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Pumpkin Pecan Muffins

Reprinted from Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair (Sasquatch Books, 2008)
Baked sugar pie pumpkin or buttercup squash are delicious in this recipe.  These muffins make excellent snacks or breakfast food.  They are also a nice accompaniment to White Bean and Kale Soup or other savory soups.
2 cups
whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup
unbleached white flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
teaspoon cloves
teaspoon nutmeg
teaspoon cardamom
cup unrefined cane sugar or brown sugar
cup melted butter
cup molasses
cup honey
1 cup mashed, cooked pumpkin
or winter squash
cup milk or water
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
cup pecans, chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Lightly oil muffin tins or line with paper muffin cups.  Mix together flours, baking powder, salt, spices, and unrefined cane sugar in large bowl; set aside.

Put butter in a small sauce pan to melt.  Add molasses and honey to warm butter and stir together. 

Place cooked pumpkin or squash in blender, add butter-sweetener mixture and blend.  Add 1/2 milk or water (or more) to get a smooth, pourable consistency - like pancake batter.  Add eggs and vanilla and pulse to blend.

Add wet ingredients to dry mixture and fold gently, using a minimum of strokes. Fold pecans into batter.  Fill muffin cups full with batter.  Bake 25-30 minutes.
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Makes 12 muffins
FOR BABIES 6 MONTHS & OLDER:  Reserve some of the baked pumpkin or winter squash used in the muffins.  Puree with a little breast milk or water. 


Carol White
Oh good, I get to be the first to say... How cute is Steve cleaning up after you in his nightshirt!?!
October 22, 2009, 12:12 pm

Christin McDowell
Hello Cookus! good combo of the spices! Cynthia, what about substituting buckwheat flour for the unbleached white flour?
October 22, 2009, 8:06 pm

Chris Hamblin
...don't forget the nutmeg, mentioned on the video, but not on the recipe ! Great tastey muffins !
October 23, 2009, 10:12 am

Cynthia Lair
Buckwheat for unbleached white flour ok but it will make a very heavy muffin. You will need more fat and liquid too as buckwheat can absorb more moisture than other grains.
October 23, 2009, 1:57 pm

Katrina D
I substituted some cushaw squash that I had picked up at the farm stand for the pumpkin. delicious! I love the cardamom in this recipe.
October 25, 2009, 3:02 pm

Can you use pumpkin puree instead of cooked pumpkin? I LOVE C.I.!
October 29, 2009, 6:41 am

Cynthia Lair
Yes. Canned pumpkin or squash ok. Love you back!
October 29, 2009, 11:38 am

nutmeg AND clove? 1/2 tsp each?
October 29, 2009, 2:38 pm

Cynthia Lair
see above regarding nutmeg and clove!
October 29, 2009, 2:55 pm

Jennifer Lewis
Wow, this is quite different than the printed recipe in your book. There was no butter, molasses, or white flour in the book. Why did you change it? Thank you!
November 8, 2009, 4:25 pm

Cynthia Lair
Jennifer, There are many changes in the recipes from the '98 version. In the '08 edition I chose to focus on traditional fats and keep refined oils to a minimum. There are a few recipes in both versions of the book where white flour is used (6 out of 200 recipes) to lighten the flour load. I added the molasses for flavor and for iron and calcium content. I am constantly tweaking my recipes. We make many of them in my classes at Bastyr and I am always finding ways to improve them.
November 8, 2009, 5:11 pm

November 10, 2009, 12:12 pm

Keneth Ballenger
Muffins! Now you are talking my language. This will be my first dive into your recipes.
November 25, 2009, 3:06 pm

Dr Dorothy Powell
Cynthia, your approach to cooking as well as your recipes are brilliant. Could you please address the problems with soy products which has been noted in recently published literature.
November 26, 2009, 5:27 am

Carol Craig
I have been looking over your recipe to try. Do I need to use that much sweetener? You have honey, sugar & molasses. Also do you know the calories for your recipe as is? I have to watch those also
May 7, 2010, 2:27 pm

Kristin Minner
I've tried these and loved them... although, at the moment I have an abundance of over-ripened bananas on hand. How would you use them instead of the squash? Just a straight swap of 1 Cup Banana for the squash? Do you think this spice arrangement would work with the bananas? Thanks!
June 14, 2010, 12:44 pm

Cynthia Lair
Yes Kristin you can sub bananas for pumpkin. I would leave out the molasses and just use more honey. The spices are not quite right for banana either. Skip the cloves and cardamom. Let us know how they come out please!
June 14, 2010, 2:13 pm

Ladainian Ladainian
Thanks for sharnig. Always good to find a real expert.
May 4, 2011, 6:59 pm

Gizella S
Received a huge pumpkin this week at our CSA as part of our share, and I am in charge of snacks for our girl scout troop. These pumpkin pecan muffins would be perfect except we have a girl who is allergic to nuts. What would you recommend for replacing the pecans? Would pumpkin seeds work well? Do you have any other suggestions?
September 23, 2012, 9:13 am

Cynthia Lair
Hi Gizella, If the pumpkin is the type that you would make a jack o lantern out of, it will not make very good muffins (not much flavor). The best kind of pumpkin to use are the little sugar pie pumpkins. I would replace the pecans with dried cranberries or raisins.
September 23, 2012, 9:26 am

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