Blueberry-Pumpkin Muffins

Blueberry-Pumpkin Muffins

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Blueberry-Pumpkin Muffins – recipe on sweetenuf.ca

It seems everywhere I go people are gearing up for Fall.  The Labour Day weekend hasn’t even passed yet and I’m seeing snow suits in stores and magazines full of ‘Fall’ recipes.

Although I’m definitely not ready for cooler weather and I will hang on to summer until 11:59 pm on Labour Day a pumpkin muffin anytime of the year is moist and delicious.

Add in some small sweet Canadian wild blueberries and they are even better.  Take them up one level higher with a streusel topping and it is win/win/win for everyone.

Bake up a double batch to enjoy on the upcoming last weekend of the summer and freeze a few for those hectic days after Labour Day when everyone is getting back to their ‘normal’ routines.

These moist muffins full of sweet blueberries hint at their pumpkin flavour and if you wish to skip the streusel no one needs to know.

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Blueberry-Pumpkin Muffins with Almond-Oat Streusel

The recipe lists all-purpose flour and I used 1/2 half whole wheat and 1/2 all-purpose.  As well, I used frozen blueberries as they are readily available in the grocery stores throughout the year.  Use right from frozen to cut down on colouring the batter purple but you will need to add another couple of minutes to your baking time.

Any leftover pumpkin can be frozen in ziplock bags for the next pumpkin recipe that comes your way.

(This recipe is from 2016 100 Best Pumpkin Recipes, Better Homes and Gardens magazine.)

Blueberry-Pumpkin Muffins with Almond-Oat Streusel

Preheat oven to 350F.  Paper line 15 muffin cups with liners.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

2/3 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup canned pumpkin

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Almond-Oat Streusel (recipe follows)

Method:

In a medium bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.

In a small bowl, combine pumpkin buttermilk and vanilla.

In a large bowl beat the butter and white and brown sugars with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Scrape down bowl and beaters.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.  Add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alernately, beating on low after each addition.  MIX UNTIL JUST COMBINED.  DO NOT OVER MIX.  OVER MIXING PRODUCES A TOUGHER FINISHED PRODUCT.  (Batter will be stiff.)  Fold in blueberries.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.  Fill approximately 2/3 full and top with streusel.

Almond-Oat Streusel – In a small bowl stir together 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, 2 tbsp rolled oats and 2 tbsp sliced almonds, 4 tsp all-purpose flour, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon and 1/4 tsp salt.  Stir in 3 tbsp melted butter and combine.

Bake 18 -21 minutes.  Muffins will spring back when lightly touched, or toothpick will come out clean when inserted into the middle of a muffin.

 

Carrot Muffins – Small Batch


carrot-muffins-healthier-style-2Today’s recipe is another small-batch bake and healthier.  This makes about 6 regular size muffins and the most difficult aspect of this is grating the carrot.

No mixer required, basically a bowl, a whisk and a wooden spoon plus a couple of measuring tools and your good to go.  Reaching for a 2nd muffin warm from the oven definitely won’t ruin your diet and may even make you feel virtuous!  And what’s wrong with that.  Feeling good about anything makes the day a little brighter. Especially on these overcast cold winter days.

Carrot Muffins

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease or line a 6-cup muffin tin.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup shredded carrots (approx. 1 medium carrot)

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

Method:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the applesauce, oil and sugar.  Whisk in the egg and vanilla.  Stir in the grated carrot.

Add in the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Combine until no streaks of flour remain.

Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and bake until tops spring back lightly when touched, approximately 15-18 minutes.  Cool and enjoy.

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Carrot Muffins from Sweetenuf

 

 

Sour Cream Pumpkin Muffins – Fall Already?!?

Sour Cream Pumpkin Muffins – Fall Already?!?

Although I have been fighting it tooth and nail and cannot understand the fascination with wearing booties instead of sandals and long pants instead of shorts, today with the overcast skies I too have pulled out the pumpkin.

It seems pumpkin in any form signifies the passing of summer.  No matter it is humid as all get out today and Fall has not officially begun, pumpkin reigns supreme. Lattes, biscotti and muffins, especially the SPL or is it PSL (you know, Starbucks!)…pumpkin and the spices accompanying it are aromatic and flavourful and popular.

 

Today’s moist, simple, delicious muffin is my contribution to the pumpkin craze. This Sour Cream Pumpkin Delight, well Muffin really, is superb!  The addition of sour cream, pumpkin and spices makes these muffins a recipe you’ll go back to again and again.

Just a reminder to be sure to check the ingredient label on your can of pumpkin to make sure it is 100% pumpkin.  Some brands say ‘Pumpkin’ but have a combination of squash and pumpkin puree.  Also, you want pure pumpkin NOT pumpkin pie filling.

Freeze any leftover pumpkin in a ziploc bag for when you whip up one of my other recipes, like pumpkin biscotti!

Sour Cream Pumpkin Muffins

(Adapted from Pumpkin Spice Handbook 2015)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a 12-cup muffin pan with liners or spray with Pam.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (you could use 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 all-purpose)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/4 cup sour cream

Method:

In a medium bowl whisk together dry ingredients and set aside.

In a large bowl using an electric mixer cream together the butter and sugars until well combined.  Add in the eggs one at a time and mix in until combined.  Scrape down bowl and beaters.  Add in vanilla and stir until combined.

Add the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture and using a wooden spoon mix until partially combined.  Add in the pumpkin and sour cream and continue to mix just until no traces of flour are visible.

(You could add in some chopped toasted nuts or pumpkin seeds for a little crunch.)

Fill prepared tins 3/4 full and bake for approximately 25 minutes.  Tops should spring back lightly when touched or a toothpick should come out clean when inserted in centre.  Cool slightly and enjoy!

Too ensure even baking turn your tin around about 12-15 minutes into your baking time.

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Bowl Me Over – Everything’s Better In a Bowl?!?

Bowl Me Over – Everything’s Better In a Bowl?!?

Noodle bowls are hands down one of the world’s most perfect one-dish meals.  They are nourishing, easy to prepare and versatile.  They have long been staples in countries such as China and Japan.

The noodle bowls I’m referring to contain noodles (that was a given), vegetables and a small amount of protein.  Not to big and most likely a good ratio of carbs and protein with little fat.

Trending everywhere on Pinterest and IG are foods in a bowl.  My query, does it make it better in a bowl.  Does the food in the bowl suddenly become healthier for you?  Seems so to me!  And based on that I put today’s Oatmeal Muffins in bowl…to be on trend, of course!

They are pretty healthy anyway with buttermilk and oatmeal but I’m sure placing them in a bowl and then eating from the bowl will make their healthy characteristics multiply.

Oatmeal Muffins

Question, if you make smoothie bowls, you know all those pretty photos on social media where they lay out the yogurt, chia seeds and fruit side-by-side, don’t the ingredients have to be blended to be a smoothie?  If so, then why dirty a bowl just to line up your food side-by-side?  Couldn’t you just throw it right into the blender or line it up on a plate and have a smoothie plate?  See, there is something to the bowl!

Well, my inquiring mind still has much to think over regarding all the possibilities and reasons for the ‘bowl’ trend but I’ll save the rest of my comments for another time and share this ‘Big Batch’ Oatmeal Recipe with you.  

Oatmeal Muffins (Somehow better if served warm in a bowl with butter!!)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Paper line 6 or 10 or….

This recipe makes about 36 muffins and the batter will keep, once mixed, in the fridge for about 6 weeks.  AFTER INITIAL PREP BATTER DOES NOT GET MIXED OR STIRRED AGAIN. No mixer required.

These muffins bake up even and golden and have a nice light consistency.  Add in raisins if desired.

In a large sealable container or bowl mix together :

3 cups buttermilk 

3 cups oatmeal 

Add 1 cup vegetable or canola oil

3 eggs

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

Mix the above together with a wooden spoon and then add in:

3 cups flour (I used half wholewheat and half unbleached all-purpose)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 tablespoon baking soda

2 tsp salt

1 cup raisins (optional)

Stir just until combined and your ready to bake!

Bake up as many as you prefer at a time.  Bake for approximately 20 minutes until tops spring back when touched lightly.  This will keep for 6 weeks in your fridge in a sealed container.  Do not mix again.

Blueberry Oat Muffins


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Simple, moist, slightly sweet with wild blueberries folded in at the end.  These muffins require 9 ingredients in total (counting the salt!) and a few minutes of time you will be glad you set aside to bake these.

Before you get going on these muffins I thought I’d share a little information.  Did you know 95% of the world’s crop of oats is animal feed.  They have limited use in ‘raised’ bake goods and it is difficult to separate the husk from the grain making them hard to process, limiting their use.

Ever wonder what the difference is between the bags of Oats on the grocery shelf? Basically the difference between old fashioned, quick cooking and instant is how flattened they become after the whole oats (which have been quartered or halved and then steamed) are pressed between steel rollers.  The thinner they are the faster they cook!

For these muffins I used frozen Canadian wild blueberries.  BlueberriesThey are the nice small blueberries.  I find the larger blueberries to be less sweet and have a tougher skin.  Buy a bag of the frozen berries and use the leftovers the day after next for another batch of these muffins or to top your yogurt or throw in a smoothie.

To avoid a purple looking muffin fold in the berries straight from the freezer (don’t allow to thaw) with as few strokes as possible.

Blueberry Oat Muffins

1 cup oats (not quick cooking or instant)

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg, slightly beaten

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Preheat oven to 375F.  Paper line or grease a 12-cup muffin tin.

Combine the oats and buttermilk in a medium bowl and let stand for a couple of minutes.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar.

To the oat mixture add the egg and butter and mix together well.

Add the dry ingredients next and stir to combine.  Gently fold in the blueberries.

Fill the muffin cups about 2/3 full and bake for 20-25 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched.

Now brew some coffee or a ‘cuppa’ and enjoy a warm muffin, maybe with a little spot of butter on top!  Heavenly and  just sweet enuf to make your morning, or afternoon, or snack a little nicer.image

A Perfect Day Equals…Lemons?!


Today in Toronto was a sunny, cool Saturday.  Maybe nothing special to many of you but as I sipped a second coffee and gathered the ingredients for these tender lemony glazed muffins I thought about how it was shaping up to be a perfect day.

What makes your perfect day?  I think my perfect days can be many things and differ quite a bit now from 15 years ago or even 2 years ago, and even day to day.  When my boys were little and in school a perfect day would have been achieved if they had simply gotten out of bed, dressed, etc. and into the car without the usual refrain of “hurry up” and a vast amount of yelling (me to them) from the bottom of the stairs.  Being a sufferer of IBD, during a flare up  a perfect day was managing to get through it.  A few years ago a perfect day might have been a day when we were all home to sit down and eat dinner together.

Today’s perfect day is not rushing into work, knowing I can have another cup of coffee (even after hustling to yoga minus my 2nd cup) and baking.  That’s it.  It really doesn’t take much.  Some days are perfect because I have a chance to catch up with a friend and others because I can spend quiet time flopped on my couch watching PVR’d Real Housewives shows.

But really, the fact I can open my fridge and have at my fingertips all the food items I may need or ever want, plus turn on a faucet and have instant hot or cold water, and not have to walk an hour or more to get it and then carry a large filled container strapped on my back or balanced on my head back to my home, is in reality what makes my and many others lives perfect.  Not lecturing anyone.  Just reminding myself how good I’ve got it and to be thankful I can spend my perfect day baking something, taking some pictures, with my biggest worry being if anyone will look at my pics or try the recipe.  And if today this is my biggest challenge then WOW!

How these muffins came to be…let me try to explain my train of though…Lemon seems to be sunny to me, I guess oranges too.  Maybe because they need lots of warmth and sun to grow, so today’s sunny day makes me think of lemons, weekends makes me think of muffins and voila, look what I found.  A Lemon Cream Cheese Muffin with a Glaze and if you know me, well GLAZE or icing for that matter, just seals the deal.

Hopefully these will be perfect enough for you and you’ll let me know if you enjoy them and, maybe share what small thing can make your day better, if not perfect.

Glazed Lemon Cream Cheese Muffins

Lemon Cream Cheese Muffins

(From Canadian Living Holiday 2000 Issue)

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

4 ounces (or 1/2 of the 250 gram pkg)  Philadelphia Cream Cheese, cut into small bits, room temperature

1 large egg

1/2 cup milk

1/3 cup vegetable oil (I used Safflower)

Rind of 1 small lemon

1 tbsp lemon juice

Glaze:  2 tbsp granulated sugar mixed with 2 tbsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin.  Recipe makes approximately 9 muffins.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Add cream cheese.

Cream Cheese mixed with dry ingredients.(I used a fork and smeared the cream cheese in then used my fingertips and rubbed it through the flour.)

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, oil, lemon rind and lemon juice.  Pour over the dry ingredients and stir just until combined (this takes maybe 1 minute or less).

Spoon batter into the prepared muffin cups and bake in centre of oven until tops are firm to the touch.  Remove from oven and while still warm spoon glaze on top of muffins.

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Enjoy with your 2nd coffee or tea or because it may shape up to be a perfect day.

 

 

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins-A little bite of Sunshine


On these bitter cold winter days we have been experiencing, nothing goes better with a nice cup of tea or my morning coffee like a little bite of sunshine.  For some reason lemons and oranges seem to represent sunshine to me.  Today’s recipe is another from “Butter Baked Goods” by Rosie Daykin.  While enjoying my lemon poppyseed muffin I came across a quote I wanted to pass on to everyone.  “The things you take for granted some else is praying for.”

Something to remember when the cold wind is blowing and you are scraping ice off your car and cursing…someone else doesn’t have a car or a nice warm house or maybe even a nice warm meal.  It never hurts for all of us to realize no matter how little we might feel we have there are so many more who have so much less.

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins
Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Make sure you have a couple of lemons on hand to get the best flavour out of your muffins.  This isn’t the time to use the artificial kind.

Assemble Your Ingredients
Assemble Your Ingredients

For your muffins you will need:

3/4 cup butter

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1/4 cup poppyseeds

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)

2 eggs

Zest of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease or line 18 muffin cups and set aside.

Melt butter and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and poppy seeds.  Mix well to combine and distribute poppy seeds evenly.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, lemon juice, eggs and lemon zest.

Add the liquid ingredients and melted butter to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Make sure to not overmix the batter.

Fill the muffin liners about 2/3 full and bake in preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.

Yum!
Yum!