Apples and Pumpkins

Ahhhh, Fall.20141005_114630

I love summer but when the crisp air of fall hits me, I just want to go apple picking and roast winter squash. And wear sweaters. And scarves. I love scarves.

20141005_132046So I roasted a pumpkin and pureed it. It is pumpkin spice season after all. I had to jump on board. There would be something wrong with this food blog if I didn’t post something “pumpkin-y”, right? I put half in the freezer to make a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving next weekend and I was left with 2 cups of delicious fresh pureed pumpkin. What else could I do than make pumpkin muffins and pumpkin bread? This recipe makes a LOT so if you only have one cup of pumpkin puree, go ahead and halve the recipe. It’ll work just fine. This one makes 48 mini muffins or 24 mini muffins and a loaf of bread.

Mini pumpkin muffins/pumpkin bread

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pureed pumpkin20141005_163930
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 350.20141005_161851

Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. If you really like cinnamon, add more! Up to you. You could definitely go a little heavier here, but I liked the subtlety of this recipe. The house still smells AMAZING.

Mix together pumpkin, maple syrup, applesauce, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Add the dry to the wet. Mix it up! Put into greased little muffin tins or greased loaf pans or one of each.

You don’t have to do this, but when I made the bread, I added half the batter, threw in some chopped pecans and sunflower seeds (and maybe some chocolate chips….maybe), added the rest on top and sprinkled it with pepitas. It looks pretty and is good for you….so win-win.

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Bake the mini muffins for 12-15 minutes, the loaf for 25-30. They can go in at the same time. Don’t hurt your brain trying to figure out the timing differences, just keep an eye on it. When it starts to brown and no longer jiggles, you’re good.

Let cool on a wire rack until having a taste won’t burn the roof of your mouth.

These muffins are good for your eyes (vitamin A), full of fibre, beta-carotene, and carotenoids AND did you know pumpkin SEEDS (pepitas) contain tryptophan? Yup. Good moods all around!

Now…I did mention apples in here too. I had a bunch leftover from a friend’s tree. They were small and tart-delicious! But way too many to just eat on my own. So naturally, I made apple butter.

Apple Butter Bonus Recipe!

Ingredients:

  • A bag of apples…I don’t know how many. 2/3 of a big pot. Chopped up, peels on
  • 1/4 cup apple juice/cider
  • 2 tbsp. coconut sugar
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Clean apples. Core apples. Chop apples. Throw in pot. DO NOT PEEL. Why would you get rid of all that good fibre? Add cider or juice. Whatever you have handy. Cook low on the stove for about 30 minutes. Let everything get good and soft.20141004_091822

Move to a blender. Do that (as in…blend). Blend until it is silky and smooth. Throw Carefully pour back in the pot. Bring back up to medium heat. Add coconut sugar (to taste, really), lemon juice and cinnamon. Stir. Cook on low for probably another hour. Watch it. Stir it. When it starts to get thick and looks like caramel, take it off. TADA! Easy and oh so delicious.

I probably don’t need to tell you the health benefits of apples…you know, one a day…blah blah blah. But let’s just say if you smothered this apple butter on a pumpkin muffin, your immune system would thank you. With cold season upon us, this snack ROCKS.

There you have it! Fall recipes that will make your house smell fantastic. Your family won’t mind the end result either. My entire family ate a disgusting amount of the muffins and I have the apple butter all to myself…so far.20141005_083441