Thursday, October 4, 2012

Wee Bites - Sweet Potato Pie Bread

This is one of those recipes that came about by a fortunate series of events. We like to go to the local farmer's market every Sunday morning. Max loves to run around there and we always find something we just had to have while we're there.

Two weeks ago, while my mom was here, we brought her with us to the market. We wondered around checking everything out. Max became fascinated with the large bins of sweet potatoes at all of the vendors. Finally, we let him pick a few out to take home. He was so excited about his potatoes! But being a toddler with a short attention span, the beloved potatoes were soon forgotten about and thrown into a bin in the fridge.

Fast forward to grocery shopping day last week. I always, always, always, meal plan. This has not only reduced our food budget by half (that's right, I said HALF!), it is also a great way to keep me on track with my Weight Watchers points for the week. In order to meal plan effectively, I go through our pantry cabinets, the freezer and the refrigerator to take stock of what I already have on hand. I then go through my coupon stash and the weekly flyers to check for sale items. Doing this has cut our food budget by at least 1/4. I went from spending close to $800 a month on grocery bills to roughly $300-400 per month. This includes household items like toiletries and cleaning supplies.

Anyway, while looking through the fridge, I found the long lost sweet potatoes. They needed to be used in a hurry. The meals I had planned for the week didn't really go with having sweet potatoes as a side so I had to come up with something else to do with them.

Max has been devouring fruit and veggie muffins lately. The kid is a bottomless pit. I swear he eats all day long. You can tell that he's growing every day, he keeps outgrowing all of his clothes! I'm hoping that I can make it through the rest of the warm weather here without having to buy anything new for him. His obsession with muffins, and my desire to get a variety of food into him, gave me the lightbulb moment of making sweet potato muffins.

At first I thought I could just take a basic pumpkin bread recipe and swap out sweet potato. Then I started thinking about actually making pumpkin bread (I know, I know). So, I couldn't have two breads that were essentially the same thing now could I? The answer here is No, in case you were wondering.

I started brainstorming about what flavors I wanted to go with the sweet potatoes. All I kept coming back to was my famous (within my family circle) sweet potato pie. This pie is requested by everyone at Thanksgiving. I originally got the recipe from my Aunt who was in charge of bringing it to every holiday gathering. Once our families branched off to different parts of the country, it became my responsibility for our part of the family. The pie is basically like eating candy. Not only does it include the super sweet canned sweet potatoes in heavy syrup but also brown sugar and maple syrup! It is diabetes on a plate, but oh so good!

I just had to have that taste in my bread. I needed to find a way to not only get that sweet mapley taste but not have my kid bouncing off the walls after eating it. What I came up with was a homerun! I took a basic recipe and tweaked it to be what I was looking for. It tastes exactly like the famous Thanksgiving Day pie, minus the marshmallow topping. It would have been even better with some chopped pecans thrown in but since Max is not a fan of nuts, I didn't bother with them. This recipe made 24 mini muffins and 4 mini loaves. Honestly the sugar could probably be reduced since these came out super super sweet.

Max has devoured a couple of these a day since I made them. Vince took a mini loaf to work and said that it was gone within 5 minutes. He didn't even get a piece! I plan to make this one again, in fact I'm thinking of making it for Thanksgiving instead of the sugar laden pie that really no one needs to be eating. Maybe it's time to retire Aunt Emma's Famous Sweet Potato Pie.

Sweet Potato Pie Bread
Adapted from Allrecipes


1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
3/4 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
2 Large Eggs
2 Large Egg Whites
3 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1 teaspoon Maple Extract
2/3 Cup Reduced Fat Milk (I used 2%)
2 Cups Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Optional: 1/2 Cup Pecans, chopped

  1. Lightly grease muffin and/or loaf pans with cooking spray.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F.
  3. Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
  4. Mix together just until all of the ingredients are combined.
  5. Pour into prepared pans.
  6. Bake mini muffins for about 25 minutes, mini loaves for 30-35 minutes, and regular loaves for 75 minutes (check for done-ness before removing from oven).
  7. Cool on wire racks and store in an air tight container or freeze.

Yield: 48 mini muffins or 8 mini loaves or 2 regular size loaves

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