Grandma’s Pumpkin Muffins

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Just the smell of my grandmother’s pumpkin cake recipe brings memories of Autumn that make me think about apple orchards, the first day of school, and carving Jack-O’-Lanterns. I have turned her cake into nutritious muffins by adding a mix of golden and dark raisins and chopped nuts. If you bake these for Halloween, you might want to omit the nuts and raisins for young children. The recipe makes a great cake in a 10-inch Turk pan.

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Grandma’s Pumpkin Muffins (makes 30)

2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 can pumpkin puree (16 oz)
5 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dark raisins
1 cup chopped nuts

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, and pumpkin.
3. Add eggs 1 at a time and whisk well after each.
4. In a separate mixing bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Make a well in the mixture.
5. Pour pumpkin mixture into flour mixture. Mix until just blended.
6. Wash and dry raisins and then sprinkle with flour and then shake in sieve to remove excess flour.
7. Stir in raisins and nuts.
8. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.


Low-Sugar Banana Muffins

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For Michael’s first birthday, I served these low-sugar banana muffins to compensate for the chocolate icing I lathered on top (his first-ever taste of chocolate). Michael ignored the chocolate icing and couldn’t get enough of the banana muffins!


For Joey’s first birthday, again, I served these muffins – some with icing and some without. The picture below demonstrates Joey’s choice.


This recipe is a great way to use rotten bananas. These muffins have plenty of potassium and not a lot of sugar. Plus, as you can see, for the toddler, they are much easier to eat than peeling and eating an actual banana!

Note: Omit raisins and walnuts for young children.

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Low-Sugar Banana Muffins (makes 12)

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 medium bananas, cut into chunks
1 egg (or 2 egg whites)
1/3 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/2 cup orange juice (or unsweetened orange juice)
1/2 cup raisins, soaked in water (optional)
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Stir to blend.
3. In another mixing bowl, mash bananas with a fork until they are all mushed. Add egg, applesauce, oil, and orange juice to the mushed banana.
4. Combine all ingredients in one bowl.
5. Fold in raisins and/or walnuts.
6. Spoon batter into greased muffin pan, filling each muffin cup about 2/3 full.
7. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean.

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