I have a friend who tends to go a little overboard. The word “moderation” does not exist in his vocabulary. For example, if he decides to focus on studying, he will literally go live at the library. And if he decides he needs some space, he will go MIA for weeks at a time. However, his extreme tendencies can be a good thing, as he will often go above and beyond what is expected of him. Other times, though, it is just plain crazy.
Last year, he went through a “healthy” phase. He worked out excessively and drank protein shakes like they were going out of style. I can count all the foods that made up his diet on one hand. On a typical day, he would drink tons of soy milk, and eat multiple peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with high-protein bread, a bunch of bananas, a gazillion hard-boiled eggs (whites only), and several steamed goguma (Korean sweet potato).
During this time, I got hooked on goguma too. Yoon would always share his Korean sweet potatoes with me, and I began eating them almost daily. I’ve always enjoyed goguma, and the more I ate, the more I liked them. They taste quite different (and in my opinion, much better!) from regular sweet potatoes. Goguma are less sweet and taste similar to roasted chestnuts. Also, they are yellow in color, rather than bright orange.
I like goguma best when they are roasted, but they are wonderful in desserts as well. I recently had a Korean-style sweet potato pound cake that the boyfriend bought for me, and I wanted to try replicating it. Pound cakes tend to be dense, rich, and buttery, but Korean-style ones are usually lighter and fluffier. This particular one had chunks of carmelized goguma scattered throughout the loaf. Yum!
I found a recipe on a Korean website that looked promising, but the measurements were all in grams. Since I don’t have a scale, I converted all the ingredients to volume measurements, which was a BAD idea. The goguma pound cake tasted okay, but the texture was all wrong. I made the boyfriend throw the whole thing in the trash because it just wasn’t worth eating.
I still wanted to bake with goguma, though, so I decided to make muffins. I found a recipe for sweet potato muffins, and substituted the sweet potato puree with goguma puree. I adjusted the other flavors of the muffin to complement the goguma, replacing molasses with honey, and using walnuts instead of pecans. Also, I only used half the amount of nuts in the topping and replaced the rest with diced goguma.
The goguma muffins were lovely. They are definitely healthy enough to serve for breakfast, but are a little fancier than your average muffin, so they make a great dessert too. These muffins helped me get over my disappointment over the pound cake, but I will most definitely be attempting it again, once I invest in a scale 🙂
Goguma (Korean Sweet Potato) Muffins
Source: adapted from Your Vegan Mom
For the muffins:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons flax seed meal
- 6 tablespoons water
- 1 cup sweet potato puree
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
For the topping:
- 2/3 cup raw goguma, diced
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 tablespoon honey
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a muffin pan.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together flax seed meal and water. Set aside until thickened.
4. To make the topping, simmer diced goguma in 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan over medium heat for a couple of minutes, or until goguma is tender. Drain excess water, and combine goguma with other topping ingredients in a small bowl.
5. In a large bowl, combine flax seed meal/water mixture, sweet potato puree, milk, oil, honey, and granulated sugar, and mix thoroughly. Fold in dry ingredients until just combined.
6. Scoop batter into prepared muffin pan, and spoon equal amounts of topping mixture into each muffin cup.
7. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until knife inserted in center of muffin comes out clean.