Sweet potato date muffins

The food court experience is a notoriously lousy one. It’s loud, rushed, wasteful and has limited options (if any at all) for the growing sector of citizens who are moving beyond the standard American diet. For years, Toronto’s famous Eaton Centre was no exception.

That is, until today.  Its new Urban Eatery offers a variety of menus, and although many SAD outlets are still included, the wholesome vegetarian and vegan options stand out. The most notable addition is vegan empire Urban Herbivore, a Kensington Market staple owned by chef Stephen Gardner, where organic salads, sandwiches with thick, homemade bread, curry bowls and hearty soups are offered to hungry shoppers looking to refuel with healthy fare.

Their salad bowl menu involves choosing your own greens, proteins and toppings from 30 vegan options that change daily. I wish I had this variety of choices available to me at home.

Did I forget to mention their legendary muffins? Dense and filling with a crunchy exterior, they’re unlike anything I’ve had before. I highly recommend the sweet potato date flavour. A quick Google search reveals that everyone and their sister are dreaming of replicating these delicious delights in their own kitchens.

Of course, after being tempted by those muffins on my recent visit to Urban Herbivore’s new location, I couldn’t help myself from dreaming up my own version. Although mine aren’t as ginormous in size, the flavour and texture had me reminiscing of early morning dates in Kensington with my new love. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Date Muffins | A Dash of Compassion

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Sweet potato date muffins

Yield: 8 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup cooked, peeled and diced sweet potato
  • 1/3 cup chopped dates
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/3 cup sunflower or canola oil
  • 1/4 cup Sucanat
  • 1/4 cup date paste (I made my own)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F and line a muffin tray with paper muffin liners.
  2. In a small bowl, soak the chopped dates in some warm water and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the spelt flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
  4. Drain the dates from the soaking water and add them to the flour mixture along with the diced sweet potato. Gently mix to coat them with flour, separating the pieces that are sticking together. Set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the mashed banana, oil, Sucanat and date paste until well combined.
  6. Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture and mix just to combine. Spoon evenly into the muffin cups and bake at 400F for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean.