Pumpkin purée should be in every cook’s pantry! When you realize the versatility of this secret ingredient, you’ll be turning out much more than just pies – like how ’bout these muffins? Pumpkin is one of the super heroes of the vegetable patch and whether you cook one yourself of go for the canned variety – it has so many more possibilities than its once or twice a year appearance on holiday tables. Whether sweet or savoury, pumpkin purée could not be a healthier addition to any quick bread or muffin recipe. It can stand in for most of the fat, and who doesn’t love anything that can stand in for most of the fat! So Mother Nature has done it again, a perfect fibre-loaded purée which adds the rich, moistness (that usually comes from fat) that abandons many a muffin. And to ensure a magnificent muffin, there are a few muffin-making do’s & don’t’s
So rescue any muffin recipe with a spoonful of pumpkin purée or make it glorious and make the pumpkin the star – jazz it up with chopped nuts, dried fruit, candied ginger or chocolate chips and feel good about a muffin that doesn’t represent half a day’s calories! Have you ever checked the breakdown of muffins that sound healthy – bran this, whole-grain that, flax this, fibre that – well the calorie count, (not to mention the fat content) would astound you – it really should be called a whole-grain, blueberry, cranberry, low-fat, high-fibre, bran muffin myth! So on that note, stop buying muffins and make ‘em yourself and there’s no better place to start making a moist, delicious, not-gonna-break-the-calorie-bank muffin, than with purée of pumpkin. Sorry Timmy’s, just keepin’ it real.
1. Get the wet ingredients together.
2. And dump ‘em in your mixing bowl of choice.
3. Let ‘er rip for a couple of minutes.
4. In the meantime, get the dry ingredients sorted out.
5. Measure them onto a piece of waxed paper which makes it very easy to funnel into a sieve over a bowl.
6. Putting the dry ingredients through a sieve ensures thorough mixing.
7. Keep sifting until it’s all gone through.
8. So there you have it – you got the wet and the dry.
9. Add the dry to the wet and mix it until it’s barely mixed – this ensures a light muffin, among other things.
10. Stir in any add-ins you like – I found a handful of dried cranberries, but it could be any diced dried fruit, chopped nuts, chocolate chips or candied ginger would be deelish.
11. Spoon the batter into prepped muffin tins, and using liners makes it oh so very easy.
12. This recipe makes 18 muffins.
13. And about one half magical hour later – tada!
14. Allow them to cool before digging in.
15. Pile up your freshly baked muffins, get out a little butter, honey and jam to take it over the top.
16. What’s not to love – muffins that taste like pumpkin pie!
Makes 18 muffins
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Get the following wet ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine:
- 1-15 ozs. can pumpkin purée
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup applesauce
- 3/4 cup maple syrup or honey
- 1/3 cup oil (vegetable, olive or coconut)
- 2 tsps. vanilla
2. Get the following dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well:
- 21/2 cups whole-wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- 2 tsps. baking soda
- 2 tsps. each ground cinnamon & ginger
- 1/2 tsp. each cloves, nutmeg & cardamom
- OR 2 tbsps. pumpkin apple pie spice blend in place of the above
3. Add the dry mixture to the wet and fold until just combined.
4. Stir in any add-ins – I used dried cranberries. Drop spoonfuls into a well-greased muffin tin (or use liners) and bake for 25-30 minutes until a tester comes out clean. And depending on what size muffin tin you use and how full you fill them, the number of muffins may vary. Be sure to half fill empty muffin wells with water if you don’t have enough batter to fill a tin completely.
- break the muffins up into bite-sized pieces, drizzle with warm maple syrup
- get creative with batter add-ins: any diced dried fruit or chopped nuts, grated apple, chopped cooked bacon, chocolate chips
- serve alongside any hearty grain salad like tabbouleh
- break into pieces, let dry out and break into small cubes to use a crisp, crumble or cobbler topping
- finely crumble and use anywhere you would use a streusel topping