England has been experiencing somewhat of a heat wave, which means food is light and seasonal and baking is done first thing in the morning before the sun is too high in the sky. I baked these moist gluten and dairy free muffins from Gwyneth Paltrow’s recently released cookbook, It’s All Good, whilst making breakfast one morning using a leftover sweet potato from dinner the night before.
The recipe couldn’t be simpler, no fancy kitchen gadgets are needed just a set of scales a bowl and a fork. They bake in 25 minutes which allowed me enough time to drink my first steaming cup of coffee for the day and watch my sleepy neighbourhood come to life. The whole kitchen filled with the smell of rich oriental spices and I couldn’t help but burn my fingers plucking a sticky muffin straight from the tin.
It’s All Good has gotten a lot of criticism since its publication earlier this year for its extremist nature. The list of foods it suggests you should eliminate from your diet makes the Paleo diet look like a walk in the park. Whilst you will never find me committing to a life without chocolate and the odd overly processed carbohydrate, that doesn’t leave this book without merit. If life is all about balance, introducing a couple of Paltrow’s super healthy recipes into your weekly meal plan won’t do you anything but good, and I love any excuse to justify an extra slice of cake.
Sweet Potato and Five Spice Muffins
1 large sweet potato
120ml (approximately 4oz) extra virgin olive oil
120ml (approximately 4oz) unsweetened almond milk
180ml(approximately 6oz) good quality maple syrup plus 2 tbsp for brushing the muffins
1 tsp vanilla extract
260g (approximately 9oz) gluten free flour (if it doesn’t have xanthan gum (thickening agent) add an extra tsp)
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp Chinese five spice
1/2 tsp sea salt
Preheat the oven to 200C (approximately 390F).
Prick the sweet potato and bake for one hour or until tender through out, then leave to cool.
Peel the sweet potato (throw away the skin) and mash the flesh. Mix the oil, almond milk, maple syrup and vanilla into the sweet potato.
In a second bowl whisk together the dry ingredients, then fold them into the wet mix being careful not to over combine.
Line a 12 cup muffin tin and distribute the mixture between then.
Bake the muffins in the centre of the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
Brush the top of the muffins with the reserved maple syrup within the last 5 minutes of baking.
Leave to cool before serving.
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