Sunday, February 20, 2011

Pumpkin Carrot Muffins

All the ingredients I needed for a recipe I had been milling over were in my kitchen, except one...a can of pumpkin (apparently equatable to gold around here right now). I went to five different grocery stores asking if they had canned pumpkin and the last employee I spoke with finally offered an explanation as to why I kept coming up empty handed: NOBODY around here had pumpkin, the crop froze this year and there seemed to be a shortage. I scrapped the pumpkin and started to search for a substitute. I found a frozen package of pureed winter squash and decided to go with it. It really worked beautifully and this wonderful muffin was born.

I searched through about 150 online recipes to be sure to get the baking chemistry correct…and then I pretty much made up my own recipe (I can’t help myself). I am really excited to share this because I think it is out of this world amazing. It is my new favorite dessert/breakfast/snack muffin. I drizzled mine with a little honey after warming it up in the microwave and Brad spread cream cheese frosting on his, both options are fantastic.

3/4 cup canned pumpkin or pureed winter squash
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated Splenda
2 eggs
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 cups grated carrots (about 5 medium carrots)
1 tbsp olive oil

1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp (or more) each ginger, nutmeg, and allspice
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp wheat germ

1/2 cup unsalted walnut pieces
3 tsp Splenda brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350F
Prepare muffin tins with liners and spray with Pam

Combine the wet ingredients in a bowl

Whisk or sift together the dry ingredients in a separate larger bowl
(Smell the mixture and decide if you want to add more spices to yours. I added a few more dashes of ginger and nutmeg)

Use a spatula to combine the wet ingredients with the dry in the large bowl
Stir just until everything is incorporated and wet

Let the batter rest for 5-7 minutes

Mix the walnuts with the brown sugar for the topping and set aside for now

Put a heaping 1/4 cup of the batter into each muffin cup and top with walnuts and brown sugar

Bake for 25-30 minutes, mine were done at 25 minutes so check them around then

Servings 12
Per serving (1 muffin) 150 calories

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