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Cute little nut loaf muffins with brown rice, sweet potato, mushrooms, chestnuts, cranberries and seeds. These babies are delicious, pretty good for you, and a great meatless alternative for the holidays.

Oh these mini nut loaves. They are one of the few recipes that really tested my patience. They were not easy to get right, I can tell you that! Actually “they” started off as “it”, as I wanted to make a proper loaf, or even a bunt cake shaped loaf. It did not want to work. Not at all. I tried it five times before finally, these beautiful little loaves were born. Are they not the cutest?

The mixture is made with brown rice, sweet potato, chestnut puree, mushrooms, cranberries, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, orange zest, sage, and a few other goodies that make these into the little flavour bombs they are. I know, it’s rather a long ingredient list. But nut loaves usually have lots of ingredients, and these are all pretty easy to find in any supermarket.

Festive Sweet Potato, Mushroom and Chestnut Mini Nut Loaves www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: A closer view of the muffin shaped nut loaves on a ceramic plate. Some orange zest and sunflower seeds are scattered on top for decoration. To the right of the plate is a small bowl of sea salt.

The main thing I would suggest here is that you use silicone muffin molds. They are brilliant for turning out whatever you baked in them. And since you’ll need side dishes, have a look at the previous recipes that make up this delicious festive meal.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Olive Oil and a Hint of Truffle
Balsamic Maple Roasted Carrots and Brussels Sprouts
Sweet Wine Mushroom Gravy (you have to make the gravy with these nut loaves)

So, how about trying a meatless holiday meal this year? Or do you already go for veggie options? What’s your favourite?

Festive Sweet Potato, Mushroom and Chestnut Mini Nut Loaves www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: A ceramic plate filled with festive food. Mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables (Brussels sprouts and carrots) and muffin-shaped nut loaves smothered in mushroom gravy.

Happy holidays!


150 gr brown rice, boiled in salted water (see note)
100 gr chestnut paste (see note)
2 Tbs olive oil
100 gr onion, roughly chopped (weighed after peeling)
250 gr mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 Tbs garlic paste
300 gr sweet potato, roughly chopped (weighed after peeling)
30 gr multi-seed bread
50 gr cranberries, dried
50 gr sunflower seeds
50 gr pine nuts
1 tsp orange zest
1 tsp sage, dried
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper, freshly ground
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1 egg

Step 1

Put the cooked rice in a large bowl. Add the chestnut paste and mix well, breaking up the stiff paste so it softens and is well distributed.

Step 2

In a food processor, chop the onion until very fine. Repeat with the mushrooms but be careful to stop before they become pulp. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium high and add the onion and mushrooms together. Cook for about 5 minutes until the juices evaporate. Take off the heat, stir in the garlic paste and add to the rice mixture.

Step 3

Use the processor to chop the sweet potato until very fine (about the size of pepper corns). Heat the second tablespoon of olive oil in the same frying pan over medium high. Add the sweet potato and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. The mixture will be very dry and it might stick to the pan a bit so stir often. Transfer to the rice mixture.

Step 4

Process the bread in the process until you get coarse crumbs. Transfer these too to the mixture.

Step 5

Add all the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and stir well with a wooden spoon. Place the mixture in the refrigerator for about an hour to rest.

Step 6

Preheat the oven to 180C fan assisted (200C conventional) and grease a silicone muffin mold (8-10 muffins). Fill the mold pressing the mixture down well. Bake for 40 minutes.

Step 7

Serve with red wine mushroom gravy, roasted vegetables and garlic mashed potatoes.

Notes and tips:

- These muffins could be made vegan by replacing the egg with a suitable alternative.

- Make your life easier and get the brown rice that cooks in 10 minutes. The required amount should be reached by using about 90 gr raw rice.

- The chestnut paste (or puree) I used, is very dry and thick. It is made of only chestnuts and water. Not to be confused with chestnut cream or puree with sugar.

- Silicone muffin moulds are best in order to easily get the nut loaves out without breaking them.

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