Home Grown Tomatoes is a weekly Vegan/Vegetarian column by Giovanina Bucci
It's too bad I need the Holidays to be reminded of the spirit of thankfulness and giving. Is it just me? I mean, I'm incredibly appreciative for the life that I lead, and for those whom support, bless, love, and encourage this journey that I'm on. And although I try to make a concerted effort to express my thanks and love to everyone in my life throughout the year, this time of year simply reminds me that I don't do it enough.
Particularly to the greats and grands in my life, the ones who send you a check every year for Christmas, tucked in a card that has something to do with God... I'm determined to send more 'thinking of you' messages. I guess my point is, I'm lucky. I'm thankful. I live a very blessed life. I have the most incredible family and friends, who need to be reminded of how much I love and appreciate them. And I am really grateful for all things pumpkin. (Pretty clever segue, huh?) Sorry, but this time of year turns me into a gushy, mushy, buffet of emotions! Moving on...I have a feeling that you may have looked at the title of this post and thought to yourself...seriously, pumpkin? Halloween is REALLY over and Thanksgiving of 2009 is but a memory. Sorry folks. I heart pumpkin - any time of year, in any form. And you can't deny that these wouldn't come in handy, with a touch of melted butter, on a brisk February morning while you're enjoying a hot cup of coffee. I wish I was doing that right now actually.
Anyway, I came across this recipe on RecipeZaar and tweaked it just a bit, mostly because I didn't have some of the ingredients the recipe called for. Needless to say, I've been pleased each time I've made these and they have been well received across the board.
Serving size: 6 'big mama' muffins (pictured), 12 'average joe' muffins
1 3/4 C. flour (reminder to the vegans, make sure it's unbleached and non-enriched!)1 C. sugar (the original recipe calls for 1 1/4 C. - seemed a bit too sweet with the natural sweetness of the pumpkin)
1 Tbs. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. all spice
1 C. pumpkin (fresh or canned puree)
1/2 C. Rice Milk
1/2 C. vegetable oil
2 Tbs. molasses
Preheat your oven to 325-350 degrees (F). The original recipe suggests to preheat your oven to 400 degrees (F), which leads to very unsuccessful baking in my oven. Mix the dry ingredients together. Mix the wet ingredients together. Mix everything together and pour your batter 3/4 of the way full into a greased muffin pan or into paper muffin holders. Seriously, that's it.
I like to bake on a bit lower heat and let them go for a tinge longer to ensure that the centers are cooked through and that the tops do not burn. The nice thing about vegan baking is that you don't have to worry about the 'not-cooked enough egg scare'. I've had them come out a bit undercooked in the center and they were still delightful, just a bit gooier (is that a word?) than expected. My suggestion would be to try baking the muffins at 350 degrees (F), and checking about 27 minutes in...they are usually done between 30 and 35 minutes. You know your oven best, so use your judgment!
Wishing you all a very Happy Holidays and hoping that you get to spend time with those you love... and make sure you let them know just how much you love and appreciate them! Indulge and Enjoy!