I have a confession to make. I don’t care for pumpkin very much. I like the look of pumpkins on my porch when autumn rolls around; they add a bit of color and there are so many interesting kinds that are fun to look at. But the flavor just isn’t one of my favorites. I know it’s the fall flavor. There’s pumpkin shakes, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin soup, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin everything. Even pumpkin pie doesn’t sound that appealing to me. I’ll take a small slice of apple pie over pumpkin pie any Thanksgiving Day. It’s sad, really, because pumpkin can be a healthy choice:
- It’s a good source of vitamins and minerals like some of the B vitamins, iron, and magnesium
- It’s low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories with only about 50 calories per cup of cooked pumpkin
- It’s a very good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber
- It’s rich in the anti-oxidant beta-carotene (think orange here) which the body can convert into vitamin A
So I decided to give pumpkin another chance and start with adding it to a muffin recipe – Pumpkin Chai Muffins. Incorporating chai tea into the equation made it more appealing to me since I do like a cup of chai tea now and then, and I thought the chai spices would blend very nicely with the pumpkin flavor – which they did. Dried cranberries added a sweet touch and visual appeal to the muffin.
All in all, I really like them. Now I’m wondering if I should try pumpkin in something else. I’m not quite ready for pumpkin soup, but maybe in a nice bowl of warm, creamy oatmeal? I’ll put that on my list to try this week.
Do you like pumpkin? What’s your favorite way to eat it? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear about it!
Pumpkin Chai Muffins
- 1 c. milk
- 4 chai tea bags
- 1 c. all-purpose flour
- 2 c. white whole wheat flour
- 2 Tbsp. ground flax seed
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 c. brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. cardamom
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. allspice
- 3/4 c. dried cranberries
- 1 c. pureed pumpkin
- 1/4 c. honey
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 c. canola oil
- 2 Tbsp. ground walnuts
- 2 tsp. turbinado sugar
- 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare muffin tins by spraying bottoms non-stick pan spray or lining them with paper muffin cups.
- Warm the milk on the stove or in the microwave till it is hot, but not boiling. Remove from heat and place the four bags of chai tea in the milk to steep.
- In a large bowl mix together the all-purpose flour, white whole wheat flour, flax seed, baking powder, salt, brown sugar, 1/2 tsp. cardamom, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and allspice. Stir to distribute ingredients evenly.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the pumpkin, honey, eggs, and oil. Remove tea bags from milk and gently squeeze the bags to remove any remaining milk from the bags. Pour chai tea milk into the pumpkin mixture and blend well.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the blended liquid mixture. Carefully fold the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients until moistened. Do not over mix. It is okay to have a couple small streaks of flour. Over mixing will result in a heavier, more dense, muffin.
- Fill muffin cups about 2/3 to 3/4 full with batter.
- Stir together the ground walnuts, turbinado sugar, and 1/4 tsp. each of cardamom and cinnamon. Top each muffin with a small pinch of the walnut mix.
- Bake at 375 degrees F for about 15 minutes or until muffins are done.