Sweet Potato & Banana Muffins with Pecans

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These muffins are the healthy version of funfetti. The inside is studded with bits of sweet potato, banana, and pecan. In addition, these are low in fat and made partially with whole-wheat flour. They’re not too sugary, but the natural flavors of the ingredients make them sweet enough for dessert. The pecan-brown sugar topping helps with that, too.

I tend to make heavier, filling baked goods that I can eat for breakfast or as a energy boost before a bike ride. These muffins are dense, but they also rise high during baking. They’re moist, but not mushy like some produce-filled cakes can be. I’m really happy with the texture and was pleased to bring these to a family Easter celebration as a healthy dessert.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 2 overripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 small sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat white flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp chopped pecans
FOR THE TOPPING:
  • 3 tbsp pecans
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

DIRECTIONS

  1. Wash and dry the sweet potatoes. Place them on a plate lined with paper towel and poke holes in them with a fork. Microwave on high for 6 minutes; then flip and microwave for another 7 minutes. Let the potatoes cool for 3 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the bananas, brown sugar, applesauce, oil, vanilla, and eggs in a medium bowl.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger, and cinnamon.
  4. Peel the potatoes and discard the skins (as shown here). Mash the flesh and add it (about 3/4 cup of mashed potato) to the wet ingredients. Use a fork to break up the potatoes and bananas as well as possible.
  5. Stir the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined. Fold in the pecans.
  6. IMG_5434

  7. In a mini chop, pulse the pecans and brown sugar about 10 times, until the mixture is uniform.
  8. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop the batter into 12 paper-lined muffin tins. Sprinkle each cup with the pecan-sugar topping.
  9. IMG_5435

  10. Bake the muffins for 18 minutes at 350 degrees, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out nearly clean. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before eating.

Makes 12. Active time 30 minutes; total time 50 minutes. Adapted from http://www.justapinch.com/recipes/side/potatoes/sweet-potato-banana-bread.html

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