Friday, January 23, 2009

"Just the flax, Ma'am!" Recipe: Pumpkin Flax Muffins

I always find it interesting to review the stats for my web site, watching which pages people view the most often. Currently the top 3 recipes people are viewing are Black Olive Tapenade, Tabouli (a favorite year round per my website stats), and Healthy Pumpkin Muffins.

Tabouli and black olive tapenade have been long-time favorite recipes on my web site. However, the appearance of the the Healthy Pumpkin Muffin recipe within the top three favorites is new and made me look to see if I had ingredients handy to make them myself. Yes, I did, including a 15-ounce can of plain pumpkin. So I modified the recipe slightly to use the entire can instead of just 1 cup of pumpkin like the recipe on my web site calls for. In addition, I cut down the sugar by half so the muffins are more savory than dessert-like, which I like even better.

These delicious muffins are chock-full of ingredients that contribute to good overall health, like the insoluble fiber from the whole wheat flour, soluble fiber from the flaxseeds, plant-based omega-3 fatty acids (alpha linolenic acid - ALA) from the flaxseeds, walnuts, and the eggs I use, soy protein from the soy flour, beta-carotene and multiple other cancer-fighting carotenoids (like alpha-carotene for starters) from the pumpkin, anti-inflammatory molecules called anthocyanins from the dried cherries I used, and the list goes on and on and on.

Recipe: Pumpkin-Flaxseed Muffins

• 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1/4 soy flour
• 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
• 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
• 1/4 tsp. baking powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon nutmeg
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
• 2 eggs
• 1 can (15 ounce) pumpkin (not pie filling)
• 1/2 cup plain unflavored yogurt (my husband makes our unflavored yogurt)
• 1/2 cup dried fruit of your choice (I used Michigan tart cherries, which were so large that I cut them into quarters)
• 1 cup chopped walnuts

• Mix all dry ingredients in large bowl, including the dried fruit and walnuts. I use a large wire whisk to make sure everything is well distributed.
• Put eggs, pumpkin, and yogurt in a small bowl. Mix well with a wire whisk.
• Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, stirring with wooden spoon just enough to mix. Do not overbeat.
• Spray muffin tins or paper baking cups with non-stick spray. (Special Note: Because this recipe has no added fat, the muffin will be difficult to remove from the paper muffin cup after baking unless they are sprayed first before putting the muffin batter in them.)

This recipe made enough batter to fill 12 regular size muffins and 12 mini-muffins.
Bake at 350 degree until done (test by inserting a toothpick into the center of a muffin; it should come out clean), which may be 8-12 minutes for the mini-muffins and 15-20 minutes for the regular size muffins.

They are mouth-wateringly delicious when served warm! I have served them will meals such as my potato-kale soup and also just with a cup of tea. I find it hard to eat just one, which is an advantage of making some mini-muffins. Two of those little muffins are approximately the same (size-wise and calorie-wise) as the regular size muffin.

If you look very carefully in the photo that shows the large and small muffins, you'll see 12 of the large ones and only 11 of the mini-muffins. My husband just had to taste one to make sure the recipe modification was worthy of posting on my blog. "Two thumbs up - post it!", says the official taster.

Savor and enjoy your food and your health!
Diana Dyer, MS, RD


Dianne in Austin said...

Thanks for this recipe! You're right, I Googled "healthy pumpkin bread" and found your site. The muffins are a big hit with my three year-old! And I love that they only take 15 min. to bake, instead of almost an hour for pumpkin bread. We used fresh roasted pumpkin halves from a small garden pumpkin. I also added an overflowing tablespoon or so of honey. Brilliant, thanks again!

Diana Dyer said...

HI Dianne
Thanks for coming to my blog! I love this recipe, too, and will be making it soon for our family and to share with two families who need help with meals. I have made some kale soup from my kale blog, which I will take with the muffins. I hope you stop by again!