pumpkin apple muffins


Muffins are a staple in our house. I bake ’em on the weekends and they go into the freezer for quick removal here and there for breakfasts or snacks. The little one will gobble them up and I can sneak healthy things into them without him knowing.

Stumbled upon a neat website last weekend called Weelicious. It offers up good inspiration for those of us trying to feed babies and toddlers. The focus is on fresh, seasonal and organic food. Hundreds of recipes to choose from and good search options. Well worth a peek.

I made these pumpkin apple muffins from the site this weekend and they turned out pretty well. I needed to add slightly more liquid than the recipe called for (it called for 1/2 cup milk and I substituted yogurt and used more like 3/4 cup). It’s a great way to use up some squash puree (doesn’t have to be pumpkin, which mine wasn’t — i believe it was kabocha squash).

I also threw in some sunflower seeds (some chopped nuts would be good, too) for a little added nutrition. Voila.

pumpkin apple muffins

– Dinah Murdoch lives, eats and writes in Kitchener.

pumpkin puree


Rarely do we think to eat pumpkins. Be honest, how many of you are going to put that sugar pumpkin out on your porch for decoration?

There are a thousand wonderful ways to eat that thing. In soup, with pasta (and sage, which you’ve also got in your bag), in the best muffins ever. Or, even better, in a Thanksgiving pie!

Turning your pumpkin into a big bowl of puree (which is what you’d need to make any of the above) is really not hard. Here’s what to do:

1) Preheat oven to 325. Cut the pumpkin in half (easier than it sounds) and scoop out the guts so it’s good and clean.

pumpkin

2) Put your pumpkins cut side down onto a baking sheet and stuff in the oven. Check after about 40 minutes. A knife should slide easily through the flesh when it’s done.

pumpkin

3) Let cool, then scoop out the flesh and discard the skin. Puree in a food processor. It may take awhile to get it really smooth — be patient.

pumpkin
pumpkin
pumpkin

That’s it. Now the fun begins.

A hint, should you be making a pie: One reputable cookbook I consulted suggested that if you use fresh pumpkin over canned, that you should hang it in cheesecloth in the fridge overnight to allow excess water to drain out. You’ll end up with a richer, denser puree. I’m going to try that this weekend. Will let you know how it goes!

– Dinah Murdoch lives, eats and writes in Kitchener.