Cool fall days seem to whisper that it’s time to head back into the kitchen; to simmer a pot of soup, bake squash, and sprinkle everything with cinnamon.
It feels good to nurture your family with a homecooked meal, and the new, revised edition of Feeding the Whole Family from Cynthia Lair is full of recipes to inspire you. More than a cookbook, the book also teaches the basics of creating a balanced diet, has a chapter on breastfeeding and starting solids, and shares information on raising healthy eaters. Try these Pecan Pumpkin Muffins to get a taste of the nourishing recipes inside.
Pecan Pumpkin Muffins
Baked sugar pie pumpkin or buttercup squash work beautifully in this recipe. These muffins make excellent snacks, breakfast food, or a nice accompaniment to Cannellini Kale Minestrone and other savory soups. Preparation Time: 45 minutes. Makes 12 muffins
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup unbleached white flour
½ cup unrefined cane sugar or brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
¼ cup molasses
¼ cup honey
1 cup mashed, cooked pumpkin or winter squash
½ cup milk or water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup pecans, coarsely chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Lightly oil the muffin tin or line with paper muffin cups.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom and set aside.
3. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Add the molasses and honey to the warm butter and stir to combine, then remove the pan from the heat.
4. In a blender, blend the cooked pumpkin and the butter-sweetener mixture and the milk until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla and pulse to blend.
5. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and fold together gently, using a minimum of strokes.
6. Fold the pecans into the batter. Fill the muffin cups two-thirds full with batter. Bake until a knife inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.
FOR BABIES SIX MONTHS AND OLDER: Reserve some of the baked pumpkin or winter squash used in the muffins. Puree with a little breast milk or water.