This week is finals week. My students and I are both this off-shade…this shade of stress. And sleep deprivation. After I kicked my own butt with a 5K Monday morning before work and a 60-minute spin class after work, I spent all of yesterday teaching and creating a final exam. No workout. No fun.
Over the weekend, I spent Sunday morning baking these muffins…for my students. Because I love them — their instructor evaluations were completed weeks ago. I had a hunch that by this week, they would be wound up with stress and test anxiety. Correct.
I know these were good because many of my students went back for seconds (I’m glad I doubled the recipe!). I was fueling their minds with fiber, antioxidant-packed cranberries, and potassium-rich pumpkin. It must have helped because their presentations were really, really good.
These were moist and rich…because of the oil, I think. While these aren’t vegan, they have that same texture that I love most about vegan baked goods.
So grab those still in-season (and cheaper post-Thanksgiving) cranberries, freeze a bag or two (just ’cause), and then make these muffins. With all the sweets this time of year, it’s nice to offer up a baked good with at least some nutritional value.
If your friends and loved ones are anything like my students, they’ll be super curious about those peptias on top. They add a fun pop of color, some additional heart-healthy fat, and a unique crunch. Of course nuts would also do the trick.
And not only were they gobbled up, but the recipe was requested. I emailed it out and one student shot over an email last night saying how much her kids enjoyed the recipe, too. She wasted no time in spoiled her family with these! Obviously, it’s a keeper.
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
1/3 cup canola
2 large eggs
1 tsp pumpkin-pie spice
1 cup + 1 Tbsp raw turbinado sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup fresh cranberries
2 Tbsp unsalted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Put liners in muffin cups.
Whisk together flour and baking powder. Set aside.
Whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, 1 cup sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until smooth, then whisk in flour mixture until just combined. Fold in cranberries.
Divide batter among muffin cups (each should be about three-fourths full), then sprinkle tops with remaining tablespoon of sugar and pepitas. Bake until puffed and golden brown and wooden pick or skewer inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.
Cool in pan on a rack five minutes, then transfer muffins from pan to rack and cool to warm or room temperature. Yield: 12 muffins.
Nutrition Information (per muffin): 200 calories; 7.9 g. fat; 36 mg. cholesterol; 206 mg. sodium; 30.7 g. carbohydrate; 2.7 g. fiber; 1.7 g. protein
Result: Sweet, tart, and moist. These are truly *perfect* muffins. Enjoy!