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.
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?