Monday, January 12, 2009

Triathlete Test Kitchen

As you know, if you've ever asked me which discipline of triathlon I excel at, it's eating. I'm serious and I do not restrict this activity to races. I eat every day, several times a day.

I really like good food, and so in the 14 years that I lived as a bachelor on my own I developed some basic home cooking schools. Watching Julia Child and the Grahm Kerr and Jeff Smith on public television, I developed the nonchalance necessary to adventure culinarily beyond the basic 5 or 10 dishes my mom made for us growing up. I am not afraid to try new things, and thankfully I have rarely created non-edible meals.

Recently we have been receiving this box of fresh organic produce every week. Each delivery is a little different, and this has been a boon to our dietary variety. We've started eating kale (yesterday's Kale and Keilbasa Stew), eggplant (baba ganoush) , and a variety of squash, and fresh fruits.

Google is the place I start when looking for a proper way to consume the latest 'new' food. Last month we were confronted with 2 weeks worth of yams, and I found the recipe shown below for "Southern Sweet Potato Bread with Pecans" on


  • 1 1/2 cups organic unbleached all purpose four
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cupcanola oil
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 C). Grease an 8X4 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a Medium bowl stir togther the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and sugar. Add the eggs, oil and milk; mix well until well blended. Finally, stir in the mashed sweet potatoes, pecans and golden raisins. Pour or spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow bread to cool in the pan at least 15 minutes before removing. For best flavor, store overnight before serving.
This came out great. Maybe too great. allrecipes provides nutritonal data for its recipes.

Nutritional Information
Southern Sweet Potato Bread with Pecans

Servings Per Recipe: 12

Amount Per Serving

Calories: 322

  • Total Fat: 17.5g
  • Cholesterol: 36mg
  • Sodium: 144mg
  • Total Carbs: 39.4g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2.2g
  • Protein: 4.2g
I can easily eat 2 'servings', and in the context of my off season training I really need to watch my calories. So I am working on eliminating some fat and some sugar. The holistic guru suggested eliminating all the oil and half the sugar and replace with some unsweetened applesauce. I tried this, and it came out ok, but not as good as the original. It was denser, did not rise as much, and the texture was more moist and pudding-like than a bread should be. I tried again using half the oil and half the sugar and some applesauce to acheive the same batter consistency. Still no good.

The great thing about this project is, as the guru suggested, i always make the original version at the same time so I can compare them side by side. So no shortage of sweet potato bread here. If anyone has a suggestion on ways to eliminate oil and sugar from such a recipe, I would appreciate hearing from you!


EXTREME Ultimate Fucking Crackhead (EUFC) said...

I have a cookbook called Secrets of Fat-Free Baking by Sandra Woodruff. It's got a great intro section telling how to reduce or eliminate a lot of fat from baked goods, and there are plenty of pretty good recipes, although I mainly use it for the muffins.

I also love food, but I retrained my palate so that high-fat foods are every now and then treats rather than muliple times per week occurrences. Which means something I can have after a 3+ hour workout, otherwise it's pretty much low-fat for me.

Jen said...

I am so far behind in my food blogging! This sounds great. Try adding a mashed banana to whipped sweet potatoes or OJ. What is the next ingredient of surprise? I'm going explore farro. I'll let you know how it goes. Also check out the site it is a powerhouse of nutrition data and will print out custom info for any recipe.