Pumpkin and Autumn

It’s autumn — the beginning of the holiday season here in the US as we count-down to our Thanksgiving Day, and the day after–Black Friday…

Some just-out-of-the-oven pumpkin muffins served with a mug of spiced apple cider will warm things up nicely, using seasonal foods. I tweaked a recipe printed on an ad insert for something health-related that I received in the mail. The original recipe included whole grains and seeds, but my husband, for whom I make these, won’t eat that sort of thing.  The oats, which were my addition in place of the whole grains and seeds, aren’t so obvious after the muffins are baked.

I don’t know where the original recipe on that little slip of paper has got to.

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Pumpkin Muffins

1/4 cup oatmeal (quick or old-fashioned, not instant)

1/4 cup milk (whole or 2%)

2 cups flour (whole wheat or all-purpose)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar

1 (15-ounce) can solid pumpkin (not pie filling)

1/4 cup honey

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 cup plain or vanilla yogurt

3 tablespoons canola oil

Up to 1 cup dried fruit, nuts, etc., if desired, chopped

1. Soften oatmeal with milk in large bowl for half an hour. Preheat oven to 375°F (191°C). Grease 12-18 muffin cups; if using paper cups, grease as well.

2. Sift or whisk together in medium bowl flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, salt, and brown sugar. When oatmeal is softened, add honey, eggs, yogurt, and oil. Mix well.  Stir in flour just until incorporated.  Gently fold in fruit and nuts.

3. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out with a few crumbs. Tip out of pans onto wire racks; eat warm or at room temperature.

–Muffins will keep, tightly wrapped, at room temperature for up to 3 days. I usually keep out four or so and freeze the rest by putting them on a baking sheet; freeze for an hour, then wrap in plastic wrap and store in freezer bags, or plastic-wrap lined storage container with air-tight lid.