By Lindsay Hunt | April 28, 2011

Photographer: Lindsay Hunt

Since the beginning of Spring, in an effort to get in shape for summer, I’ve changed my morning routine from slow and luxurious to a fast-paced schedule of gym, shower, and go to work.

I’m always confused when choosing what to eat before I exercise. Should it be a filling breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast or should I choose that banana and yogurt smoothie? I should choose neither, it turns out! I don’t want to be hungry when I exercise, but a full stomach makes for an uncomfortable workout.

For me, the best breakfast to eat before heading to the gym is a Whole-Wheat Sweet Potato Coconut Muffin. Rich with vitamins, fiber, and complex carbohydrates, sweet potato puree is a great option for making moist whole-wheat muffins and, although densely packed with healthy ingredients, the muffin isn’t too big.

Not only is a small, healthy, and nutritious breakfast important before exercising, it has to be quick and easy to make. Although the recipe takes a little planning and time at the beginning of the week, all you need to do is warm a muffin in the toaster or microwave and head out the door.

So if you’re short on time in the morning, make a batch of these muffins on Sunday and heat one each morning. After the first batch mix it up with grated apple or nuts for the coconut and tweak the puree as you want. Great options include mashed banana or pumpkin puree.

Never workout hungry again!

  • 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter, more for greasing tins
  • 21/2 cups whole-wheat flour, preferably pastry flour
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup mashed or pureed sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup dried, unsweetened coconut
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt


Whole-Wheat Sweet Potato Coconut Muffins Recipe
Adapted from Mark Bittman's Minimalist recipe
Makes 12 muffins

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and grease a 12-cup muffin tin. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk together the melted butter, sweet potato, coconut, egg, and greek yogurt. Fold wet mixture into dry mixture until just combined.
2. Fill muffin tins; bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until muffins are puffed and turning golden brown on top. Serve warm.

Muffins will keep in a covered container for up to 2 days.

More about: , , , , ,

You Might Also Like:

Featured Recipe

More Recipes

Meet the Team

About The Team

Whether it’s finding the best goat tacos in LA, spotting a well-worn vintage bag in Sweden, or interviewing the “crab man” selling seafood on a corner in Harlem, we tell stories seen from Chef Marcus Samuelsson‘s point of view. strives to create conversations about food, nutrition, culture, art, and design. We want to find Read More


Streetbird Rotisserie
Marcus’ Bermuda
Eatery Social Taqueria
Red Rooster Harlem
Ginny’s Supper Club
Uptown Brasserie
American Table Cafe and Bar
Kitchen and Table
American Table Brasserie and Bar
Marc Burger