The Rising Spoon: Pumpkin-Apple Harvest Muffins

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Pumpkin-Apple Harvest Muffins

Super Moist Pumpkin-Apple Harvest Muffins. They're basically Fall in a Muffin!
Are you aching to indulge in seasonal treats, but attempting to watch your figure? Look no further! Here, my friends, is a delectable, uber moist and low-fat muffin that's chock-full of flavors. No exaggeration. I dislike bland foods. I'm a pro-seasoning kind of gal. 

So, when I adapted this recipe, which had numerous comments about how the muffins needed more flavor, the first thing I did was increase the pumpkin pie spice and sprinkle in extra cinnamon. Perfection! 

I fondly call these treats "fall in a muffin". Cause that's what they are. Taking one whiff of the muffin's warm, earthy aroma is equivalent to a sudsy bath, a tight embrace, a gossamer knit sweater, comfy slippers, and a lick or two from your favorite kitten or puppy. 




Did I mention they were moistest muffins I've ever eaten? How'd I achieve that? A mixture of pumpkin puree and unsweetened applesauce. No need for oil when you can use these two! Although if you want to get your butter on, I totally understand. 

Aaaaand, if you're vegan, simply replace each egg with 1/4 cup of mashed ripened banana. I almost did this, but decided at the last second to try the egg method, assuming the banana would overpower the pumpkin or apple. 

Who knows, though, the flavors might mesh into a hybrid even-more-super-awesome muffin. Please let me know if you try this! 
Super Moist Pumpkin-Apple Harvest Muffins
Pumpkin-Apple Harvest Muffins
Incredibly moist muffins chocked full of pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon & nutmeg. Pumpkin puree and applesauce lend moisture and lower fat content, while the whole wheat flour, oats, apple chunks and cranberries boost the nutrition value. Easily substitute mashed ripened banana for the eggs to make it vegan friendly. 
Adapted from Food.com's Moist Oatmeal Pumpkin Muffins
Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients
1 cup of 100% pumpkin puree
1/2 cup of organic turbinado or brown sugar
1/2 cup of organic unsweetened applesauce
2 pastured eggs (or 1/2 cup of mashed ripe banana so it's vegan friendly)
2/3 cup white whole wheat flour
1/3 cup stone ground whole wheat flour
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (get my recipe here)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon sea salt 
(I recommend Pink HimalayanCeltic or Utah sourced salt)
1/2 an organic apple, cored and diced
1/4 cup dried sweetened cranberries

Recommended Equipment
12-Cup Silicone Muffin Pan or Silicone Baking Cups

Directions
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 12-count muffin tin with butter or coconut oil. If using muffin liners, insert into tin and grease those instead (you can omit both of these steps if you're using silicone muffin pans or liners). In a mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients (sugar, flour, oats, baking powder, spices, & salt) and stir. Then add the wet ingredients  (pumpkin, applesauce, eggs) and mix everything only until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Gently stir the diced apples and dried cranberries into batter. Fill each muffin tin equally until all the batter is used up. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick or fork stuck into the middle of a muffin comes out clean (with no wet batter).

Vegan Method 
To make these vegan friendly, substitute 1/4 cup of ripe, mashed banana for each egg. I considered doing this but wasn't sure how the banana flavor would affect everything. Let me know if you try this!

Notes & Tips
If you dislike applesauce or have apple allergies, use 1/4 cup of coconut oil and 1/4 cup of water instead.

The apples & cranberries REALLY take it up a notch, but if you're not a fan, try chopped walnuts and dark chocolate instead.

Use whatever flour you have on hand. The ratio I used was my own preference. You can go with all-purpose, whole wheat, etc. Using only whole wheat flour will likely make the muffins more dense, though. Keep that in mind.

Oh, and white whole wheat flour has the same calories, fat, fiber, etc. as whole wheat flour. It's a great, lighter alternative for someone who wants to ease into using whole wheat/grains. :)

The muffins are pretty small and don't rise much (probably because the healthy substitutions I made) so feel free to double the recipe if you want 24 muffins. They go fast! Adding more baking powder might help them rise more, if you're feeling experimental. I have not tried this, though.

Real Food Resources

"This e-book is perfect for busy folks who need help maximizing their time in the kitchen so they can fix nutritious, real food snacks and meals to eat at home and on the go. In addition to realistic advice, this book provides recipes for real food staples you can make in bulk ahead of time, which ensures you always have nutrient dense foods at hand. And it’s especially helpful if you’re interested in implementing homemade fermented foods into your diet."

From Scratch: Easy Recipes for Traditionally Prepared Whole-Food Dishes 

"If you're looking for a cookbook that is as entertaining as it is delicious, then look no further. From Scratch is a breath of fresh air when it comes to learning how to traditionally prepare and cook nutritious food. Shaye does not disappoint in her recipes and this cookbook reads like a letter from a close friend. These meals are easily prepared and yes, easily devoured."  

Question for Discussion: What's your favorite way to achieve moist baked goods?

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About Elaina Newton
Elaina is the creator, writer, and foodie behind the blog, The Rising Spoon. She's a self-taught cook and passionate about spreading basic cooking skills and information about real foods. She loves reading fiction, crafting, video games, dark roast coffee, cats, and rainy days. Connect with her on Pinterest, Facebook, Google +, and Twitter.

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