Friday, October 11, 2013

Pumpkin Muffins with Shredded Pumpkin - Regular Version and Lightened-Up Version


With all of the pumpkin recipes out there, it's hard to choose one to make. I find it especially difficult when it comes to muffins or quick bread - everyone has their favorite pumpkin bread recipe. This recipe stands out to me, since it uses shredded fresh pumpkin instead of canned pumpkin puree. In that sense, it's made the same way as a carrot cake or zucchini bread. If you have a food processor with shredding discs, it's really simple to make. Otherwise it's definitely still possible to shred the pumpkin using a cheese grater, it just takes more time/effort and you have to be careful not to shred your hand in the process!

Joey found this recipe from Alton Brown years ago, and we've made it a bunch of times. I picked up a pumpkin at Trader Joe's last week for the sole purpose of making this bread. We usually make it in a 9x5 loaf pan, but decided to make muffins instead, so we could freeze some for later. I wasn't sure how much the pumpkin would yield, and wasn't sure if it would even be enough for a full batch. Those little pumpkins are deceptive - we got 7+ cups of shredded pumpkin from one pie pumpkin. More than enough for two full batches of this recipe. The first time we made it, I followed the recipe (almost) exactly. We just swapped out the pumpkin seeds for pecans. The second time, I decided to try to lighten it up. If Annie's Eats can lighten up her favorite pumpkin bread recipe, then why can't I do the same for AB's? I think it worked perfectly. Joey said it tasted exactly like the original.

I'm including both recipes below, so you can decide which one you would like to make, and so you can see what changes I made. Next time I might use even more whole wheat flour, since you couldn't tell it was there at all.

Recipe: Pumpkin Muffins with Shredded Pumpkin
Adapted from Alton Brown
Yield: 1 9x5 loaf, or 15 muffins, or 12 muffins + 1 mini loaf = 15 servings

Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups shredded pumpkin
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 F (Note - the second time I made these, I accidentally baked them at 350 F. It took 25 minutes for the muffins at this time, and they turned out just fine.) Lightly grease a 9x5 pan or muffin tin.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk until well combined.

In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Mix until smooth and well combined.

Add together the wet and dry mixtures - either add wet to dry or dry to wet - whatever you prefer. Mix until no flour streaks remain. Gently fold in the pumpkin and pecans.

Pour into greased loaf pan, or divide among muffin cups. I like to use a large ice cream scoop so each muffin is roughly the same size.

Bake muffins for 30 minutes, or 9x5 loaf for 1 hr 15 minutes. The tops should spring back when pushed lightly, and a toothpick will come out clean with a few moist crumbs. A mini loaf will take ~35-45 minutes, depending on the size.

Cool on a wire rack, and enjoy!

Nutrition:
265 calories
13.8 g fat
35.1 g carbs
1.7 g fiber
2.3 g protein

Lightened-Up Shredded Pumpkin Muffins


Ingredients:
2/3 cup white whole wheat flour
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup splenda
3/8 cup vegetable oil*
3/8 cup unsweetened applesauce*
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups shredded pumpkin
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans

* For oil and applesauce - dump most of the contents of a 4oz container of applesauce into a liquid measuring cup. Pour oil on top until it reaches 3/4 cup

Nutrition:
194 calories
8.4 g fat
28.4 g carbs
2.1 g fiber
2.5 g protein

I managed to cut out more than 25% of the calories, almost 40% of the fat, and almost 20% of the carbs, just by making a few changes. I also bumped up the fiber content slightly.