Fall is my absolute favorite season. Sweater weather, pumpkin treats, Halloween–it doesn’t get any better. I anxiously await the end of summer every year; Chicago summers are extremely humid and I live for that first 70-degree day where the A/C goes off and the house opens up. We’re starting to get some of those gorgeous 70-degree days where the overnight low settles around 55-60.
I’ve had a couple of cans of pumpkin in my pantry that I’ve been waiting to use. I didn’t want to jump the gun until we were well into September and on our way to those crisp autumn days–so I made a batch of pumpkin bread last weekend, and today, my favorite pumpkin muffin recipe.
Pumpkin packs a huge nutritional punch–this squash is a source of vitamin A, beta-carotene, fiber, and even contains more potassium per cup than bananas. I prefer sweet pumpkin treats to savory, but it is great in soups and ravioli, too. Nothing signifies the start of the season to me more than the smell of a pumpkiny treat baking in the oven on a weekend morning.
To make the vegan version of this fall treat, you don’t need to rush to a specialty grocery store. Most of the ingredients will probably already be in your pantry. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup non-dairy milk–I used vanilla soy milk, but there are so many milks on the market now to choose from, some of which will add a little bit of extra flavor to the recipe. Hemp milk, for example, will add a nutty flavor to your muffins. I love coconut milk and soy milk for baking, but I have had plenty of success with almond and cashew, too. We switch off which milks we buy, so I will use whatever we have on hand. We try to choose milks that are absent of carrageenan, which is an emulsifying ingredient that, although comes from natural sources, has been shown to be particularly destructive to the digestive system in some people.
The recipe yielded 12 muffins for me, each one is a little under 250 calories. One muffin paired with coffee makes for a nice autumnal breakfast without too much indulgence. I’ll be pawning the rest of these off on my husband and coworkers.
by Isa Chandra
Makes 1 dozen muffins
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup pureed pumpkin (Fresh or from a can; do not use pumpkin pie mix)
1/2 cup soy milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons molasses
Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a twelve-muffin tin.
Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, soy milk, oil, and molasses. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix.
Fill the muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean.