Well it’s getting to be that time of year. You know, when dinner on the deck means bringing out a jacket and Pumpkin Coffee K-Cups are stocked on grocery store shelves. Can you see where I am headed here?
With any luck the New England weather will bless us with a few more Indian Summer days but last night the temperature was dropping to nearly 55 degrees and I chose to head to my kitchen with some canned pumpkin. Pumpkin Stuffed Shells was on the menu and I will be sure to share them with you soon. Judging by how quickly they were eaten, I am sure they will be made again. But today I still had half a can of pumpkin just begging to be used! After checking my email I knew just what recipe I would whip up. One of my preceptors from the internship had passed along her muffin recipe back in the spring. All summer long I made muffins using whatever fresh berries we had picked. In thanking Mary for this recipe she reminded me that fall meant all new versions were in my future. That is when it hit me! The leftover pumpkin could be used in place of the unsweetened applesauce I had been using for the recipe back in July. I also threw in some dried cherries and dark chocolate chips this time around.
When following any recipe it’s important to gather all ingredients first. I have learned this the hard way…
Besides being delicious, these muffins are a great way to sneak some good ole flax seed into your day. I’m a big fan of flax seed as it provides 3 grams of protein and 4 grams (yes 4!!) of fiber per 2 TBSP. Stay tuned for some more praise for the flax! Can you spot the milled flax seed above?
Next comes my favorite part, the addition of 1 cup of anything your heart desires. I added 1/2 cup of chopped dried cherries and 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips today. Be careful to stir just until moist, leaving some lumps in the batter is okay.
If I haven’t sold you on these muffins yet I will throw in another reason to try them. They can be baked and frozen to serve as a great breakfast on-the-go :) Today I chose to have one with a nice glass of milk, in honor or Mary and her love for dairy.
A note about flax seed: My family uses Hodgson Mill but Bob’s Red Mill can also be found in stores. The Hodgson Mill version I used a bit darker than the golden flax seed that Bob’s Red Mill offers. What’s my point? If baking for kids or picky eaters you may wish to use the golden ground flax seed as it blends in a bit better. Let’s take Thanksgiving 2011 for example. I decided to “bulk up” your average corn muffin from the box recipe and used the traditional darker ground flax seed. I then had to explain away the “dirt” in the muffins.
Here’s to squeezing the last bit out of summer and enjoying the changing of seasons!
Mary’s Muffin Recipe
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups Old Fashioned Oatmeal
1/2 cup sugar
1 TBSP baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1 egg beater (1/4 cup) or 1 egg white
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce or pumpkin
2-3 TBSP canola oil
1 1/4 cup skim milk or butter milk
Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients. Add 1 cup of your favorite fruit or chocolate chips or chopped nuts. Spray muffin pan with nonstick spray (or use muffin tins) and spoon slightly lumpy mixture into pan and bake at 400 F for 18-20 minutes.