Thursday, November 16, 2017

Warm Up to Pumpkin Muffins and Tea!

It’s still fall and it’s still the time for pumpkin. Pumpkin pie, ice cream, tea, fudge—and warm muffins paired with a hot cup of tea with honey!

Two decades ago, I used to be the diet and nutrition columnist for a popular national woman’s magazine. I’d often team up with a nutritionist (she was good for doing calorie and fat counting). Every week I’d have to create an article about food. During this time of year, pumpkin was included with all the fancy Thanksgiving trimmings--weight loss stories followed.

One early morning my East Coast editor called me. She was very angry. “Why?”  I asked, still half asleep on West Coast time. “You used 30 different ingredients in last week’s story!” I mumbled, “So? We wanted to make it tasty for Turkey Day.” The editor darted, “A fan sent a letter to us. She said she cannot afford to buy all the food ingredients in your recipes.” She added, “You need to be more practical!” I giggled and said, “Well, the recipes and article were creative and festive.” After all, it was the cover story, as always.

The thing is, if I remember being reprimanded about this faux pas, I get it. She was right. Real people (unless they’re millionaires) do use food items more than once. This editor-inspired recipe is ideal for me, and perhaps you, too.  I used up the last of the self-rising flour (I love it, no baking powder or baking soda needed.) I had an unused can of pumpkin, new pumpkin spice and cinnamon sticks in the pantry.  I always have sugar, Greek yogurt, eggs, butter, and honey. But I did purchase raw pumpkin seeds!

2 cups self-rising flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 white granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon (ground from cinnamon stick)
1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin spice
½ cup European style butter, melted
½ cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup Greek yogurt, honey flavored
2 eggs, brown, organic
¼ cup European style butter, melted
¼ cup honey
Raw pumpkin seeds 
Raw sugar (to taste)
Combine flour, sugars, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice. Add butter, pumpkin, and yogurt. Mix well until smooth. Use an ice cream scoop and place uniform scoops of batter into muffin tins with muffin paper (if you can find orange colored or a Thanksgiving theme, great). Bake at 350 degree for about 20 to 25 minutes until light golden brown.  Cool. Combine butter and honey, mix well. Dip muffin tops into the honey butter. Top with sugar and seeds. Serve and slice. Add cream cheese, or organic blueberry jam, or spread apple butter.  (Forget frosting or glaze.) Makes 12.

        At the end of the week I baked these muffin around noon. A few hours later, due to a bout of cabin fever I went swimming. When I returned home it was a welcoming moment when I opened the front door. The cabin smelled like a bakery, thanks to the homemade budget-friendly pumpkin muffins. These are perfect for breakfast, brunch, or an afternoon snack with cup of tea or coffee. You’re on your own for Thanksgiving dinner. Blessings to you and yours! --Healing Powers series (at all fine bookstores)

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