Sunday, 23 June 2013

Pumpkin Muffins

I have been a little AWOL from the blogosphere with 2 sick kids. The littlest rascal in particular really had it tough - we ended up at Starship last night where she was diagnosed with the uncommon but not impossible combination of croup and pneumonia. Poor little girl! Both she and her sister have really nasty coughs which keep waking them up, and the past 3 nights we have had either one or both of the girls in bed with us which has meant a few sleepless nights for me and hubby! Although we have a super king size bed, it's amazing how small that can suddenly feel when you have a 6 foot tall man, 2 kids who really make themselves at home, and a cold uncomfortable mum clinging on to the edge of the bed for dear life, just trying to make it through the night without falling out!

In amongst the excitement though we have been trying out a couple of new recipes - weeks like this call for a little comfort baking, and a particularly yummy one was the pumpkin muffins we made yesterday. I had a couple of cans of pumpkin left over from Thanksgiving (yes, they've been in the pantry a while!) and decided it was time to do something with them. Of course you could use cooked mashed pumpkin instead as it's really a common ingredient to have in the pantry in the typical NZ household. If you would prefer to go down the road of tinned pumpkin, I got mine from Martha's Backyard, the american store in Mt Wellington. They sell a brand (can't remember the name of it) which is just 100% pumpkin, nothing added.

All mixed up and ready to go...
 Cooked!
Pretty little heart muffins - the kids love novelty muffin tins

Pumpkin Muffins 

(gluten-free, dairy-free)

Ingredients:

2 cups Gluten Free Self Raising flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup coconut sugar or sugar alternative of your choice. You could use honey or date paste, but may have to modify the other ingredients to make up for the added moisture
1 egg
1/2 cup dairy free milk of your choice (we used almond)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 cup raisins or sultanas
1 cup mashed pumpkin
1/2 cup dark chocolate broken into chunks (this is totally optional, but very tasty for an added treat. I made some of the muffins with and some without the chocolate and the ones without were just as yummy for those who prefer a chocolate free option)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 180C and grease or line muffin tins of your choice 
2. Combine flour, salt, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and sugar in a medium sized bowl.
3. Add egg, milk, oil, sultanas and pumpkin (you can combine these beforehand in another small bowl, or if you're lazy like me you can just put them in on top of the dry ingredients. 
4. Mix well to combine
5. Spoon evenly into prepared muffin tins
6. Cook for around 15 minutes if you have made small muffins, or 20 if you have made larger (you will just need to keep an eye on them - they are cooked when lightly golden and no longer sinking in the middle if you press on them).
7. Try and wait long enough for them to no longer burn your mouth before you dig in - those pockets of melted chocolate are really hot!! These muffins are really good still warm, but also delicious when cooled. I froze these for the kids to take to kindy in their lunch boxes (hence making some chocolate free ones for my youngest who doesn't like chocolate).


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