SWEETpotato890V

This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with California Sweetpotatoes and Latina Bloggers Connect. All experiences and opinions are my own and truthfully relayed. I love a challenge – especially when it comes to foods that I’m not familiar with, like Sweetpotatoes. Sure I’ve had my fair share of Sweetpotato fries (one of my faves), but that’s about it. So when I saw the opportunity come along from California Sweetpotatoes, I knew I wanted to try something new! I’m excited to say that OMG, these muffins will make your taste buds soooo happy!

I’m not exactly known for being the best chef, but I when I look at ingredients like art supplies, I can get creative. I decided to go with a crazy muffin concoction with some of my favorite ingredients – chocolate chips and pecans!

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I was sent a box of California Sweetpotatoes, family grown and naturally cured in the San Joaquin Valley. To make this, you’ll need about two-three Sweetpotatoes. Each one about the length of your hand.

You’ll also need:

Peeler

2 cups of self-rising flour

2 cups of granulated sugar

1 egg

8 ounces of milk chocolate chips

1 cup canola oil

Crunchy pecan topping:

1 cup diced pecans

1 cup Corn Flakes cereal

1 stick of melted butter

1 cup of brown sugar

Other:

Mixing bowls

Muffin pan

Muffin liners – NOTE: I liked these parchment paper liners better than cupcake liners because they are tall and really give the muffins room to expand and have a sense of regalness. Yes. I said regalness – as in pastry royalty!

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1. Peel your Sweetpotatoes. I found them to be harder in texture than what I expected. But after you peel the first one, you’ll get the hang of it, promise.

2. Dice the Sweetpotatoes into chunks and place in a large pot and bring to a boil for 15 minutes, until they are soft.

3. Drain the water and mash them with a masher. Let cool completely.

4. In a bowl, add two cups of cooled,mashed Sweetpotatoes, 1 cup of canola oil and the egg. Mix well.

5. In another bowl, mix the flour and sugar.

6. Combine both until they are mixed well.

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7. Now add the milk chocolate chips. I used one cup, but you can adjust to taste. Next time I’ll add two cups, lol! Fold in the chips.

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8. This is where these muffins go over the top, taste wise. This is a crunchy topping that you’ll want to eat with a giant spoon, but don’t, because you need it for the muffins!

TOPPING: Combine the pecans and Corn Flakes in a Ziplock bag and mix and crunch them. In a bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar. Pour the dry mixture in and stir until all the flakes and pecans are covered. Spoon on top of each muffin. Remember the muffins will expand, so put extra to make sure you can taste the topping in every bite.

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Bake for 25 minutes at 375. Insert a knife to make sure they are done cooking before removing from the oven.

Here is a finished batch. I made half of them without the pecan topping because I took them to a family party and my sister-in-law is allergic to nuts. But she loved the topping-less version!

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The BEST feeling ever was when I took them to my in-laws and received oodles of compliments. They came out very moist and decadent!

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I even made some without any topping or chocolate chips and those were a hit too, they almost reminded me of cornbread with a tinge of sweetness. All you need is a pat of batter. But these loaded ones are tasty because they are just the right balance between a muffin and a dessert. I’m sure you could alter them by adding raisins and oatmeal, maybe even coconut! A healthy fact: One medium Sweetpotato has 105 calories, 0 fat and more than 80 nutrients.

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I made muffins, but what I learned is that with more kitchen experimentation, California Sweetpotatoes can be used in all kinds of entrees and side dishes as well. They have a bold, rich flavor on their own, but also work well with other ingredients.

Did you know that sweetpotato is actually one word, not two? All this time, like a lot of other people I bet, I assumed that a sweet potato was a sweet version of a potato, when in fact, I learned it is an entirely different vegetable from its ow family with its own set of nutrients! It’s low in carbs and has more than a day’s worth of Vitamin A! Another interesting fact – California Sweetpotatoes are planted by hand and grown in the sand, not the dirt. And Sweetpotatoes are not yams! The scientific name of the moist Sweetpotato is Ipomoea batatas and it’s a member of the morning glory family.  California grows both “dry flesh” and “moist flesh” varieties.

For more information and recipes galore, visit the California Sweetpotatoes site here: http://bit.ly/CASweetpotatoes

Love & light,