In just a few days it will officially be fall, which signals the beginning of comfort food season. About two weeks ago I started feeling the fall vibes when my favorite almond milk coffee creamer (Califia Farms) released their limited time pumpkin spice flavor. I immediately stocked up and transitioned my daily cup of joe into an autumn-themed paradise. My morning wouldn’t be complete, however, unless I had the perfect, healthy treat to accompany my coffee.
With autumn still inspiring me, I decided it was time to officially make the switch from summer treats like cobblers, frozen pops, and no-bake bites, to all things breads, muffins, and cakes. With little time for baking these days, I chose to make a delicious and comforting quick bread. Instead of creating the cliché pumpkin, banana, or zucchini bread recipe, I opted for a classic, but often forgotten fall favorite…sweet potato.As with all of my sweet treat recipes, I immediately went to work on making this yummy quick bread as healthy as possible.
First step was to ditch the commonly used can sweet potatoes. Although more convenient than roasting, cooling, peeling, and mashing whole sweet potatoes, the canned varieties contain far too much sodium and added sugars to be deemed healthy. With the main ingredient addressed, the next step was to clean up the base of the bread, the flour. Instead of using all-purpose or whole-wheat flour, I went gluten-free and used organic rolled oats, which I then ground into fresh flour with the food processor.With the main ingredient and basis of the bread in order, I went ahead and put all my efforts into boosting the nutritional content of the bread while decreasing the amount of calories, fat, and sugar.
Most sweet potato bread recipes you come across use a lot of eggs and milk to provide moisture and hold. I decided to cut the egg count all the way back to just one and then added whole-milk plain yogurt to replace the missing eggs and milk. Another unhealthy ingredient often hidden in traditional recipes is vegetable oil…aka GMO soybean oil. To add healthy fats and steer clear of GMO’s, I swapped veggie oil with organic extra virgin olive oil.Lastly, I couldn’t forget about taste. With all the healthy swaps I had made, I needed to ensure that I did not sacrifice taste.
First step was to utilize the natural caramelization that occurs when you roast sweet potatoes. This allowed me to cut back significantly on the need for added sweeteners. In fact, I only needed one added sweetener, maple syrup, as it gives just the touch of sweetness I needed without having to add any refined sugar. To bring all the flavors together and finally complete my recipe, I added a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg for that iconic fall warmth. Once you try a slice of this bread, you won’t believe something so delicious could also be healthy!
Sweet Potato Bread
- 2 cups Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
- 2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
- 1 tsp. Baking Powder
- 1 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
- ½ tsp. Baking Soda
- ¼ tsp. Sea Salt
- 1 Large Egg
- ¾ cup Whole-Milk Plain Yogurt
- 5 tbsp. Pure Maple Syrup
- 2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or light for a milder taste)
- 2 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 cup Mashed Sweet Potatoes; cooled
- 1/3 cup Chopped Walnuts; unsalted
- Nonstick Cooking Spray; propellent-free
- Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly mist a 9 x 5 inch glass bread pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside
- In a small food processor or blender, pulverize oats into a fine flour.
- In a large bowl, add oat flour, cinnamon, baking powder, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt.
- In a small bowl, whisk egg. Add in the yogurt, maple syrup, oil, and vinegar. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. DO NOT OVERMIX. Fold in the mashed sweet potatoes.
- Pour batter into prepared bread pan. Sprinkle walnuts over batter and press nuts down lightly to adhere. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Allow bread to cool in pan for 30 minutes then remove and cool completely on a wire rack. Store bread in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Freeze any remaining slices in a freezer bag up to two months.
NutritionPer Serving (1 Slice): 152 Calories; 4 g Protein; 4 g Total Fat; 1 g Sat. Fat; 3 g Fiber; 152 mg Sodium; 8 g Sugar; 21 g Carbs; 18 mg Cholesterol
RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: H. BAINBRIDGE
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS
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