Moist muffin, sweet pumpkin, what’s not to love?

Moms and dads can feel great about serving them. Everyone enjoys eating them. And with plenty of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and fiber, these sweet and delicious pumpkin muffins will become a healthy favorite in your house at breakfast time.

Here in Virginia, our fall harvest begins in late September and goes through October. Area farms grow pumpkin varieties including: ‘Howden,’ ‘Magic Lantern,’ ‘Autumn Gold,’ ‘Prize Winner,’ and ‘Baby Bear.’ Our favorite sweet cooking pumpkins include “Cannon Ball,” “Mystic Plus” and “Hybrid Pam.”

For this muffin recipe you can use canned pumpkin, but if you want to enjoy fresh and local produce, you’ll be happy to know that cooking fresh-picked pumpkin is easier than you may think.

Here’s how to easily cook a fresh-picked pumpkin:

• Choose a pumpkin that feels heavy for its size.
• Cut it open and remove strings and seeds.
• Cut it into wedges
• Boil for 20 minutes, steam for 30 minutes, or bake at 350 for about an hour until soft.
• When cooking is finished, blend in food processor until smooth.

*A 5-lb. pumpkin makes about 4 cups of mashed cooked pumpkin, (a 16 oz. can equals about 2 cups). Pumpkin freezes well. Scoop 1-cup servings into plastic baggies and smash flat before freezing.

Byrd Mill’s Kid-Friendly (Allergen-free) Pumpkin Muffins

Makes 1 dozen

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups Patrick Henry All Purpose Flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup pureed pumpkin (canned or fresh)
1/2 cup milk or non-dairy milk (soy, almond or coconut)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons honey (or molasses)

Method:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease or use paper liners in a twelve-muffin tin.

Sift together dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, milk, oil, and honey or molasses. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix.

Fill the muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

*Fold in a cup of chopped fresh cranberries, chopped walnuts, or chocolate chips to add variety.

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