Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Whole Grain Spelt Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Whole Grain Spelt Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

I have wanted to try pumpkin again for awhile, but I've been a little tentative. Both Brett and I hate pie - pumpkin pie especially. I do not like anything about pie crust - I just don't, and thankfully, Brett doesn't either. Pumpkin pie filling also isn't really my cup of tea - it is something about the texture of the filling. Anyways, with my love of all other winter squash, and the fact that I now love many things that I hated in my pre-vegetarian days, I wanted to give it another shot.

I can now say that, at least in certain applications, both my and Brett's feelings about pumpkin has changed. We really like it! I don't think I will ever like pie, but pumpkin and I could become quite good friends. I went out in search of recipes for pumpkin, and then crossed my fingers that I would be able to find an edible pumpkin at the farmer's market. A little interesting aside about that - there were, oh, 4 stands that were selling pumpkin at the market last weekend, and only one of them sold pumpkins that were actually edible. I understand that Jack-o-lantern's are popular around this time of year, but Brett and I noted that with the sheer amount of non-edible pumpkins grown in our area alone, there has to be a lot of waste.

I found this recipe on the Joy of Baking website. I veganized it and also made it whole grain. These muffins are not overly sweet and they go fantastically with a cup of tea. I took these into work and they were eaten up in no time. I forgot to tell people they were vegan - but that usually turns people off to trying things for some reason. But at least you guys and I will know. :-)

This recipe wasn't the only pumpkin recipe we tried out this weekend either. We also made pumpkin bread! I followed this recipe - simply substituting whole grain spelt flour for the all-purpose and using safflower oil instead of olive. I have to say, we LOVE pumpkin bread, we devoured that loaf of bread!

Does anyone have any ideas (beyond pumpkin soup) as to how to use pumpkin in main dishes?

The local booty legend:
no asterisk = grocery store
+ = The Root Cellar
* = farmer's market
** = CSA
*** = Container or Community Garden
**** = the non-profit buying club, Blue Planet or Purcell Mountain Farms

How to make pumpkin puree from fresh pumpkin:

Heat oven to 350.

Split pumpkin in half and remove seeds and stringy parts.

Place cut halve side facing down in a baking dish. Add 2 cups of water.

Bake pumpkin for about 60-90 minutes or until really soft.

Let the pumpkin cool.

Scoop out flesh and transfer to a food processor.

Blend until smooth.

Whole Grain Spelt Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Makes about 12.
Adapted from a Joy of Baking recipe found here.

1 1/2 cups whole grain spelt flour
1/2 cup organic raw sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup plain hempmilk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree *
1/4 cup Earth Balance, melted
1 Ener-G, flax, or other egg substitute
1 cup organic, fair-trade chocolate chip (we used 65% cacao)

Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

Slowly add in the wet ingredients, blending well.

Fill a greased (I sprayed mine with safflower oil in a mister) muffin pan 2/3 of the way full with batter.

Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick or knife comes clean after inserting it into the middle of the muffin.

Yummy! I wish these weren't gone. Thankfully though, I still have 2 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree in our freezer. We are also hoping to pick up another "pie pumpkin" this weekend.

'Til next time!


VeggieGirl said...

LOOOOVE those muffins!!! I just posted about muffins on my blog as well :0)

Anonymous said...

Those muffins look great! I love spelt muffins :o)

Pumpkin in chili is really good--cubed pumpkin with black bean *looks* festive and fallish too with the black and orange thing going on :o) Just dice up the pumpkin and cook it in the skillet with the chili! It also works with other squash as well.


Daphne said...

Nooooo how can you not love pumpkin pie. I can understand about the crust. I'm not a pie crust fan. I often give my crust to my son or just don't eat the end. But not liking pie filling arrrggghhhh. It is one of my families favorites. In fact I often make it without the crust at all. Then it is just pumpkin custard. Yummy.

The other thing we make is pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting. Even my veggie hating husband will eat it. I think my kids would lynch me if I didn't make one or the other with any pumpkins that came into the house. But I'm with Courtney. Black beans would make a great pairing with pumpkin (or any squash) and if you add salsa/hot sauce to the mixture it would be divine.

T said...

Hey, I made something with pumpkins today too! Maybe I can use the rest of the can on these muffins... they look awesome!

Anonymous said...

Kudos for making your own pumpkin puree! I ususally just buy the canned stuff. We made pumpkin curry on the fly once with the canned stuff and it was pretty good! You've got to check out this cookie recipe. Everyone loves them!

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

the combination of pumpkin, chocolate and cinnamon sounds so good! I'll bet the color is great too.

DP Nguyen said...

Hi Jennifer-- These look so goood! I love that you veganize it, but cooking the actual pumpkin takes so long! I wonder if you could use the pumpkin in the can (to save time). Anyway, when I have some free time, I'll have to try out this recipe!

M of the Maritimes said...


I was just gawking at pumpkins last night. I've never carved or cooked one before. I should see if I can lug one home tonight.

jessy said...

wow! those muffins look spectacular, Jennifer! i love that they're not overly sweet, too - sounds perfect!

isn't that weird how people grow so many pumpkins that you can't eat? i don't understand it either - kinda seems like a waste to me, too! sadface!

but your muffins are make'n me most happyfaced! thanks for the recipe! mmmmmmmmm! i'm totally gonna have to get some bulk spelt soon, as i've been meaning to try it out! yay!

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Veggie Girl - Thanks. I'll have to check those out.

Courtney - Thank you.

Pumpkin Chili sounds fantastic! I might have to try that out if I can get my hands on another edible pumpking. Thank you for the tip!

Daphne - Hahahahaha, it is a texture thing, I think. I don't like the texture of pumpkin pie filling. I do, however, really like apple pie filling. But pie crust = ick, I just can't get around it.

Pumpkin with cream cheese, eh? Well I am allergic to dairy, but there is a recipe for a nut-based "cream cheese", I may have to give it a try. I bet it would be good on carrot cake/muffins as well.

That is too funny about your kids, it must be good!

I too think the combination of pumpkin and black beans would be a good one. Black beans are my favorite bean to pair with butternut squash too.

T - Pumpkin fever must be in the air!

Stacey and Sergio - Haha, thanks. Pumpkin curry, eh? I've never had a curry, I keep meaning to try it, but just get too caught up in Mexican food.

Thanks for the link, I'll check it out!

Lisa - It worked really well together. They had a slightly orange, rich color, they looked pretty nice.

DP - Well I found a pumpkin from the farmer's market, so couldn't justify buying the canned stuff. It DOES take a really long time to cook a pumpkin. I had mine in there for almost an hour and a half!

I'm sure you could use canned pumpkin and it would work out just fine.

M - Ha! I haven't carved a pumpkin since I was really little - somehow I imagine I wouldn't do a very good job of it. This was the first time I had cooked one too. I think the scariest thing is cutting it in half - like with other large winter squash.

Jessy - Thank you! I personally don't like really sweet things in the morning, my tummy can't handle that, and my teeth aren't too fond of it either.

I thought so too. We were at the regular grocery store today and they had pallets and pallets of pumpkin - I doubt they will sell them all before they go bad. Not to mention, an awful lot of land has to be dedicated to pumpkins. I'm not trying to be a "Debbie Downer", but it seems like a slightly more equitable proportion of edible to non-edible pumpkins should be grown.

Hey no problem. We've already run out of the huge bulk bag of it we bought a couple of weeks ago. I'm going to have to stop by the store on my way home from work tomorrow and get more!

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