chinastudypumpkinmuffsedit

With my new silicone baking trays having just arrived – in the same box with a copy of LeAnne Campbell’s The China Study Cookbook – and three cans of pumpkin perched expectantly on the pantry shelf – well, you put it together!

I don’t often bake muffins for breakfast, but this seemed just too good an opportunity to break my long muffinless streak. Of course, I couldn’t help tweaking the recipe a little bit.  Though I don’t have a religious fervor about no added sugars – and LeAnne’s recipe does use sucanat, my preferred sweet granular substance for cooking when called for – I find that these days I can bake just about anything without refined sugar by getting creative about whole food replacements.  I did the same with this recipe, and I’ll show you exactly what I did.

I’ve since baked this recipe three times now – heck, in December we celebrate Greg’s birthday, our wedding anniversary, Christmas, and then of course there’s New Years!  The first time through, I followed the recipe closely, except that I simply cut the sucanat in half.  The finished product was plenty sweet.  Time to be bolder!

For round two, I completely replaced the sucanat with date paste that I  whipped up in a small food processor in just seconds. I’ll share that recipe with you so you can choose your own version.

Then I made a batch with chocolate – I’ll save that one for The Book!

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The Silicone Muffin Pans

I baked these muffin batches in silicone trays. I’ve been meaning to buy some silicone trays and loaf pans and am glad I didn’t wait any longer.  To get the muffins out of the trays, all I needed to do was bend the tray back, inviting the muffins out with a push from the bottom.  Occasionally the muffin wanted to cling a bit, so I took a small plastic spatula (you don’t want to risk cutting the silicone with a metal knife) and it would free the muffin.  These trays clean up easily, and are dishwasher safe. Before I show you how I changed the recipe, here is the original version:

Easy Pumpkin Muffins

This is the original recipe and instructions as from The China Study Cookbook by LeAnn Campbell, courtesy of BenBella Books (my new publisher!  :-) !

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 25–30 minutes
Makes 1 dozen muffins

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup Sucanat
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt 8 ounces solid-pack pure pumpkin
½ cup water
1/3 cup applesauce
½ cup chopped pecans (optional)

1 | Preheat oven to 350˚F.
2 | Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners (or use a nonstick pan).
3 | Mix together the flour, Sucanat, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a large bowl. Add pumpkin, water, applesauce, and pecans and stir until just mixed.
4 | Fill the prepared muffin cups to the top and bake 25–30 minutes, until the tops bounce back when lightly pressed.

Remove from the oven and let stand 1–2 minutes; then remove the muffins from the pan. Cool for 30 minutes before eating and then store in an airtight container.

My Recipe Tweaks

chinastudycookbook Here are the tweaks I made to the recipe, eliminating all added sugar by using my favorite sweetening agent – dates – instead.  Here’s how.

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup Sucanat * date cream 
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt 8 ounces solid-pack pure pumpkin
½ cup water
1/3 cup applesauce
½ cup chopped pecans (optional)

*Use date cream in place of the sucanat, easy to make:

5 pitted medjool dates, covered generously with 1/2 water and soaked overnight.  Blend together the dates and soaking water to a rich paste in  food processor or blender.  This replaces the 1/2 cup of water in the recipe.

Mix and bake just as in the original recipe.  These are so sweet, moist and delicious, they don’t even beg for even a hint of jam or nut butter – though I dab of my Sweet Bean Cream is a perfect match, like whipped cream on pumpkin pie.

There you have it! Should you become inspired to bake,  let me know how your batch comes out!

Yield: 10 muffins

 

Easy Pumpkin Muffinschinastudycb

 

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