Monday, October 3, 2011

Pumpkin Crunch Muffins

it seemed only natural to start this october unprocessed (yes, i started today, october 3rd, two days late - better late than never, right?) with breakfast.

plain greek yogurt and fruit is my usual go-to breakfast. the protein keeps me pretty full and the fruit adds some sweetness, but i still find myself wanting something carb-y to go with it. i find when i have toast with PB, or a granola bar too, i stay fuller even longer.

with fall in the air this weekend, i was craving pumpkin. thus, the pumpkin crunch muffins were born. i used inspiration from a recipe i saw with a crunchy granola topping. i made some pumpkin granola and adapted a pumpkin muffin recipe for the base.

i used agave and maple syrup instead of sugar and a flax egg instead of a real egg for the simple reason that i had used all my eggs up. walnuts and pecans provide some wholesome protein while the flaxseed adds omega-3's (something i never get enough of - note to self - remember to take fish oil supplements!). the muffin was the perfect accompaniment to my berries with pineapple yogurt. warmed up along side a cup of coffee, this muffin made for a perfect autumn breakfast.

hope you enjoy these pumpkin packed, granola-topped, slightly sweet, warm pumpkin crunch muffins.

Pumpkin Crunch Muffins
makes 8 muffins - can easily be doubled
adapted from back to the cutting board

granola topping:
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
pinch salt
2 tbs maple syrup
1/8 cup pumpkin puree
1 tbs melted butter
1/4 cup chopped pecans

muffin batter:
1/2 stick unsalted butter (softened)
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 tbs ground flax seed
2 tbs water
1 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

to assemble the granola, mix wet ingredients (maple syrup, butter, pumpkin) in a medium bowl. in a large bowl, mix together remaining dry ingredients. combine wet and dry ingredients and stir well.

spread onto parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. stir well and bake another 15-20 minutes.

stir together ground flax seed and water in a small bowl and set aside. beat butter with electric mixer until light a fluffy. add flax egg and mix until combined. combine dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, and spice) in a separate bowl. in another bowl, whisk together agave, maple syrup, and pumpkin.

add half of dry ingredients to mixer and mix until combined. add half of wet ingredients and mix until combined. repeat with remaining dry and wet ingredients. mix in walnuts.

fill a paper-lined muffin tin 2/3 full. top with crumbled granola and press granola slightly into batter. bake for 10 minutes. rotate pan in oven and bake another 10-15 minutes. bake until a toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean. let cool completely and store in airtight container.

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