Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins

Well, it’s mid-October and pumpkin season is in full-swing. Good thing, too, because I haven’t forgotten my previous commitment to go “pumpkin craaaaaazy“!! But we’ll get to that in a minute.

Around here, pumpkin patches are appearing on street corners faster than you can say “Why am I paying so much for pumpkins?” I do enjoy our annual visit to the pumpkin patch, though. This year, our family (plus my dad and step-mom in town from Illinois) headed out to the far East Valley to check out the festivities at Vertuccio Farms. For $8 admission, you can’t do better than this place. Their fall festival boasts games, a bounce house, pedal race cars, farm animals for petting, a barrel train ride,

This is what I mean by “barrel train.” It’s made out of barrels.

and a 2-mile corn maze complete with a mystery modeled after the game Clue (in this case, it was which animal kidnapped Farmer Joe–I think it ended up being the chickens with the rat poison in the outhouse…or something similarly macabre. The instructions stated that “fowl play” was involved). The kids had a blast and we were all pretty wiped out by the end of the afternoon, so we finished our visit the way any sensible person would on a Phoenix-area fall day: with sno-cones.

Elliot had cherry. Gabe had cotton candy flavor.

At any rate, here’s another recipe involving everyone’s favorite orange vegetable. I wish I could say I made these muffins with pumpkin puree from a pumpkin patch pumpkin (try saying that three times fast), but no, they were created with the humble canned variety. But you know, they still turned out great! Very moist and pumpkin-y with the hardy texture of oats, these were super satisfying for a fall morning when you’ve been bitten by the pumpkin bug.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins
(Adapted from Peanut Butter Fingers)

Ingredients:

3/4 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (mix cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves)
1 c. old-fashioned oats
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. white sugar
1 egg
1 c. pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin
3/4 c. milk
1/3 c. canola oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 12-cup muffin tin or line with paper liners.

In a large bowl, thoroughly mix whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, oats, brown sugar, and white sugar.

In a separate bowl, mix egg, pumpkin, milk, and oil. Pour pumpkin mixture into flour mixture and mix well to incorporate.

Fill muffin cups and bake for 18-20 minutes or until muffin tops spring back when touched.

Makes 12 muffins.

Cinnamon Pear Muffins

If you’re thinking about staging a Muffin Intervention for me right about now due to the inordinate number of muffin posts on this blog, well…….

…..you might be on to something.

We pretty much perpetually have a batch of muffins on hand around here. Muffins rock my breakfast world. I believe “muffintastic” should be a complimentary adjective, as in “Muffintastic pants, bro!” And frankly, I’m especially proud of these particular muffins because I came up with the recipe myself and they were quite tasty. (I’m only just learning to be adventurous in the recipe creation department.)

The other thing I like about this recipe is that it gives the often-overlooked pear the limelight (or the pearlight? too many fruits in this sentence) with the more frequently chosen apple. In the world of baked goods, the pear is like the slightly-less-pretty-but-makes-up-for-it-with-spunk younger sister to the attractive, popular apple, a la Little Women or A League of Their Own. Apple strudel, apple bread, apple pie–yes, they’re all delicious, but the pear deserves a chance, people! It’s easily as sweet as an apple, and sometimes juicier. When baked, I find its graininess softens to the perfect texture. So do yourself a favor and use it in a muffin….like this one.

Cinnamon Pear Muffins

Ingredients:

1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. maple or agave syrup
1 egg
1/3 c. oil
1/2 c. applesauce
1/3 c. almond milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 large pear, peeled, cored, and finely chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin.

In a small bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix brown sugar, maple syrup, egg, oil, applesauce, almond milk, and vanilla. Slowly mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just combined. Fold in pears.

Bake for 18-20 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

Mango Coconut Muffins


I’m probably the last food blogger on earth to discover the world-famous site Smitten Kitchen.  So I’ve spent pretty much every waking second of free time in the last 48 hours gawking through the hundreds (if not thousands) of posts the First Lady of Food Blogging Deb Perelman has created since 2006. There’s plenty to gawk over: this woman does incredible recipe development, gorgeous photos, and has a great sense of humor–and all this in a 42 square foot galley kitchen in New York City. Are you reading between the lines here?

I’m jealous.

Well, not jealous about the 42 square foot galley kitchen. Just all the other stuff. This is Deb Perelman’s full-time job. She spends her days doing what sounds like creative dynamite to me: innovation through cooking. She even has a published cookbook (with dozens of 5-star reviews on Amazon).

Still, Deb Perelman seems like a totally down-to-earth, accessible person I’d love to be friends with. I’m sure she is. And when I grow out of the maturity level of an 8th-grade-girl I’m sure I will feel far more delight than jealousy while perusing her wonderful blog. For now, I know I can learn SO much from her experience, her cooking methods, her process of recipe creation, and of course the recipes themselves.

Speaking of which, I’m waxing awfully heavy here for a post about such light, delicious muffins. These mango coconut cuties (adapted from–where else?–Smitten Kitchen) really came together beautifully, a very nice change from my usual choices of fruit in muffins. And despite the fact that, upon seeing them, my 2-year-old exclaimed, “The muffins are hairy!” they do not contain any actual hair. Just “polka-nut,” as she later revised her description.

And Deb Perelman, if you ever read this, thank you for blazing the trail for food bloggers all around the world, and for just generally being awesome. Can we be friends?

See? No hair. Just some lightly toasted polka-nut.

Mango Coconut Muffins
(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

Ingredients:

3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 c. Greek yogurt
1/2 c. white sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. unsweetened shredded coconut, divided
1 c. mango, peeled and finely chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease muffin cups or line with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, combine flours, baking powder, and salt. Add 1/2 c. shredded coconut. In a separate bowl, mix oil, yogurt, sugar, egg, and vanilla. Stir wet ingredients into dry until just combined. Fold in chopped mango. Divide between 12 muffin cups and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 c. coconut on top.

Bake about 20 minutes.

Banana-Chocolate Olive Oil Muffins



A couple of weeks ago my husband bought a really nice new camera–a mirrorless DSLR, the Sony Nex-5–and I frankly know very little about it (not a great sign for a food blogger, right?) but I am eager to learn. The funny thing is that I’ve been experimenting using it to take pictures not of our three beautiful children, but of food, like these delicious muffins (possibly a good sign for a food blogger?) The truth is, muffins don’t squirm and don’t cry, they don’t have to all smile at the same time, and I can easily move them around to where I want them.

My kids, not so much.

These banana-chocolate olive oil muffins are great for plenty of other reasons besides being photogenic, though. With their use of olive oil, all whole wheat flour, and no refined sugar, they are a healthier alternative to a heckuva lot of other muffins recipes out there (I’m looking at you, streusel topping). And in my opinion, they’re some of the best muffins I’ve ever made–really moist, not too overpoweringly banana-y, with a little kick of chocolate inside.

These never seem to last long in our house, though, because they are such a hit with my (also photogenic, if not easily movable) kids. Here’s one of them:

Banana-Chocolate Olive Oil Muffins
(Adapted from Healthy and Fit)

Ingredients:

1 3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. olive oil
1/2 c. honey
2 eggs
2 mashed bananas
1/4 c. hot water
1 c. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 12-cup muffin tin.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix olive oil and honey. Add eggs and mix, then bananas. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet, alternating with the hot water. Fold in chocolate chips.

Bake 17-20 minutes. Yields 12 muffins.

Cinnamon Apple Muffins

Muffins are the little black dress of baked goods. They are endlessly versatile–accessorize them with add a little of this, a little of that, dress them up, dress them down, and you (almost) always end up with a hand-held paragon of yumminess that everyone wants for breakfast. I am always in search of new muffin ideas. With three little kids that can’t make their own breakfasts each morning, muffins are my go-to for tossing on a plastic Ikea kids’ plate with a little butter and calling it good.

These little beauties I found on this super cute blog that not only has plenty of recipes, but also some cool sewing tutorials. They turned out delish! Nothing fancy, but nice and easy and a great way to use up the extra apple that always seems to be rolling around forlornly in my fruit crisper. Give them a try!

Cinnamon Apple Muffins
(Adapted from Little Miss Kimberly Ann)

Ingredients:
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. oil
1/2 c. milk
1 egg
1 medium apple, peeled and chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 8 cups of a muffin tin. Combine the first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl and mix until combined. Add the oil, milk and egg to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in the apples. Spoon batter into the 8 muffin cups. Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until tops are golden brown.