Craving pumpkin?  Join the club.  Fall always conjures up the taste for this festive orange gourd whether flavor-infused into lattes, baked into pies or quick breads or pureed into soups or smoothies.  The good news is pumpkin does your body good with vitamins A (betacarotene), vitamin C, potassium and fiber.  With the holidays coming, I can almost taste my grandmother’s pumpkin pies  sprinkled with cinnamon and nestled in a homemade crust – her spicy pumpkin confection completed my childhood feasts so beautifully.

Pumpkin is everywhere now.  I applaud you if you do your due diligence and purchase whole pie pumpkins and cut, take the seeds out and scoop out the coveted flesh.  Due to time constraints, I typically use unsweetened canned pumpkin (I like Trader Joe’s organic pumpkin)  – it’s straight up pureed pumpkin with nothing added.  I spice it up with an “autumn combo” of all-spice, cinnamon, nutmeg and ground ginger. For these muffins, I add sweetness with a mango syrup made with fruit only – no sugar added.

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I love to consult other cookbooks for recipe ideas (especially when it comes to the precise art of baking).   For this recipe, I used a small book called Pancakes and Waffles by Kate Habershon.   I found a great waffle recipe, that I adapted to meet my criteria for muffins — natural sugar, whole grain flour and additional spices.  You can make this into a small bundt cake, too (as we did, pictured below).

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 Pumpkin Pie Muffins

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Serves 1 (a muffin each)

Ingredients

1.5 cups white whole wheat flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon all-spice

a pinch of salt

2 eggs

1/4 cup mango syrup, all-fruit, no sugar added

1 15-ounce can pumpkin, unsweetened

1 2/3 cups 2% milk

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

freshly grated zest of 1 orange

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Place paper muffin liners into a muffin pan and set aside. (If you are making a bundt cake, lightly butter and flour the pan beforehand).  Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt into a medium bowl.

Put the eggs, fruit syrup, pumpkin, milk, cooled melted butter and orange zest into a second bowl and beat well.  Gently fold in the flour mixture until just blended.  With a small ladle fill, pour the batter into each muffin compartment until 3/4 of the way full.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Stick with a toothpick or small knife — when comes out clear of wet batter remove them from the oven and let cool on stove top for a few minutes.  Transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.    Enjoy with a dollop of jam, butter or nut butter with a cup of warm tea.

Nutrition Information (per muffin): Calories: 72, Total Fat: 3 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 29 mg,   Sodium: 140 mg, Carbohydrates: 9 g, Fiber: 1 g,  Sugars: 2 g  Protein: 3 g

Enjoy eating simply,

-Vicki

 

 

 

 

 

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