chic or geek

a mildly aspirational blog of my life, times, and taste

My Kitchen Smells Like Fall

UncategorizedAnna KellerComment

Apparently my original intention of posting every day during October to celebrate vegan food was a little ambitious.  I had forgotten that October is a month filled with midterms, costume parties, and occasional sunshine that takes me away from my MacBook. I had picked up a giant can of pureed pumpkin at the store, and my breakfasts have been spent with me plopping a big glob of the mush into my oats.  Pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and raisins all make for the most amazing pumpkin oats, but as delicious as it was, I was getting a little sick of eating the meal everyday.

So when you have more pumpkin that you want but not too much extra, there is really only one thing to do: make pumpkin muffins.

I used this recipe for pumpkin spice bread, but changed it up to match what I was craving and what I had around the kitchen.  While I think that my kitchen is ridiculously well stocked for that of a bunch of college kids, we are occasionally lacking in some areas.  I made do, and I think that these turned out quite well.P1030075

Here's where I deviated from the recipe:

  • Instead of 1 cup sugar, I used 1/4 cup agave nectar and 1/4 cup sugar.
  • I used 1/4 cup applesauce in lieu of oil.  Even if I had wanted to make them with fat, we didn't have any.
  • My 'egg' consisted of 1 T ground flax seeds mixed with 3 T boiled water.
  • I used whole wheat instead of white flour.
  • Instead of cloves I had pumpkin pie spice on hand so I used that.
  • I added a splash of vanilla extract and I think I added too much (but not in a bad way) salt.
  • I added chopped walnuts and a small diced apple.  The apple makes all the difference.

With all of these changes, I am rechristening these Apple-Walnut-Pumpkin-Spice Muffins.

I tried one for the first time this morning, and it was moist, dense, and delicious.  I've been making 'healthy' (whole wheat, vegan, and fat-free) muffins for so long that I think I forget what the more sinful versions taste like, but my roommates happily consumed a few as well so I think they aren't lacking.

For breakfast, I got a little creative with the little guy and turned the ordeal into dessert.  I started off with a base of Trader Joe's vegan vanilla soy creamy ice cream, crumbled my muffin on top, and drizzled organic peanut butter all over the whole thing.  Paired with chai spice tea, I was a very happy girl.


Last night when I was making these, my kind of drunk ex-neighbor wandered over to chat.  We got into a debate over the merits of canned versus fresh pureed pumpkin.  He was only interested in cooking pumpkins and blending up the flesh himself, but I am one who appreciates the convenience of canned goods and this is one area where I take the easy way out.  He did point out the taste difference, which I can appreciate, but as a college student I can't make everything from scratch.  We agreed to disagree and he went off into the night to drink more.

Where do you fall in the homemade vs convenience food debate?  I always prefer to make things myself from whole, natural foods, but sometimes life gets in the way and I can't make muffins with fresh pumpkin.  Would you just not make them?