Pumpkin Applesauce Cranberry Walnut Wheat-Germ Muffins

Contrary to what the title of this post might lead you to believe, I did not make five different kinds of muffin.  (That would just be crazy!)

So, here’s the thing.  I am obsessed with pumpkin.  Never before have I eaten much (or any) pumpkin, and I certainly have never cooked or baked with it.  But, ever since I made those Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins, I’ve had pumpkin on the brain.  I’m a few recipes behind on my blogging, but so far I believe I have made:

And now:

  • Pumpkin Applesauce Cranberry Walnut Wheat-Germ Muffins (adapted from Veganomicon)

Hmm…That’s a lot of pumpkin!

The original recipe in Veganomicon is for Banana-Wheat Germ Muffins.  But I didn’t want banana.  I wanted pumpkin.  (And yes, I know there are a zillion pumpkin muffin recipes out there that I could have followed, but I was attracted to the wheat germ, too.)  And, since the obsession has arisen, I have a well stocked cupboard full of (among other things) cans of pumpkin puree.  So I chose to modify the recipe as it was written, and turn it into Pumpkin Everything Muffins.  Here’s what I used:

Pumpkin Everything Muffin Ingredients

Pumpkin Everything Muffin ingredients. (As you can see, I love Sunflower Market.)

  • 1 cup plain soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple-cider vinegar
  • *3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • *1/3 cup natural applesauce (mine was homemade)
  • *1/3 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • *1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • *3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • *1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • *1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • *3/4 cup halved fresh cranberries

(*Ingredients with an asterisk are those that I changed or added to the original recipe.)

The main changes I made were to use pumpkin instead of banana, applesauce instead of oil, add pumpkin pie-like spices, and add nuts and cranberries.

For the directions, I pretty much followed the recipe book:

  1. I combined the soy milk and the vinegar, and let them curdle for a bit.
  2. Then, I turned the oven to 375 and put the walnuts in the oven to toast while it was heating up.
  3. While the milk was curdling and the walnuts were toasting, I mixed together all the dry ingredients.
  4. Then, I mixed together the wet ingredients, starting with the curdled milk.
  5. I took the walnuts out of the oven, and dumped them into the dry ingredients.
  6. I chopped the cranberries in halves and stirred them into the wet ingredients.
  7. I poured the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mixed as little as I could, so that the dry ingredients were mixed with the wet ones.
  8. Then, I oiled a muffin tin. I scooped a little less than 1/3 cup of batter into each of the muffin spots (except one – I ended up with 11 muffins instead of 12.)
Pumpkin Everything Muffins, ready to go in the oven.

Pumpkin Everything Muffin batter, ready to go in the oven.

When I took the muffins out 27 minutes later, they were beautiful and very healthylicious looking.  (Healthylicious is a new portmanteau I just made up.  It means healthy and delicious, and comes from the same place in my brain as the word amazingfood.)

Pumpkin Everything Muffins, baked and ready to devour.

Pumpkin Everything Muffins, baked and ready to devour.

I was curious about the nutrition information for these muffins, so I submitted it to SparkRecipes.  According to that website (I don’t know if it’s correct or not), each muffin has:

  • 140 calories
  • 3 grams fat
  • 4.5 grams fiber
  • 4.5 grams protein

I’d say that’s pretty good for such a tiny Frankenstein(‘s Monster) of a homemade muffin.  These are muffins I can feel good about eating for breakfast.  (Or lunch.  Or dinner.  Or a snack.)

I’m excited(/worried) to see what other pumpkin-themed food I make next… I should stock up on cans while they’re on sale for the autumn/winter holiday season.

And, on a non-edible note, my awesome roommate got me a wonderful contraption.  A cookbook holder!  I no longer have to precariously balance cans of beans, jars of applesauce, or half-full mugs of tea on my cookbook pages to keep the book open.  The recipes are now clear and at eye-level in a lovely cast-iron cookbook holder.

Cookbook holder!

Cookbook holder, displaying Veganomicon's recipe for Banana-Wheat Germ Muffins.

Thanks to my roommate!

It really does look like fall outside today.

In honor of Veteran’s Day (as a public school teacher, this means a day off of work) and the fact that it is actually cool and cloudy in the desert, I woke up wanting pancakes.

I rolled over in bed, and grabbed my copy of Vegan Brunch (from its special place on my bedside table).  I flipped through to the pancake section, and there I saw it.  A recipe for Pumpkin Pancakes.  It called for 3/4 cup of pumpkin puree, which was perfect since I had 3/4 cup left over from last weekend’s Chocolate Pumpkin Nut Muffin extravaganza.  I looked through the rest of the ingredients, and, wonder of wonders, had all of them!

Then, I read through the narrative (because Isa always gives great narrative along with her recipes) and saw that she suggested making a Ginger Cranberry sauce to accompany the pancakes. Again, due to some sort of recipe magic, I had all the ingredients required for the sauce!  (Every autumn, when cranberries are sold constantly everywhere, I buy up about four bags to keep in my freezer.  One year, I needed cranberries for an activity with my students in February and I couldn’t find them ANYWHERE!  Ever since then, I have vowed to be well prepared when it come to cranberries.)

I started with making the Ginger Cranberry Sauce.  It begins with a basic cranberry sauce recipe (cranberries, water, sugar.)

Cranberries

Cranberries are so bright and cheerful!

Then, you end up adding ginger and maple syrup.  I failed to take a picture of that.  But don’t worry, you’ll see the whole thing in a minute.

Next, I started with the pancakes.  Instead of all purpose white flour, I used whole wheat pastry flour (or, like, 95% WW pastry flour.  I ran out and needed to use a little bit of AP flour).  I also upped the pumpkin spices a bit (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves).  Aside from that, I followed the recipe as written.

So, my first pancake started out looking adorable.

Pancake Cooking 1

Cute little pancake.

I flipped it and thing were still going okay.

Pancake Cooking 2

Flipped pancake, still pretty cute.

But then when I tried to get it off the pan, something weird happened.

Pancake Cooking 3

Weird wrinkled pancake.

I figured it was just “first pancake” syndrome, and went on to make the next pancake.  Unfortunately, the next pancake looked like this:

Pancake Cooking 4

Charred pancake. Not quite deliciousness.

I lowered the temperature and tried again.

Pancake Cooking 5

I don't even know what happened here...

I was about to give up, but decided to try a different pan, a newfangled ceramic pan.  Maybe they just didn’t like the cast iron (although the recipe said to use cast iron).

Pancake Cooking 6

Things are starting to look up for my pumpkin pancakes!

Unfortunately, by the time I got to the last pancake, things were still quite unreliable.  And this happened:

Pancake Cooking 7

Basically, I'm a pancake failure.

I’m not quite sure what I was doing wrong with the pancakes.  The outsides kept burning while the insides were super mushy.  They tasted good, and since there wasn’t any egg, I wasn’t worried about salmonella with them being unevenly cooked.  I just am not sure what I was doing wrong.  (I kept increasing and lowering the temperature.  Nothing quite helped.)

In the end, I did have a pretty delicious fall pancakey cranberry-y breakfast.  Afterward, I was stuck in a pretty severe pumpkin pancake coma, and couldn’t seem to get up to get dressed and get on with my day.  That was an unfortunate side effect.

Final Pancake

Cute little pancake with delicious ginger cranberry sauce on top.

The sauce was really delicious, and aside from the second pancake (the super burned one), all the others seem to be edible.  In the cooking process, I ate two pancakes (they were just too destroyed to eat on a plate!) and afterward I ended up eating three with the sauce.  So, I think I’ve had my pumpkin pancake fill for the day.

Happy cloudy day.