One way you can tell October has arrived is the abundance of spice lattes, savory soups, and comforting baked goods with plenty of pumpkin in the mix. The canned pumpkin in my pantry has been calling to me for weeks, but I waited for the weather to cool just a smidgen before firing up the oven … can you hear the timer about to sound?
Oh yes, we are joining the pumpkin party we call October and the pumpkin pie spice reminds us Thanksgiving is just around the corner. More than a day marked on a calendar, each season needs a proper introduction, a special recipe to announce the changing scene with the first bite. Pumpkin brings a moist crumb to quick breads that lingers for days after baking and the warming spices of cinnamon, clove, ginger, and nutmeg fill our kitchens with a pleasant aroma candles just can’t match. Still warm enough from the oven to melt a pad of sweet cream butter, Pumpkin Pie Spice Muffins with crisp streusel topping hold the flavors of fall in a single muffin cup.
Ah, fall has been properly welcomed.
As important as it is to my psyche to enjoy comfort foods that speak to seasons, holidays, and my growing up years, it is also important to make them as healthy as possible. Refined white flour, sugar, and oil are three things we improve on in this recipe to create a muffin we can enjoy with peace of mind. (Remember, even muffins and breads made with healthier ingredients should still be only an occasional treat.)
If you have followed Savoring Today for any length of time, you already know we committed to using sprouted wheat flour a couple of years ago. Delighted with the bread, bagels, and pizza crust we have made it was time to see how *sprouted wheat flour would perform in quick breads like muffins. Sometimes whole wheat flour can leave the crumb too dry causing muffins and breads to crumble, but that was not the case here and I credit the pumpkin and buttermilk for that. Though these muffins are a little more dense than those made with regular white flour, the texture is moist and tender.
*Coconut oil has become a primary cooking oil in my kitchen and is especially good for baking. *Coconut palm sugar has become my favorite substitute for refined white or brown sugar. Its flavor is closer to brown sugar and works well in most recipes except it is a little heavy for cakes, otherwise it is a 1:1 substitute. *I have purchased these products on-line at the links indicated in green, as well as at local health food stores like Whole Foods and Natural Grocers in our area.
Oh, and the streusel topping includes pumpkin seeds, which come out toasted and crisp. If you want to reduce the sweetness, just use plain pumpkin seeds to top the muffins instead of the streusel. We enjoyed them both ways.
Do you hop on the baking bandwagon when autumn chill is in the air?
- 1 tablespoon sprouted whole wheat flour
- ¼ cup oats
- 1½ tablespoons coconut palm sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons butter -- softened
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
- 15 ounces canned pumpkin
- ⅓ cup coconut oil
- ¾ cup coconut palm sugar
- ⅓ cup buttermilk
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 2 whole eggs
- 2 cups sprouted whole wheat flour
- ½ cup walnuts (optional) -- chopped
- 4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 400°. Use muffin cups to line muffin tins or use cooking spray to lightly grease the pans.
- Prepare streusel topping by combining all the dry ingredients together in a small bowl. Then work the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers until evenly mixed and a crumbly consistency in reached. Toss pumpkin seeds into streusel mixture.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin, oil, sugar, buttermilk, almond extract, and eggs until well blended. In another bowl, combine flour, walnuts, and the remaining dry ingredients and mix until well blended. Stir dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until well incorporated.
- Fill muffin tins ¾ full; sprinkle streusel topping over each one. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until toothpick, inserted in the center, comes out clean.
- Cool on wire racks in the pans for 5 minutes. Removed from pans and continue to cool on racks until cooled completely. Store loosely covered.