Years ago my father grew an award-winning giant pumpkin (he took third prize at the fair). He babied that pumpkin — made a cardboard mat for it to rest on so it wouldn’t get frost, fed it powdered milk, and he tended to the plant with care every single day. That pumpkin was over 110 pounds (113 I think?). It was made into something like a hundred pies and then I got some of the leftovers for my freezer. Well, there was lots of pumpkin to use up so I started looking through recipes to use it in. We made pie, pumpkin bread pudding, and muffins.
Over the years, I’ve used lots of recipes for pumpkin muffins and I slowly mutated all those recipes into a single recipe that I love because it is easy and so, so versatile.
Pumpkin Breakfast Muffins
4 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups white sugar
1 cup oil
1 1/2 to 2 cups pumpkin (cooked and pureed)
3 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup raisins
Add the sugar, oil, and pumpkin to the eggs and mix well. Combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to egg mixture and blend until smooth. Stir in raisins. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake at 400F for about 15 minutes.
Makes 2 1/2 to 3 dozen large muffins.
So where does the versatility come in? Lots of options:
For the raisins, substitute 1 cup of chopped walnuts, chopped dates, roasted and unsalted sunflower or pumpkin seeds, chocolate chips, blueberries, trail mix, or a combination of any of these.
Less sugar? Just substitute Splenda for half the sugar.
No pumpkin on hand? Substitute an equal amount of cooked and pureed squash, zucchini, apple sauce, carrots, beets, etc.