Thursday, February 11, 2016

Whole-Grain Pumpkin Oatmeal Spice Muffins

This past December, Costco had canned organic pumpkin puree on sale for a steal! So I gave flats of canned pumpkin to my family members as Christmas presents. Because the bakers in my family love baking with pumpkin. And it was cheap. Super cheap.

So now that they (and I) have pumpkin coming out our ears, what are we to do with it?

How about this muffin recipe for starters?

These stay nice and moist because of the canned pumpkin.  And as a very big plus, they are made with whole-grain wheat flour and whole oats, so they're packed with whole grains along with a hefty dose of Vitamin A. It's rare when you can get a moist baked product using whole-wheat flour, but because of the pumpkin, these fit that bill.

Each muffin boasts 24% of your Daily Value for Vitamin A, 3.2 grams of protein, and 2.3 grams of fiber. So eating a couple of these babies as part of your breakfast gets you off to a good start for the day! But let's face it, taste is paramount, so best-of-all: these muffins taste great! And that's what I care about most. And my kids.

In fact, this morning was kind of interesting: my 2-year old Bean refused to eat any food. I was baffled by this. I offered her plenty of her usual favorites (yogurt, fresh pear). I even offered her a chocolate chip cookie: not because I was desperate for her to eat (I knew she would eat eventually), but because I wanted to see how far she was willing to go in her denial of favorite foods. She turned the cookie down. Wow.

But after these muffins came out of the oven, her interest in eating resurrected and after eating a bite she declared, "yummy cupcake!" and then requested yogurt and pears to go along with it. Lucky for me, she forgot about the aforementioned and previously offered chocolate chip cookie. Or maybe I'm not giving her enough credit: perhaps after eating a variety of foods until she was satisfied, she wasn't interested in a cookie. Or maybe I'm just overthinking it...

I kind of combined two of my favorite recipes for this (oatmeal muffins that I make on a fairly regular basis, and pumpkin muffins that are also a favorite). What if you don't like pumpkin? Substitute the pumpkin for applesauce and you'll still have a great whole-grain, delicious and moist muffin.

So without further ado, here is the recipe for the "yummy cupcake" whole grain pumpkin oatmeal spice muffins.

Whole-Grain Pumpkin Oatmeal Spice Muffins

yields 24 muffins

2 cups whole oats
1 cup milk
1 cup canned pumpkin puree

2 eggs
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
3/4 tsp. nutmeg

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners or parchment liners. Meanwhile, thoroughly mix oats, milk, and canned pumpkin together in large bowl. Allow the oats to sit for 15 minutes to absorb some of the liquid.

2. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, and vegetable oil until well mixed, about 1 minute.

3. In a third bowl, sift together the white whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. 

4. After the oats have soaked in the pumpkin/milk mixture, add the egg/sugar/oil mixture and mix until combined. Add the flour mixture to the rest and stir together until the ingredients are incorporated. 

5. Fill each muffin cup 2/3 full. Place in oven for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for five minutes before removing the muffins to a wire rack. Enjoy!

These are going to be a new family favorite for sure!

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