The freshman dining hall that I dreaded last year has had some major changes – so major that I actually prefer going there than any other dining hall. One of the main draws is that they consistently served sweet potato fries, every day! They have even served sweet potato quiches! This is a huge deal for someone who is as big of a sweet potato fan as me.
I buy sweet potatoes from the grocery market and make sweet potato fries in the toaster oven or microwave them. The great thing about them is that they can taste great just plain and are healthy! This time, I got fancy and added some toppings. I cooked some turkey bacon and apple chunks and simply stuffed them into a sweet potato that I baked in the toaster oven. So simple!
Sweet potatoes have a huge amount of beta-carotene and vitamin A. Not only are your taste buds going to enjoy them, but they are great for your vision and cardiovascular health. I usually make one sweet potato at a time as a snack or small meal, but you can make more for your family and friends!
APPLE BACON STUFFED SWEET POTATO
1 sweet potato
1 slice (turkey) bacon, chopped
1 apple, diced
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Poke holes in sweet potato with a fork and wrap tightly in aluminum foil.
Bake for 45-60 minutes at 350 degrees F until potato is soft inside. Unwrap foil and cut a slit down the middle of each sweet potato. Let sit until cool enough to handle.
While potatoes are baking, heat a skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crispy and place on a paper towel to drain.
Add apple chunks to the skillet with nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and pepper and cook until soft. Toss bacon back into the skillet and set aside.
Spoon the apple bacon mixture on top and serve!
Until this year, I have been completely oblivious to the craze for pumpkin recipes in Autumn. Have I been hiding under a rock or something?! Suddenly this year, I see pumpkin everywhere. The most pumpkin I’ve had was traditional pumpkin pie which was why I was blown away by all the different foods you can put pumpkin in. I wanted to make a pumpkin recipe so what better food to put pumpkin in than…muffins.
It was a perfect opportunity to test out my brand new toaster oven muffin tin! If you had told me in the beginning of the year that I could make muffins in a toaster oven, I would have laughed and totally dismiss that idea. Toaster ovens have not been known to be the best method for baking since the temperature is very variable. I guess I’m either super lucky or have a magical toaster oven because my muffins came out great!
These pumpkin chocolate chip muffins were very moist and had a subtle pumpkin flavor. I was more than pleasantly surprised. What’s even better than successful muffins is successful healthy muffins. These were made using whole-wheat flour and Greek yogurt. Pumpkins are awesome because they are rich in fiber, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins A, C, and E.
As my suitemates can probably tell you, I was so excited that these muffins came out well and I’ll definitely be making more muffins in the future.
HEALTHY PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1 large egg
1/4 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt (Chobani)
1/2 can pure pumpkin puree
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Line 6 muffin cups with paper liners and spray with nonstick spray.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and yogurt. Add the pumpkin puree and the oil, whisking to combine.
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Batter will be thick.
Fold in chocolate chips.
For the topping, mix sugar with cinnamon. Spoon batter into muffin tin, filling each cup to the top. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Bake in toaster oven at 300 degrees F for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in one of the muffins comes out clean. Cool in pan a few minutes, then on a wire rack. If baking in a regular oven, you should bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.