October and April are the two best months in The South. The temperature is in the 70's, the leaves are ablaze with color and they don't fall off the trees in just a few short days like they seem to in The North. Fall color in The South will linger until almost Thanksgiving!
I'm happily working my way though my pantry full of pumpkin and tried this fairly guilt-free, light and flavorful pumpkin muffin recipe from Ellie Kreiger. She's the cooking world's counterbalance to Paula Deen.
I love recipes with a bit of a surprise. This recipe's unexpected element is pumpkin seeds! The pumpkin seeds (or pepitas) are sprinkled on top of the batter before baking and tie in another element of the pumpkin, in addition to giving the muffin a bit of wholesome crunch. Some of the benefits of pumpkin seeds include lowering cholesterol, decreasing arthritis inflammation and improving prostate health.
But you don't need pumpkin apologetics to justify eating these muffins.
They're just plain good!
Adapted from Ellie Kreiger, Food Network
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamom (or ginger)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoon agave nectar (or honey or molasses)
1/4 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup lowfat buttermilk
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.
In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, agave nectar, oil, eggs, buttermilk, pumpkin and vanilla. Whisk in the flour mixture 1/2 at a time. Whisk until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared muffin and sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Let cook on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
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