Inevitably, as the weather changes and the air cools, so do my cravings and my habits in the kitchen. Not only do I yearn for soups and stews, roasts and gravies; I also want to bake things! Now I’ve said this before, I am much better at cooking than I am at baking, primarily because I hate to measure. Baking is a science and if you don’t measure properly your muffins/pastries/cakes/cookies simply don’t turn out right! With cooking (you need to measure of course) I feel like there’s a little more wiggle room and the opportunity to go off script. Bottom line; not staying the course when baking can be disastrous if you’re not mindful to the changes/chances you’re taking!
I originally found this recipe for Pumpkin Maple Loaf in Cooking Light magazine and it intrigued me because the author found a way to take a classic fall favorite and lighten it up a bit! But by sheer stubbornness I needed to find a way to make it my own and go off script! First, I decided to make muffins with the batter versus a loaf. Second, I didn’t have access to dark maple syrup or dark brown sugar so I used grade A syrup as well as a brown sugar/stevia blend as substitutes. Lastly, the original recipe called for roasted pepitas to top the loaf; I know it defeats some of the purpose of “cooking light” but, I decided to mix in chopped pecans and white chocolate chips instead! Regardless, these somewhat lightened-up, twist on pumpkin loaf-style muffins are the bomb!! Enjoy:)
Ingredients: Makes 12 muffins
- cooking spray
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup quick oats
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup real maple syrup
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup brown sugar/stevia blend
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup white chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with papers and lightly spray with cooking spray.
- Combine buttermilk and oats, let sit 15 minutes.
- Whisk together pumpkin, syrup, oil, sugar, extract and eggs and set aside.
- In a separate bowl mix together flour, pumpkin spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Add the oats and buttermilk to the pumpkin mixture and stir. Then add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and combine.
- Gently fold the pecans and chips into the batter.
- Divide batter among the 12 muffin cups. Bake for 20 – 22 minutes.
*Recipe adapted from Cooking Light, Lighten Up Pumpkin Bread