Thursday, November 16, 2006

Comfort me with orange - PUMPKIN MUFFINS

I like the way winter narrows my selection of vegetables. Sure, the cornucopia of summer is wonderful, but there's something equally wonderful about a baked potato or a roast with carrots and beets or a squash soup. Winter vegetables are pure comfort food.

I get all my winter vegetables at the Saskatoon Farmers' Market. Why buy something 'imported' from the grocery store, when there is a better, fresher, local equivalent? When I think of those bland and bitter carrots one finds in the grocery store, I head straight for the juicy sweet carrots at the market. There is absolutely no comparison. After Halloween, the pumpkins went on sale so I made these muffins:

1 cup of baked pumpkin, mashed
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp mixture of cinnamon, ginger and/or nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Mix the soda into the pumpkin. Cream the oil and sugar, add the eggs and cream well. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and spices. Add the flour and pumpkin alternately to the egg mixture, stirring just enough to blend after each addition. (If you are using walnuts, blend them into the flour mixture before adding to the batter.) Scoop into muffin tins. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.

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