Featured Ingredient: Yacon Syrup
One of the latest additions to the expanding market of “natural” sweeteners is yacon syrup.
Yacon is a distant relative of the sunflower with edible tubers and leaves. The tuber is often chopped and added to dishes, but a syrup can also be pressed from them to produce a dark, rich sweetener.
1. Lower glycemic index than heavily refined sugars so it won’t send your blood sugar into a tizzy. This makes yacon a good sweetener option for those who have diabetes.
2. A natural source of fructooliosaccharides, or less of a mouthful FOS, which are prebiotics helping increase levels of beneficial bacteria in your gut.
3. Measure for measure, yacon syrup contains only about half the calories as white cane sugar.
4. Its taste is reminiscent of molasses. And, if you’re like me and love molasses, that’s a definite bonus.
5. Yacon syrup is considered a very sustainable sweetener. Here is an interesting video from Navitas Naturals about how it’s sourced and produced.
I think you could use it as you would honey, agave or maple syrup in recipes. I wanted to test it out in a muffin recipe that screams for molasses. I’m really happy how yacon syrup worked in these. They are really moist and definitely sweet enough. Despite the extra cost of yacon, I’m giving it a thumbs up. I’ll have to try working in the Navitus yacon powder into a baked good batter some day.
Recipe variation possibilities:
Fold golden raisins into the batter
Use molasses instead of yacon syrup
Try pureed butternut squash instead of pumpkin
Try ground cloves instead of allspice
Pumpkin Yacon Muffins with Yacon Glaze
1 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup pure canned pumpkin
1/4 cup coconut oil or oil of choice
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon yacon syrup
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 325°F. In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and salt. In a separate large bowl, lightly beat egg and stir in pumpkin, oil, 1/2 cup yacon syrup and yogurt. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix gently. Divide mixture among 12 muffin cups and bake for 22 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.
After removing muffins from the oven, sift together powdered sugar and a dash of salt into a bowl. Stir in 1 tablespoon yacon syrup and 2 teaspoons water; mix until smooth. If the glaze seems too thick, add a little additional water; if it seems too thin, add more sifted powdered sugar.
Dip the tops of cooled muffins into the glaze, and let set for 1 hour before serving.