I gotta say this was one recipe that I was afraid wouldn’t work out.
It turned out delicious actually! A great afternoon snack or a quick bite for when you’re in a hurry, these muffins are filling but not heavy in the stomach. That’s not entirely surprising as one of the several benefits of taro root is its ability to facilitate digestion. See here for more information on the health benefits of taro root.
I grew up being basically forced to eat cooked taro root. I always thought it was tasteless and plain until I tried these Chinese taro buns at a restaurant near the university in Christchurch, New Zealand. I didn’t know what the Portuguese word was for taro and I was baffled to find out that it was exactly the same root my mom had always forced me to eat when I was younger. She’d list all the health benefits as if they could convince a child or a teenager to eat better. How naive of her!
Years have past; my parents still eat taro the same way the always used to when I was a child. That’s probably the way their parents taught them how to eat taro: cooked in water with a little bit of salt and served hot with butter on top.
That still doesn’t do for me, I have to say. However, as I grew older and more health-conscious, everything that my mom used to say about taro to try to get me to eat that darn root stuck with me. She might not have force-fed me taro, but she did ingrain in me the knowledge of how healthy taro can be. Therefore, the will to eat it although in a different way that she taught me.
After a failed attempt to make those delicious Chinese taro buns, I decided to make muffins. Boy, was that a great idea!
Lessons of today’s recipe:
1 – Your mom is always right, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try to eat taro roots in a different way.
2 – A failed mission can become a successful mission if you use a little bit of imagination.
1 whole taro root
4 cups of rice flour (or gluten-free muffin mix if you prefer. Caution! This recipe is for rice flour or other gluten-free flour, but not for any pre-mix flour)
One and 1/2 cups of brown sugar
2 free-range eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 pinch of salt
Peel the taro then cut it in to smaller cubes.
Cook the diced taro root in water for at least 30 minutes (at medium heat) or until soft (to the point you can squash it with a fork).
Drain the taro cubes then use a masher to mash the taro as uniformly as possible.
In a food processor, place the mashed taro and all the other ingredients. Blend everything until you have a smooth mixture.
Add 1 cup of water to the mix and blend everything again.
Pour the mix in a muffin tray.
Bake the muffins for at least 30 minutes at 160°C. I use a tooth pick to check whether the cakes are dry/baked on the inside. Once the tooth pick comes out clean, then the cakes are properly baked.
** It took longer than 30 minutes to bake these muffins, something between 35 to 40 minutes. So keep an eye on your cakes so they don’t over bake or aren’t uncooked on the inside.
Prepare the frosting that you like. I chose vegan chocolate because it’s my favorite.