Fall has to be my favorite season. The unpredictable weather, highs in the 70s one day and light snow the next. Large, orange maple leaves filling the sidewalks and yards. And the cooking. Mmmmm. Cooler temperatures mean it’s time to start baking at our house.
One of the first ingredients I reach for is canned pumpkin. Sure, you can carve out and puree your own, but I like the convenience (and less mess!) that comes in the 15-ounce Libby cans that seem to go on sale at Meijer right when I need them to try out a new recipe.
Besides being easy to use, pureed pumpkin makes for moist cookies, pies, and bread. Plus, pumpkin is a power food. That orange color comes from beta-carotene, the same vitamin-A packed nutrient that gives carrots their shade. Along with serving up 3x your daily dose in just one-half cup, pumpkin is full of fiber and low in calories. But don’t worry, your kids won’t have to know that they’re eating something good for them.
Try making my perfect pumpkin muffins. I like the versatility of this version (plus it’s fast and easy to make). Follow the recipe as is to keep the muffins on the savory side and serve with a stew or roast. Dress up the muffins with chocolate chips and/or sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top before baking to serve as a dessert or for an afterschool snack. When I made these muffins, my kids begged me to send them in as snacks the next day for school – my guess is your kids will, too.
They’re good to the last crumb!