Mini Sweet Potato and Chocolate Chip Muffins

[Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite baking staples–they add sweetness, density, and fiber to your baked goods. And they taste amazing! These Mini Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Muffins are to die for–and all refined sugar-free, gluten-free,  dairy-free, egg free, soy-free, nut-free and yeast-free, too.  Suitable for Stage 3 and beyond on an anti-candida diet.]

Candida diet, sugar-free, gluten-free sweet potato chocolate chip muffins

[photo credit: Celine Saki]

Let’s just say that my mother was not an overly adventurous cook. She habitually repeated the same six or seven dishes over and over, with the occasional new recipe from Family Circle, my aunt, or someone in her Mah Jong group thrown in on occasion.  So we were treated to salmon patties and potato boats (called “twice-baked potatoes” these days), hamburgers with mashed potatoes, grilled cheese sandwiches, or tuna salad over cucumber, tomato, and iceberg lettuce on a rotating basis.

Fresh fish?  Forget it.  Artichokes?  Don’t make me gag.  Fresh herbs?  Bah!  Who needs ’em?!  (Once, when I was visiting during March break, in a moment of temporary insanity I wondered aloud if we might purchase some dried oregano for the pantry.  It was as if I’d taken a cup of steaming clam chowder and poured it over her bare feet.  Actually, no.  Clam chowder was too exotic for our house.)

So. When I finally discovered the beauty and gustatory appeal of sweet potatoes at a visit to a restaurant here in Toronto, it was truly a revelation.  Allen’s (known primarily for its extensive selection of specialty scotches, come to think of it–how odd!  What on earth was I doing there??) to this day still serves up a killer dish of sweet potato fries with mayonnaise.  In my mother’s house, on the other hand, those off-color interlopers had never once been allowed to sully our doorstep (don’t forget, this was the woman whose entire repertoire of herbs and spices consisted of onion powder, paprika, and dill).

It wasn’t until years later that I finally began to cook the sweet spuds myself, and my next encounter with sweet potatoes, unfortunately, wasn’t all that auspicious.  I had just been put on a very restricted diet by my naturopath and was feeling pretty resentful of all this crunchy-granola, health-foodie, good-for-you-five-to-ten-a-day foods.  Sweet potatoes?  Well, if I couldn’t have them after they’d been immersed in a vat of 400-degree, week-old restaurant fat for 20 minutes or so, then I didn’t want them at all!  Besides, weren’t they only appealing to commune-living, hemp-smoking hippies (or–gasp!–Southerners)?  I’d never actually tasted one without the benefit of hydrogenated enhancements (though I did suspect I’d enjoy Sweet Potato Pie, what with all the sugar, eggs, and cream they added to it).

[Sweet potato rounds with sweet almond sauce.]

Turns out sweet potatoes were my savior.  During a period when I could eat NO sweeteners or fruits of any kind, sweet potatoes quickly became my favorite sweet treat.   I ate them for breakfast (baked, with a drizzle of sweet almond sauce over top–delicious!), lunch (raw, sliced, as a base for raw almond pate), or dinner (heavenly, spiced sweet potato “fries,” which were really baked).   Later on, once I was allowed to broaden my diet, I began to experiment with sweet potatoes in baking, and created recipes for sweet potato muffins, mini loaves, pudding, pie, and several other sweet treats.

Besides being high in fibre, vitamin A (as beta carotene) and other minerals, sweet potatoes are also a good source of vitamin C, vitamin E and iron, and even contain a contribution of protein.  According to Paul Pitchford in his phenomenal tome, Healing with Whole Foods, Traditional Chinese Medicine uses sweet potatoes for their cooling nature and to promote chi energy in the body; they are also useful to enhance functioning of the spleen and pancreas.  And because they’re a source of phytoestrogens (plant-based estrogen), sweet potatoes can help mitigate those pesky symptoms of perimenopause and menopause.  In addition, they are also alkalizing in the body, which is great if you tend to drink a lot of coffee, eat a lot of sugar, or prefer to discourage the growth of cancer cells in your body.

Best of all, sweet potatoes are low on the gylcemic index (the measurement of how food influences your blood sugar levels), registering at 54 (surprisingly, lower than white potatoes, with a score of 88-93), so they are a great food for type II diabetics or plumpers like me.  And when baked, their natural sugars caramelize, producing the most ambrosial sweetness.

Though most North Americans consider the more orange-fleshed, moister vegetables to be yams, they are, in fact, just another type of sweet potato alongside the lighter-fleshed, dryer ones.  (According to North Carolina Sweet Potatoes, a true yam has light ivory-colored flesh, and “is a starchy edible root of the Dioscorea genus, and is generally imported to America from the Caribbean. It is rough and scaly and very low in beta carotene.”).

Sweet potatoes have become a true staple in our home, and are definitely at the top of my list of favorite vegetables.  And now, one of my favorite baking ingredients, too.

candida diet, sugarfree, glutenfree sweet potato chocolate chip muffins

[photo credit: Celine Saki]

Disclosure: Links in this post may be affiliate links. If you choose to purchase using those links, at no cost to you, I will receive a small percentage of the sale.

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  1. chocolate and sweet potatoes?? what an intriguing combination!! wonderful nutritionals for the sweet potato, as well :0)

  2. They do sound very tasty. I haven’t heard of sucanat, going to google that now and see just what it is.

  3. YUM. Those look damn tasty. I love pumpkin and chocolate together, and I’m sure this is a similar flavor combo.

  4. “Healing with Whole Foods” sounds like exactly what I’ve been looking for! Thanks for the recommendation, and for your comment. Here’s what I used to make the pistachio souffles, except I used vanilla extract and a bit more pistachio:

    1 tbs melted butter, to grease
    60g (1/4 cup) caster sugar
    125ml (1/2 cup) milk
    1 vanilla bean, split
    2 tbs butter, extra
    2 tbs plain flour
    3 eggs, separated
    40g (1/4 cup) pistachio kernels, finely crushed

    To make the souffle, preheat oven to 180°C. Brush two 280ml ovenproof ramekins or cups with melted butter (use upward strokes). Sprinkle with 1 tbs of the caster sugar to coat the inside.
    Combine the milk, vanilla bean and remaining sugar in a saucepan over low heat. Slowly bring to the boil and remove from heat. Remove vanilla bean. Use a sharp knife to scrape the seeds from the bean into the milk mixture. Discard bean.
    Melt extra butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add flour and stir until mixture is smooth and begins to bubble. Remove from heat and gradually add the milk mixture, stirring until combined. Return to medium heat and stir until mixture thickens and comes to the boil. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside for 5 minutes to cool. Add two egg yolks and pistachios and stir to combine. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly.
    Use an electric beater to whisk the 3 egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until soft peaks form. Use a metal spoon to fold one-quarter of the egg whites into the pistachio mixture until combined. Fold in the remaining egg whites in 3 more batches. Spoon the mixture into ramekins or cups and cook in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until well risen.

  5. VeggieGirl,

    Thanks! It really is a delicious combination of flavors, and well worth trying.


    Thanks so much for visiting my blog! I use Sucanat so often, I just assume I’ve mentioned it before. Sorry about that! You can also read one of my earlier articles in which I mention it (and other natural sweeteners) at


    Yes, very tasty indeed! And if you like pumpkin with chocolate, you’d definitely like these. I’d love to know how a GF version comes out.


    Thanks for visiting, and welcome to my blog! I’m so glad the book will be of use. It’s a well-read reference source in my house. It could be organized a little better (sometimes you have to skip around the whole book to find what you’re looking for), but I think Pitchford is brilliant!

    Also, THANK YOU for this delicious recipe. The photo on your blog really did look scrumptious. If I can figure out a vegan version, I’m there!

  6. I love the idea of spicy and chocolate and sweet potato – this post is very helpful for me – sweet potato is a vegetable I go hot and cold with – have barely eaten much of it lately although I know if I do I will wonder why I have neglected it so long – this could be the inspiration I need

  7. ooooh. These look so good! Great post!

  8. I’ve never heard of using pumpkin and chocolate together – it sounds very interesting and your picture certainly make them look incredibly appetizing!

  9. I am not surprised at all. These came out wonderful. I started to prepare them, but then I had to go out with my kids, so I didn’t mix wet and dry ingredients. After 2 hours I finished making them and they were fabulous. The next day they are still moist and delicious. There wouldn’t be any left if I didn’t increase the amount by 4. lol We are expecting visitors today and I am sure they’ll love them too.

  10. Ricki, How should I modify this recipe for ACD? I am guessing sucanat is not good for candida and of course, the chocolate would have to go, sadly! Thank you!

    • Sadly, I’m not sure it could be done too easily. I created this recipe when I wasn’t yet on the ACD, and I haven’t tried to adapt it yet. There are some that can’t be adapted if they contain too much sweetener and/or gluten. But it seems a worthy challenge–will let you know if I give it a try (and hope you’ll come back and tell us if you do). 🙂

  11. What can I use in place of Spelt flour? I have Bob’s AP GF Flour, Brown Rice Flour, Arrowroot Powder, Almond Meal, Coconut Flour, and Oat Flour?

    • Hi Heidi,
      Bob’s AP GF should work. You might need a tiny bit more, maybe 1-2 Tbsp more per cup of spelt. And if the Bob’s doesn’t contain xanthan gum or anything like that, I’d add 3/4 tsp xanthan per cup of flour (you don’t have to do that, but your muffins will fall apart if you don’t). Let me know how they work out! 🙂

  12. I’ve never used sweet potatoes in baked goods, but it makes sense to do so, since pumpkin works so well. These look delicious!

  13. These sound incredible, Ricki! I need to make them with Darrol ASAP!


  1. […] made a few alterations to Ricki’s original recipe which can be found here.  The original recipe is probably even more delicious, but I am incapable of following recipes […]

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ricki Heller, Ricki Heller. Ricki Heller said: @tzuzan One of the recipes is already on my blog, here: […]

  3. […] Mini Sweet Potato & Chocolate Chip Muffins – Naturally vegan and whole grain. […]

  4. […] Mini Sweet Potato Muffins with Chocolate Chips: a fun mini-treat so you can still enjoy more of the other desserts! (stage […]

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