I always find myself baking with pumpkin in the fall, when its warmth and aroma seems the most gratifyingly cozy and old-fashioned. And it’s great for more than just pies – nutrient-dense pumpkin, especially the canned variety, is low in calories and an excellent source of beta carotene. If you like to use applesauce to replace some of the fat in a recipe (a technique that works better with muffins, loaves, cakes and other similar baked goods), using pumpkin puree will add far more nutrients than applesauce will.
This is a great basic recipe to which you could add any type of berry or chopped fruit – peaches, plums, apricots, apples, pears… whatever you like in your muffin. Chocolate chips are pretty fantastic, too. They freeze well, so are great to keep a stash of to pop into lunchboxes, or take to go if breakfast needs to be served in the car. We’ve been known to bring these, warm from the oven, on the walk through crisp fall leaves to school. A great way to start the day.
Pumpkin Blueberry Muffins
1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 14 oz (398 mL) can pure pumpkin puree
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 cup fresh or frozen (unthawed) blueberries
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a medium bowl, beat butter and sugar for a minute, until well blended. Add egg, pumpkin and vanilla.
In another bowl stir together the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add about a third to the butter mixture, beating on low or stirring by hand just until combined. Add half the buttermilk in the same manner, then another third of the flour, the remaining buttermilk and remaining flour along with the blueberries.
Divide batter among 12 muffin tins that have been lined with paper liners and bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden and springy to the touch. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Makes 1 dozen muffins.