Pumpkin Spice Muffins

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This recipe is derived from a Banana Spice Muffin recipe I’ve had for years, from Cooking Light Magazine. It originally used all-purpose flour, but I wanted to substitute whole grain flours. I developed this three-flour blend over several batches, to take advantage of the purported benefits of oats and buckwheat in controlling cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and to add the fiber content of the whole wheat flour to the muffins. The recipe originally used ricotta cheese, but I replaced it with Greek yogurt out of necessity during an impromptu muffin-baking moment, and found I liked the texture better.

The list of ingredients is long, but you probably have most of them in your pantry and refrigerator already. It has gotten a lot easier to find oat and buckwheat flours in grocery stores the last couple of years, but you can also find them at natural food stores. They will keep better if you store them in the refrigerator or freezer.

These muffins freeze really well in a freezer bag for several months, and can be defrosted either on the counter, or in the microwave for a minute or less.

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Pumpkin Spice Muffins (makes 18 muffins)

(If you’d rather, you can use 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour instead of the three-flour blend I’ve given here. Your muffins will be lighter in color than mine, but they will still be tasty.)

1 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup oat flour
2/3 cup buckwheat flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup, packed, brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup pumpkin puree
2/3 cup 2% milk
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg white

1. Preheat oven to 400 deg. F. Grease and flour the muffin pans, or place cupcake papers in pans (makes 18 muffins). The muffin papers tend to stick to the muffins when they are still warm, but once cool, they peel off easily.

2. Combine the dry ingredients (flours, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, and spices), in a large bowl. Make a well in the center.

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3. Combine pumpkin and rest of wet ingredients in another bowl and mix well. Add to the dry ingredients, and stir gently until no dry lumps remain. Batter will not be smooth.

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4. Spoon batter into muffin pans (cups will be nearly full). Bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck into a muffin comes out clean. Remove from muffin pans immediately, and cool on a wire rack.

I sprinkled orange decorating sugar over the tops of this batch before I baked them. You can sprinkle them with any sugar you like, or no sugar at all. They don’t need it, I was just feeling festive.

These muffins will warm you through and through with their pumpkin-pie-spicy spice combination, and the earthiness of the buckwheat flour. They are perfect with coffee for breakfast, or a pick-me-up snack on a chilly afternoon. They are also low in fat and calories, but you won’t know it. Sorry I told you.

The pumpkin recipes just keep coming. Next up, a hearty soup and cornbread combination that will fill your belly and make you smile. See you soon somewhere on down the Road.

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