When organic canned pumpkin is plentiful, I like to make pumpkin spice oatmeal in the morning. One day I was in a hurry and didn’t have time to eat it and I wondered how it would taste baked into a muffin. The result was pure pumpkin perfection!!! These little beauties are moist and delicious, not too sweet and reminiscent of the cranberry orange bread my Mom used to make.
Cranberry Orange Pumpkin Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
• 2 large, very ripe bananas
• ½ cup orange juice plus zest of one orange
• 1 15-ounce can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
• ½ cup date paste (recipe follows)
• 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
• 1 tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
• 1 tablespoon alcohol-free Vanilla extract
• 1 cup dried cranberries, unsweetened or fruit juice sweetened
• 3 cups gluten free oats
• ¼ cup finely chopped walnuts
• ½ teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a food processor fitted with the “S” blade, process bananas and OJ until smooth. Add pumpkin, date paste, extract, zest, flax seeds and spice and continue processing until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the oats and dried cranberries. Spoon an equal amount of batter into a muffin tin lined with cupcake liners or silicone baking cups. You need to fill each muffin liner with about ½ cup of batter as these do not rise. A retractable ice cream scoop works well. In a separate bowl, mix the nuts and cinnamon and sprinkle evenly into each of the 12 muffin liners. A cheese grater or nut grinder works well for grinding the nuts. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
Make sure you always have some on hand to create a healthy dessert in no time.
• One pound of pitted dates
• One cup of liquid (water, unsweetened non-dairy milk, unsweetened juice)
Soak dates in liquid overnight or for several hours until much of the liquid is absorbed. In food processor fitted with the “S” blade, process dates and liquid until completely smooth. Store date paste in the refrigerator.
Photo by Sylvia Vale