Pumpkin Muffins

If you live in Mesa, Arizona, like I do, you have to try real hard to make it feel like Fall. Yes, it’s September 30. Yes, the kids are all back in school. Yes, all the stores have Halloween candy out and Costco even has Christmas stuff out. But it’s still 98 degrees outside. You still just want to go swimming. You still wear shorts and t-shirts. So, it still really feels like July.

Making pumpkin muffins really helps. It makes the house smell like pumpkin and cinnamon.  I made them today and took them to Carson’s work as a little surprise (it’s our 9-monthiversary), and they got rave reviews from all his co-workers.  They’re a little on the un-healthy side because of all the sugar, but I’ve modified the original recipe so at least now it’s whole-wheat, vegan, less fat, and has more pumpkin nutrition. And they were still excellent even with all those healthy changes. Carson says that his co-worker said, “I don’t even like pumpkin. In anything. But these are delicious!”

Another reason I know these are universally enjoyed is that the two boys I babysit devoured an entire pan of 18 mini muffins, and they can be pretty picky.

Pumpkin Muffins

Modified from http://lovelylittlekitchen.com/

Ingredients:
  • 1 3/4 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed, stirred with 6 tablespoons water (or 2 eggs)
  • 1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree (if you buy a bigger can, use 1/2 cup or so more)
  • 1/4 cup coconut or olive oil
  • 1/4 cup almond milk or applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, optional
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and place 12 paper liners into each well of your standard size muffin baking pan.
  2. Stir together the ground flax seed and water and let stand for a few minutes.
  3. Measure out the flour, sugars, baking soda, salt and spices in a medium bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the flax seed egg replacer, pumpkin puree, oil and vanilla extract.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir together. Fold in mini chocolate chips (walnuts, craisins would also be delicious). Do not over mix, just stir until everything is incorporated into the batter.
  6. It is helpful to use a scoop or spoon to evenly distribute the batter into each well. They will be nearly full. This will help give your muffins a nice puffy dome.
  7. Bake your muffins for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean

I like to make a double batch and give some plates away, and put more in the freezer to pull out and add to packed lunches.

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