Cool fall days seem to whisper that it’s time to head back into the kitchen; to simmer a pot of soup, bake squash, and sprinkle everything with cinnamon.
It feels good to nurture your family with a home-cooked meal, and the new, revised edition of Feeding the Whole Family from Cynthia Lair is full of recipes to inspire you. More than a cookbook, the book also teaches the basics of creating a balanced diet, has a chapter on breastfeeding and starting solids, and shares information on raising healthy eaters. Try these Pecan Pumpkin Muffins to get a taste of the nourishing recipes inside.
Pecan Pumpkin Muffins
Preparation Time: 45 minutes; Makes 12 muffins
Baked sugar pie pumpkin or buttercup squash work beautifully in this recipe. These muffins make excellent snacks, breakfast food, or a nice accompaniment to Cannellini Kale Minestrone and other savory soups.
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup unbleached white flour
- ½ cup unrefined cane sugar or brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- ¼ cup molasses
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 cup mashed, cooked pumpkin or winter squash
- ½ cup milk or water
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup pecans, coarsely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 375° F. Lightly oil the muffin tin or line with paper muffin cups.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom and set aside.
- In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Add the molasses and honey to the warm butter and stir to combine, then remove the pan from the heat.
- In a blender, blend the cooked pumpkin and the butter-sweetener mixture and the milk until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla and pulse to blend.
- Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and fold together gently, using a minimum of strokes.
- Fold the pecans into the batter. Fill the muffin cups two-thirds full with batter. Bake until a knife inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.