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My Kitchen Smells Like Fall

October 10, 2009

Apparently my original intention of posting every day during October to celebrate vegan food was a little ambitious.  I had forgotten that October is a month filled with midterms, costume parties, and occasional sunshine that takes me away from my MacBook.

I had picked up a giant can of pureed pumpkin at the store, and my breakfasts have been spent with me plopping a big glob of the mush into my oats.  Pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and raisins all make for the most amazing pumpkin oats, but as delicious as it was, I was getting a little sick of eating the meal everyday.

So when you have more pumpkin that you want but not too much extra, there is really only one thing to do: make pumpkin muffins.

I used this recipe for pumpkin spice bread, but changed it up to match what I was craving and what I had around the kitchen.  While I think that my kitchen is ridiculously well stocked for that of a bunch of college kids, we are occasionally lacking in some areas.  I made do, and I think that these turned out quite well.P1030075

Here’s where I deviated from the recipe:

  • Instead of 1 cup sugar, I used 1/4 cup agave nectar and 1/4 cup sugar.
  • I used 1/4 cup applesauce in lieu of oil.  Even if I had wanted to make them with fat, we didn’t have any.
  • My ‘egg’ consisted of 1 T ground flax seeds mixed with 3 T boiled water.
  • I used whole wheat instead of white flour.
  • Instead of cloves I had pumpkin pie spice on hand so I used that.
  • I added a splash of vanilla extract and I think I added too much (but not in a bad way) salt.
  • I added chopped walnuts and a small diced apple.  The apple makes all the difference.

With all of these changes, I am rechristening these Apple-Walnut-Pumpkin-Spice Muffins.

I tried one for the first time this morning, and it was moist, dense, and delicious.  I’ve been making ‘healthy’ (whole wheat, vegan, and fat-free) muffins for so long that I think I forget what the more sinful versions taste like, but my roommates happily consumed a few as well so I think they aren’t lacking.

For breakfast, I got a little creative with the little guy and turned the ordeal into dessert.  I started off with a base of Trader Joe’s vegan vanilla soy creamy ice cream, crumbled my muffin on top, and drizzled organic peanut butter all over the whole thing.  Paired with chai spice tea, I was a very happy girl.

P1030081

Last night when I was making these, my kind of drunk ex-neighbor wandered over to chat.  We got into a debate over the merits of canned versus fresh pureed pumpkin.  He was only interested in cooking pumpkins and blending up the flesh himself, but I am one who appreciates the convenience of canned goods and this is one area where I take the easy way out.  He did point out the taste difference, which I can appreciate, but as a college student I can’t make everything from scratch.  We agreed to disagree and he went off into the night to drink more.

Where do you fall in the homemade vs convenience food debate?  I always prefer to make things myself from whole, natural foods, but sometimes life gets in the way and I can’t make muffins with fresh pumpkin.  Would you just not make them?

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