In my quest to diversify my breakfasts, I keep trying new versions of standard breakfast fare: different kinds of smoothies, whole-grain pancakes, and low-carb or gluten-free muffins. The goal is to keep everything as healthy as possible. So I have been experimenting quite a bit. Sometimes the recipes work out, sometimes they don’t.
This one did. I found a recipe somewhere for sweet potato muffins and I decided to make my own version. These muffins are light and not very sweet, making them perfect for breakfast. Barley gives it a nice chewy texture and the addition of almond milk and whole wheat flour make it a healthy alternative to standard muffins (if you can make your own almond milk, as I did for this recipe, all the better). You can serve them with preserves or sorghum molasses or honey spread on top, whipped cream, or cream cheese for added sweetness.
Breakfast Sweet Potato-Barley Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
¾ cup barley
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
¼ tsp kosher salt
¾ cup mashed bananas
2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
¼ almond milk
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup sorghum molasses or honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup dried cranberries or other fruit
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
2. Soak the barley in a bowl of water for about 20 minutes; drain and rinse. Place the barley in a pot with enough water to cover the barley by about an inch. Cook for about 15 or until tender but still firm. Drain well. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, cardamom, and salt. In a large bowl, combine the mashed bananas and sweet potatoes, almond milk, coconut oil, egg, sorghum molasses, and vanilla.
4. Add the cooked barley to the wet ingredients and mix well.
5. Add the flour mixture and dried fruit to the sweet potatoes mixture and fold it in just until all the dry ingredients are moistened.
6. Distribute the batter evenly into the muffin cups; it’s okay if the cups are overfilled. Bake for 2 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Place the tin on a wire rack and let cool 10 minutes; turn the muffins out onto the rack. If they stick, run a knife around the muffins. Let cool completely.
7. Serve with fruit preserves or butter. Store in a plastic bag or tin.