and require absolutely NO sugar, butter or oil of ANY sort! Yay for healthy baking!
You can also garnish these with extra walnut halves, raisins, berries, or all three – as I did on a couple, to make them extra pretty.
Made according to the recipe, these pack a pretty great nutritional punch and I think definitely more than qualify for “healthy treat” status: one muffin has 74 calories, 1.7 grams of healthy fat, just 15mg each of cholesterol and sodium, just FOUR grams of sugar (wow!!!!) 12 carbs, 1.8 grams of fiber (only around 10 grams net carbs!), plus 3 grams of protein. BOOM!
Also – In this recipe I’ve used Chobani greek yogurt, which is my favorite, but whatever you may have on hand will work fine. I also used Designer Protein brand (my favorite!) in the Sustained Energy Vanilla flavor, but any protein powder would work. If you want to add more protein powder to boost the protein in these muffins, simply reduce the amount of flour as you increase the amount of protein powder. If you don’t have any protein powder to use for baking, simply omit it and add a few extra tablespoons of flour instead. This recipe is so very customizable to whatever your nutritional goals may be! You could add a scoop or more of protein powder to even give these 10 grams or more of protein if you wanted! Enjoy!
- Dry Ingredients:
- ½ Cup Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
- ⅓ Cup Whole Wheat Flour
- ⅛ Cup Vanilla Flavored Protein Powder of your choice
- 1 Tablespoon Golden Flaxseeds
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- ½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
- ⅛ Teaspoon Salt
- ⅛ Cup Stevia
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- ⅙ Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Wet Ingredients:
- 1 Large Egg
- ½ Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
- 5.3 ounce Plain Greek Yogurt (one single-serve yogurt cup)
- ½ Cup Cooked Sweet Potato
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- ⅙ Cup Raisins
- ⅙ Cup Dried Cranberries
- ⅙ Cup Chopped Walnuts
- Note: Use whatever brands of yogurt and protein powder you may prefer or have on hand, but in this recipe, I used Chobani plain greek 0% yogurt, and Designer Protein brand Sustained Energy vanilla protein powder. If you don't have any protein powder onhand, simply omit and increase your amount of flour by a few tablespoons.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine all wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine your dry ingredients.
- Mix your wet and dry ingredients together well and set aside. In a small saucepan heat some water to boiling and add your raisins and cranberries to the water. Boil 2-3 minutes. Drain and discard water, and rinse with cold water. This brings out the flavor in your berries and is the secret to amazing flavor here!
- After your berries have cooled for a few moments, fold into your batter and add walnuts if using.
- Spray a muffin pan well with nonstick cooking spray. Bake 12-14 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Allow to cool a few minutes in the muffin pan after baking before removing. Serve warm or reheat for a few seconds in microwave before eating, or freeze after thoroughly cooled.
The base recipe made 13 muffins for me – so nutrition for one muffin is 1/13th of the recipe. If you make your muffins slightly larger than I did, you can probably get away with 12, or with six jumbo muffins instead. I used muffin tin liners for the first tester muffin, and despite being sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, it did stick a bit. I recommend making these “naked” with no muffin liners. Make sure you spray your muffin tin/pan well with nonstick cooking spray, and these pop right out with ease. After removing your freshly-baked muffins from the oven, allow them to cool and set for about 5 minutes on the counter or stovetop; before flipping out of your muffin pan. Be careful, your pan will probably still be hot, and the muffins will easily (and immediately) all pop right out at once – so have a tray or plate ready. By the way – these muffins also turn out fantastic as a bread baked in a loaf pan!