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Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Recipe: Pumpkin muffins - sweet or savory, what's your flavor?

The bub I'm currently incubating, makes me eat fruits and vegies, like there is no tomorrow... I wonder if she'll still be interested in such things once she's out and her very naughty diabetic Nonno (grandpa) introduces her to cakes, sweets and chocolate? Hmmm...

Savory dressed in blue, Sweet dressed in pink
Last night I 'needed' minestrone soup, a classic staple during the cold wintery months in our house and a great way to use up older vegies in the fridge. I didn't feel like adding pasta, but how would vegetable soup keep my tradesman husband full?

The answer - savory pumpkin muffins!

Then I remembered my own mother used to make delicious sweet pumpkin damper - but of course she no longer has the recipe. So I searched the interwebs, made some modifications and whipped up my own pumpkin muffins.  Enjoy!

Base ingredients
- 2 1/2 c self-raising flour (you could use wholemeal)
- 1 c cooled mashed pumpkin*
- 60g butter, room temperature
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 c milk

Savory muffins
- 1 c grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg

Sweet muffins
- 1/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 c chopped walnuts (save a few to press into the top before baking)

- Preheat oven to 220 Celsius and grease a 12 hole muffin tin or line with paper liners.
- In a bowl, beat the butter with a spoon to soften, then add your savory OR sweet ingredients and mix.
- Next mix in pumpkin, egg and milk.
- Slowly add the flour and mix well, it should resemble a fairly soft dough.
- Fill each muffin hole, almost to the top - you should easily get 12 full muffins from this recipe.
- For savory muffins, sprinkle a little extra cheese before baking.
- For sweet muffins, press a few walnut pieces into the top of each muffin and sprinkle with a little cinnamon and sugar before baking.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until a little golden. The muffins should spring back if you touch them with your finger - be careful, they will be very hot!
- Let cool on a wire rack and serve. (I enjoy them best whilst warm but they are still fabulous the next day in a lunchbox)

- 250gr of whole pumpkin should be more then enough for this recipe. Just peel, chop and boil until tender. Then mash or use a stick blender, you don't want any chunks. Why not freeze any leftovers for another batch or use as baby food?
- I recommend using Jap or Kent pumpkin for this recipe as Butternut naturally has a higher water content and you'll need to add a lot more flour to the mix.
- Other sweet options could include: different nuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, apple pieces or sultanas.
- Other savory options could include: feta or Parmesan cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, bacon pieces or chopped spinach.

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