I love sweet potatoes, but finding a way to get my family to eat them instead of favoring the white potatoes is difficult. I obviously should have tried harder when the boys were little, although with the big guy that wasn’t possible. And, apparently, they don’t have sweet potatoes or yams in Nova Scotia.
I could probably make a case that the reason the Porter boys (and man) do NOT like them is because they are so much healthier than the white potatoes. Sweet Potatoes have a bit more fiber, Vitamin C, and Calcium, while white potatoes weigh in with a bit more magnesium, protein, potassium, and also have a tad bit of iron as well. However, sweet potatoes are loaded with Vitamin A, while white potatoes are fairly deficient. One chart online shows white potatoes coming in with 14 IU of Vitamin A, while sweet potatoes weigh in with 22,000 IU. That is a significant difference, especially when considering that Vitamin A is a cancer fighter as well as essential for eye health. And while white potatoes certainly have a place in our diets, sweet potatoes have less carbs, and far less calories and sugar than white potatoes.
Of course, sweet potatoes have always been a staple in the south, including colonial Virgina. Idaho Russet Potatoes, as a matter of fact, are a fairly recent staple in American households in the South. Besides sweet potatoes and yams, the old-timers occasionally ate little red potatoes, but large russets were unknown to them until recently. (Hence – the moniker “Idaho.”)
Anyhow, loving sweet potatoes like I do (I am a southeast Texas girl at heart, after all), and I am also fool for pecans and raisins, too, I saw the recipe for Sweet Potato Muffins, which are a staple apparently at Williamsburg, Virginia’s Christiana Campbell’s Tavern, and I knew I had my cooking challenge for April. And this one was a keeper! Even Mr. Porter remarked that they were good, and he is a hard sale on any potato that is not white.
Now, I cooked my sweet potatoes from scratch before mashing and mixing, as I have always preferred fresh to canned. I used, like I always do, Kerrygold Butter, and I extra large eggs (Eggland’s Best) as I am finding the regular sized eggs are oftentimes not large enough anymore for my recipes. (I have no idea what’s up with that these days. I might at some point write a separate post just on my egg dramas!)
I also, in the absence of muffin tins (its time to buy some new ones), cooked the batter in bread tins which made two loaves of bread.
The result was an extremely moist bread which packs a tart, autumnal flavor. I will definitely be making this in the future!
George Washington is said to have dined here. I wonder if he ate these muffins?