Monthly Archive for February, 2013

Oh My Sweet Potato! Lovely Sweet Potato & Apple Bake

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As a child I was not fond of yams or sweet potatoes. Not even my Nonie’s special yams topped with marshmallows could convince me to eat this vegetable. And I was one of those odd kids that really liked my veggies.

It was my Aunt Judy that first convinced me to try her Sweet Potato & Apple Bake. I was instantly hooked. (Sidebar: My trust in Auntie Judy ran deep for a number of reasons- (1) she bought me my first pair of high heels in the 6th grade, and (2) while spending the weekend with my Auntie Judy and my Uncle Joey I watched my very first episode of SNL.) While you may be finding this TMI on my childhood, there is a point to this story. Today this food that I once hated and now love, is one of the small ways I am reaching out to try to help others in need. Curious?

The Cause:

If you don’t know ONE, it is a non-partisan, grassroots advocacy organization, co-founded by Bono, that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. ONE wants to raise public awareness and pressure political leaders to support smart policies to effect positive change.

I have joined forces with some of my favorite foodie bloggers to help support ONE’s Thrive campaign. Thrive is drawing specific attention to hunger and the mascot for the campaign is the ever faithful sweet potato! Its nutritional impact and its ability to grow in many places is literally saving lives.

Help me take action to make a difference by doing the following:

1. Go to ONE.org to add your voice to protect the Federal budget for foreign aid (less than 1% of the overall budget!)

2. Sign the ONE.org nutrition petition here.

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Lovely Sweet Potato & Apple Bake

Ingredients

2 medium sweet potatoes

1 1/2 TBS unsalted butter, softened

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/8 tsp ground allspice

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch rings

2 TBS maple syrup

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the sweet potatoes on a piece of aluminum foil and roast approximately 1 hour or until they can be easily pierced with a fork. Allow to cool slightly.

Trim the ends of the sweet potatoes and pull off the peels; slice into 1/2-inch rounds.

Butter a 9x13x2 casserole dish with half the butter. In a bowl, stir together the allspice,cinnamon, and ginger. Arrange half the apple rings and sweet-potato rounds in alternating layers in the dish; sprinkle with half the spice mixture and half of the maple syrup. Layer the rest of the apples and sweet potatoes, ending with the apples. Sprinkle the remaining spices and drizzle the syrup. Dot apples with the rest of the butter.

Cover and bake approximately 45 minutes until the apples are very tender.

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Need more delicious Sweet Potato recipes? Check out these lip smacking posts from a great list of foodies:

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burritos from This Week for Dinner
Truffle Sweet Potato Frites from Savory Sweet Life
Sweet Potato & Chicken Sausage Stew from Chefdruck
Honey Sweet Potato Biscuits from Food for My Family
Sweet Potato Burgers from Cutie Booty Cakes
What’s Gaby Cooking and Sweet Potato Day
The Mission List and Sweet Potato Day
World Moms Blog and Sweet Potato Day
Go Graham Go and Sweet Potato Day
Cranberry Sweet Potato Crumb Cake from Barbara Bakes
Bourbon and Marshmallow Sweet Potatoes from Boston Mamas
Documama and Sweet Potato Day
Sweet Potato Bread Pudding from Eat the Love
Lamb Shanks with Sweet Potatoes and Sausage from Kitchen Gadget Girl
Sweet Potato Love To Help End World Hunger from Love That Max
Celebrating Sweet Potato Day with Mom Trends
Sweet Potato Chili from Righteous Bacon
Cooking Sweet Potatoes for Picky Eaters from Rookie Moms
Sweet Potatoes and Global Health from Third Eye Mom
Indian Spiced Sweet Potato Kielbasa ONE Skillet Bake from Tickled Red
Sweet, Dude, Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash from Helen Jane
Sweet Potato and Peanut Gratin from Non-Reactive Pan
Sweet Potato Fries from When You Wake Up a Mother (also found on Million Moms Challenge)

Hearty (Heart + Healthy) Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

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Thanks to my friend Illina, banana chocolate chip cakies have become a house hold favorite over the past few years. With the combo of banana and chocolate chips at the top of the ‘regulars’ chart this recipe is a new twist on a family favorite. One of the things I love most about this recipe is that it is diabetic friendly and dairy free.

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Hearty Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Muffin Ingredients

2 ripe bananas, mashed

1 cup Almond Coconut milk (or can substitute vanilla almond milk)

2 eggs** (vegan substitution below)

1 TBS baking powder

3 cups old fashioned oatmeal

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 TBS sugar, optional

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (vegan variety are dairy free)

Muffin Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix together all ingredients except the chocolate chips. Allow to rest for 10 minutes, then mix in chocolate chips.

Coat muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray or use liners.

Fill 12 muffin cups to the brim.

Bake 20-30 minutes, until the edges start to brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. If using cooking spray, loosen the muffins from the pan by tracing around the edges with a blunt knife to release. Serve warm.

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Vegan Egg Substitute Adaptation:

Flax seeds contain properties that are ideal for replacing eggs in vegan baking. It is important to use GOLDEN flax seeds which are the light colored ones as the brown flax seeds will alter the color of baked goods. If you are just looking to mix it up a bit and are not necessarily vegan here are some flax seed 101 facts on this alternative goodness: the seeds contain protein, fiber and are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids which makes this binder a healthy alternative to other egg replacers. Below are the ingredients to make the equivalent of 1 egg. (Remember for THIS recipe you will need to double the amounts below.)

Flax Seed Meal Ingredients

3 TBS water

1 TBS golden flax meal (to make meal follow directions given)

Flax Seed Meal Directions

Using a blender, food processor or a spice grinder, grind the flax seeds into meal. If opting to grind a larger amount it can be stored in an air-tight container, in the freezer, for up to one year. Equivalents: 1 cup of flax seeds equals about 1 1/3 cups of flax meal.

Add the water to a small bowl, then add the flax meal combining with a whisk or fork. Let the mixture set-up for 5-10 minutes so it develops a raw egg-like consistency. If trying to expedite the process, warm water will speed things up.