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Rainy day treats with flavor of fall: Sweet potato muffins

Recipe: Sweet potato muffins good for anytime

Muffins on a blue plate
Sweet potato muffins are an excellent treat to bake
on a rainy day. (Photos: Debbie Arrington)



Rainy days are made for baking. That’s when I pull out the muffin tin.

Muffins are a handy treat good for anytime snacking, on-the-go breakfast or after dinner with coffee. When they include high-nutrient vegetables or fruit, they might even be healthy.

With dark red skin and orange flesh, Garnet sweet potatoes are packed with vitamins and antioxidants. And right now, they’re available in abundance. Other varieties also work in this quick and easy recipe.

Two small sweet potatoes or one medium will yield ½ cup pulp. To cook quickly, trim ends and prick with a sharp knife in several places. Wrap sweet potatoes in a paper towel and zap them for 4 minutes on High in the microwave until fork-tender. The flesh will slip right out of the skin. After mashing, a little orange juice keeps the color bright.

Leftover mashed sweet potatoes also work in this recipe.

3 sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are in abundance now. They're packed
with vitamin A, as well as C, D and calcium.
Sweet potato muffins

Makes 1 dozen 2-inch muffins

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

½ cup mashed sweet potatoes, cooled

1 tablespoon orange juice

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/3 cup milk

2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

½ cup raisins or dried cranberries

2 tablespoons Demerara sugar or white sugar

Instructions:
Muffin batter in orange, blue and yellow liners
Silicone liners make for easy pan cleanup.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients.

In another bowl, mix together mashed sweet potatoes and orange juice. Add beaten egg and milk. Fold in melted butter.

Add sweet potato mixture to dry ingredients with big strokes, just until blended. Fold in raisins.

Prepare muffin tin; grease cups or line with paper or silicone liners.

Fill cups about two-thirds full of batter. Sprinkle tops with Demerara or white sugar.

Muffins are great for breakfast or a midday snack,
or even dessert.
Bake in preheated 400-degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Jan. 29

Bundle up and get work done!

* Prune, prune, prune. Now is the time to cut back most deciduous trees and shrubs. The exceptions are spring-flowering shrubs such as lilacs.

* Now is the time to prune fruit trees, except apricot and cherry trees. Clean up leaves and debris around the trees to prevent the spread of disease.

* Prune roses, even if they’re still trying to bloom or sprouting new growth. Strip off any remaining leaves, so the bush will be able to put out new growth in early spring.

* Prune Christmas camellias (Camellia sasanqua), the early-flowering varieties, after their bloom. They don’t need much, but selective pruning can promote bushiness, upright growth and more bloom next winter. Feed with an acid-type fertilizer. But don’t feed your Japonica camellias until after they finish blooming next month. Feeding while camellias are in bloom may cause them to drop unopened buds.

* Clean up leaves and debris around your newly pruned roses and shrubs. Put down fresh mulch or bark to keep roots cozy.

* Apply horticultural oil to fruit trees to control scale, mites and aphids. Oils need 24 hours of dry weather after application to be effective.

* This is also the time to spray a copper-based oil to peach and nectarine trees to fight leaf curl. Avoid spraying on windy days.

* Divide daylilies, Shasta daisies and other perennials.

* Cut back and divide chrysanthemums.

* Plant bare-root roses, trees and shrubs.

* Transplant pansies, violas, calendulas, English daisies, snapdragons and fairy primroses.

* In the vegetable garden, plant fava beans, head lettuce, mustard, onion sets, radicchio and radishes.

* Plant bare-root asparagus and root divisions of rhubarb.

* In the bulb department, plant callas, anemones, ranunculus and gladiolus for bloom from late spring into summer.

* Plant blooming azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons. If you’re shopping for these beautiful landscape plants, you can now find them in full flower at local nurseries.

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