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Easy Pumpkin Muffins – sugar and fat free (recipe!)

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

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With my new silicone baking trays having just arrived – in the same box with a copy of LeAnne Campbell’s The China Study Cookbook – and three cans of pumpkin perched expectantly on the pantry shelf – well, you put it together!

I don’t often bake muffins for breakfast, but this seemed just too good an opportunity to break my long muffinless streak. Of course, I couldn’t help tweaking the recipe a little bit.  Though I don’t have a religious fervor about no added sugars – and LeAnne’s recipe does use sucanat, my preferred sweet granular substance for cooking when called for – I find that these days I can bake just about anything without refined sugar by getting creative about whole food replacements.  I did the same with this recipe, and I’ll show you exactly what I did.

I’ve since baked this recipe three times now – heck, in December we celebrate Greg’s birthday, our wedding anniversary, Christmas, and then of course there’s New Years!  The first time through, I followed the recipe closely, except that I simply cut the sucanat in half.  The finished product was plenty sweet.  Time to be bolder!

For round two, I completely replaced the sucanat with date paste that I  whipped up in a small food processor in just seconds. I’ll share that recipe with you so you can choose your own version.

Then I made a batch with chocolate – I’ll save that one for The Book!

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The Silicone Muffin Pans

I baked these muffin batches in silicone trays. I’ve been meaning to buy some silicone trays and loaf pans and am glad I didn’t wait any longer.  To get the muffins out of the trays, all I needed to do was bend the tray back, inviting the muffins out with a push from the bottom.  Occasionally the muffin wanted to cling a bit, so I took a small plastic spatula (you don’t want to risk cutting the silicone with a metal knife) and it would free the muffin.  These trays clean up easily, and are dishwasher safe. Before I show you how I changed the recipe, here is the original version:

Easy Pumpkin Muffins

This is the original recipe and instructions as from The China Study Cookbook by LeAnn Campbell, courtesy of BenBella Books (my new publisher!  :-) !

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 25–30 minutes
Makes 1 dozen muffins

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup Sucanat
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt 8 ounces solid-pack pure pumpkin
½ cup water
1/3 cup applesauce
½ cup chopped pecans (optional)

1 | Preheat oven to 350˚F.
2 | Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners (or use a nonstick pan).
3 | Mix together the flour, Sucanat, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a large bowl. Add pumpkin, water, applesauce, and pecans and stir until just mixed.
4 | Fill the prepared muffin cups to the top and bake 25–30 minutes, until the tops bounce back when lightly pressed.

Remove from the oven and let stand 1–2 minutes; then remove the muffins from the pan. Cool for 30 minutes before eating and then store in an airtight container.

My Recipe Tweaks

chinastudycookbook Here are the tweaks I made to the recipe, eliminating all added sugar by using my favorite sweetening agent – dates – instead.  Here’s how.

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup Sucanat *
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt 8 ounces solid-pack pure pumpkin
½ cup water
1/3 cup applesauce
½ cup chopped pecans (optional)

*In place of the sucanat:

5 pitted medjool dates, covered generously with water and soaked overnight.  Blend to rich paste in small food processor or blender with 1/2 cup of water from the soaked dates.  This replaces the 1/2 cup of water in the recipe.

Mix and bake just as in the original recipe.  These are so sweet, moist and delicious, they don’t even beg for even a hint of jam or nut butter – though I dab of my Sweet Bean Cream is a perfect match, like whipped cream on pumpkin pie.

There you have it! Should you become inspired to bake,  let me know how your batch comes out!

 

Easy Pumpkin Muffinschinastudycb

 

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Responses

  • Hi Lani, the muffins look delicious. Of course, now my curiosity about The China Study book has been piqued. Why? Because I don’t think of pumpkin muffins when I think of China, :)

    Congrats on the upcoming new book! And Happy Birthday to Greg, and Happy Anni to you both. We have the same festive month with birthdays times two, and our wedding anniversary as well!

    Be well!

  • Dale Cook says:

    We read The China Study and have been vegan for over 6 years. I will try making these muffins tomorrow.

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