Healthy Healthy Healthy (Did I Mention Healthy?) Sweet Potato Bread

I’m still on my health kick. Day 3. I spent 45 minutes on the eliptical this morning, burning 460 calories. “The View” was on with no sound and subtitles and my favorite part is when Merideth Veira and some new blonde host interviewed Baby Spice who has a new album coming out. The best bit of dialogue was this:

Merideth: I hear your new album is really personal.

Baby: It is really personal, Merideth. A lot of songs are taken directly from my journal.

Blonde: Wow.

Baby: Yes, it’s like I took the words straight from my journal and literally set them to music.

Then she sang a song that, as I watched the words scroll by, makes it seem like Baby’s journal was written by a 4th grader. “I love you / ya ya ya / You are like candy / ya ya ya / I want to love you.” (Something like that. Ok, I’m making those lyrics up. I just went to her actual website (her name is Emma Bunton) and the real lyrics are: (assuming this is the song she sang): “Now free me/ let me loose to love you / yeah, I long to seduce you / oh free me.”) Anyway, it really made me laugh. Thought I’d share.

This post is about sweet potato bread. I can’t give you the recipe because it comes from Chef Kathleen’s cookbook and I’ve already sort-of given you a recipe from her cookbook. I don’t want her to sue me.

This recipe was time consuming. I baked sweet potatoes in the early afternoon and then let them cool and came back to puree them. Of course, Kathleen gives you the option of using canned pumpkin but I had to make things difficult. Here’s the sweet potatoes in the food processor:

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Actually, these were yams. Kathleen doesn’t say to use yams, she says to use sweet potatoes. So I suppose you’ll remind me now that there’s a world of difference between a yam and a sweet potato and that anyone who doesn’t know that should set their extra personal journal entries to music and sing them on The View. As it happens, if using yams instead of sweet potatoes means they don’t really puree very well and stay a little bit hard then I learnt my lesson. I don’t think it affected the end result, though.

Basically, the wet mixture is: 1 egg, 2 egg whites, light brown sugar, the sweet potato, 1/4 cup vegetable oil and vanilla.

The dry mixture is: flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

After whisking together the wet mixture, you add the dry mixture and stir 5 times. Then you add cranberries and dried cranberries. I bought these cranberries from Whole Foods called “Just Cranberries” and they’re SO WEIRD because they look like normal cranberries but when you eat them they tasted hollowed out and dry like styrofoam cranberries only they’re not dried cranberries they’re “JUST CRANBERRIES.” On the tub it says to use them in baked goods, sauces, etc etc. So maybe the idea is they’re dried out but when you put them in things they reconstitute. After I ate this bread, the cranberries tasted cranberryish to me so perhaps it works. Here’s what the batter looks like in the pan: (you also add pecans):

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It bakes for 50 minutes and fills the apartment (or house, depending on where you live–where DO you live? I never see you anymore) with a wonderful aroma. I needed that aroma to kill the smell of fish from yesterday.

Then it comes out and you cool it and it looks like this:

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Then you slice it and it looks like this:

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Which begs the question: how did it taste?

Well, since I’ve been depriving myself and this was a risque 11 o’clock cheating snack it tasted heavenly. But had I made it before I became a different person with my new fad diet and my swimsuit aspirations I would have thought, “this could use some butter.” However, the cranberries and pecans do a wonderful job of masking the lack of fat in the batter. I think this is a perfect bread for those who love to bake who want to lose weight and have cans of pumpkin in their pantry. If only I could give you the recipe, you’d be losing weight in no time. Now you’ll be fat forever while I get skinny skinny and beautiful. YOU’LL NEVER BE AS PRETTY AS ME, NEVER!

Wow, I better go write that in my journal…

12 comments

  1. This entry made me laugh (internally) more than usual for some reason. So I just wanted to say that. I LOVE THIS BLOG! Another thing: I’m one of those people who will never lose weight if she bakes, so I never bake. It’s a sad existence but looking at your “sweet potato” yam bread makes me happy. (Walking past a bakery would probably induce tears though.)

  2. Wow, are we the same person? Because I just made a pumpkin-cranberry bread (perhaps not as healthy) and I, too, enjoyed making it because it nixed the scent of fish in the apartment! And I ALSO did 45 minutes on the elliptical in the morning. Seriously, reading your post was like reading a potential post of my own.

    (If you do an epicurious search for “pumpkin cranberry bread” the one I made is the first result. It’s very very yummy. But since I’m not on a *super* health kick, I toast mine and slather it with butter. It doesn’t need it, I just like butter.)

  3. I love your blog. Plus, you crack me up. These are good things. Because I love to cook and I love to laugh, I’ll just hang out here if you don’t mind. If I get in your way, just cuff me aside.

  4. Those are sweet potatoes that you used. Real yams are large and white and less sweet. But since people often call sweet potatoes “yams” here, there’s often no real difference between what’s called a yam and what’s called a sweet potato.

    So you did the exact right thing. Way to go! And good luck on the healthy living–you can do it!

  5. Tip: when baking healthy, you can substitute a portion (or sometimes all) of the oil in a recipe with either applesauce or plain yogurt, and it really cuts the calories. On another note, you can’t really expect mature lyrics from a woman who spent a portion of her twenties being calling herself baby. And I can’t believe you passed up the incredible opportunity to make spice puns in this entry! What kind of foodie blogging about a spice girl ARE you? haha, just kidding ^_^ Your bread looks delicious by the way.

  6. “my swimsuit aspirations…

    Now you’ll be fat forever while I get skinny skinny and beautiful.”

    will be needing pictures for wallpaper.

  7. Adam —

    What a funny coincidence. I just returned from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (which meant it was also speedo time for me).

    I tried a similar excercise plan prior to my trip but didn’t do much in the way of altering my diet. For me that worked pretty well, but I should have started a couple weeks earlier. I’ll be interested to see what your new eating habits do to you energy level.

    Now, it’s time to head out into the snow and 20 degree weather. :-/

  8. You always make me laugh. That bread looks yummy! I went and took the grand tour of the new Whole Foods world HQ here in Austin today and was looking at the Just ____ stuff. They’re all freeze dried and not normally dried. The dried veggie mix was weirding us out.

  9. This entry made me think about the zucchini bread I make in the early summer with the tons of zucchini from my garden.

    I’ve made pumpkin bread and sweet potato pies but never sweet potato bread. It sounds good.

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