Kumara coconut muffins are extremely nutrient dense and high in fiber, that’s why they work well as a mini meal, a snack on the run, in the kid’s lunch box or even a breakfast option. They tick the box for healthy baking, sugar, dairy and wheat free and the recipe can easily transform to be gluten free by exchanging the spelt flour for a Gluten free flour.

If you are preparing kumara for dinner one evening, then ensure you make a little extra to give yourself 1 cup of cooked mashed kumara for this recipe. I like to use the NZ Red Kumara.

These muffins are fairly dense in texture, due to the high fibre source of kumara and coconut flour, rather than a super light fluffy high sugar and wheat based muffin. The natural sweetness of kumara and coconut comes through nicely and a hint more from the added brown rice sugar syrup makes these muffins palatable for sweet lovers.

The muffins freeze well, making it a healthy ‘go to’ option for kid’s lunch boxes or if you run short of time to make a healthy snack, you can reheat a frozen muffin in the microwave for approximately 20 secs and take with you on the go.

Red-skinned Kumara Nutrient Benefits

A kiwi favourite vegetable, the red-skinned kumara, actually looks a bit reddish purple and is also known as the Owairaka Red. It has a creamy white flesh and is sold in the supermarket as ‘Red kumara’.

Kumara is an excellent source of dietary fibre and are one of the highest potassium-containing vegetables. It’s a high source of carbohydrate which makes an excellent source of energy if you aren’t on a Keto diet.

They have a collection of phytonutrients including phenolic compounds, flavonoids and carotenoids which basically work as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant in our body.

This means the phytonutrients may enhance immunity, slow the aging process, repair DNA damage from toxin exposure and help protect us from cancer.

Red kumara is also a good source of vitamin C, B1, B3, B6 and manganese.

Coconut Fat Nutrient Benefits

There are many health benefits of the coconut and it’s most defining point is it’s high amount of fatty acids in the form of medium-chain saturated fat called lauric acid, a health promoting fat.

Coconut is 50% lauric acid and the only other abundant source in nature is found in human breast milk. Lauric acid in the body converts to monolaurin with antiviral and antibacterial properties which can destroy a wide variety of disease causing organisms.

Any informed ketogenic dieter knows about the benefits of coconut oil MCT’s to promote the use of fat for energy on a low carbohydrate diet. However on this occasion, this recipe is not recommended for keto due to the carbohydrate ingredient, kumara.

But don’t be scared of its high fat and carb content, this is still a highly nutritious recipe and why just one muffin works so well to keep you satisfied for longer, unlike like the store brought kind which is laden with processed or artificial trans-fat, sugar and likely preservatives and additives too, thus causing you to reach for more than just one and become hungry again a lot sooner.

The trans-fat found in most store brought baking is created during the hydrogenation process. This is when liquid vegetable oils are converted into semi-solid partially hydrogenated oil and is what causes it to have a high inflammatory effect on the body.

So in a (coco) nut shell, you want to buy the full fat version (not low fat) of coconut cream for its full medium chain triglyceride (MCT) benefits and to gain the full nutritious benefits of these home-made muffins.

Kumara Coconut Muffin Recipe

Makes 12 medium size muffins (or 24 mini muffins)

Ingredients

1 Cup of cooked Red Kumara (mashed or puree)

1/3 Cup Brown Rice Syrup

1 Cup Coconut Cream

1/3 Cup Coconut Milk

2 x Tablespoons Coconut Oil

3 Eggs

1 Teaspoon Vanilla essence

1/3 Cup Coconut Flour

¾ Cup Wholemeal Spelt Flour

½ Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 ½ Teaspoon Baking Powder

½ Teaspoon Salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and grease or line muffin tins.
  1. In a food processor or blender, blitz all the wet ingredients; mashed kumara, rice syrup, coconut cream and milk, coconut oil, eggs and vanilla.
  1. In a separate bowl gather all the dry ingredients, Coconut and Spelt flour, baking soda and baking powder and gently whisk together to mix and separate any lumps.
  1. Add wet ingredients into the dry and gently stir together with a whisk until well combined but not overly mixed. The mixture should be a thick batter consistency and quite dense but still loose enough to stir through. If too dense to move the whisk through add a little more coconut milk.
  1. Spoon into prepared muffin tins and bake for approx. 25-30 minutes or are browning on top. Test at 25 minutes cooked, by inserting a clean butter knife or toothpick, when removed no mixture should be sticking.
  1. Remove from oven and leave to cool a little before removing from tins. If you wish to freeze them, ensure they have completely cooled down first and store in an airtight container.

References

Murray, M. Pizzorno, J. Pizzorno, L. (2005). The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. Atria, USA.

https://www.vegetables.co.nz/vegetables-a-z/kumara/