Fall Spiced Muffins

I woke up to the sound of a storm unleashing it’s rain and thunder outside of my warm and cozy room this morning… By the time I woke up and took my first sip of coffee the skies had cleared up a bit, but the day had been set. Today was a baking day. Although Charleston’s air remained thick and humid after the rain, I still wanted it to feel like Fall inside my house. I decided to bake with pumpkin puree and plenty of aromatic spices to make sure that my house smelled of Fall. After about an hour of prep and baking time, I sat down, apron still tied around my waist, and took my first bite into Fall – or rather a spiced pumpkin carrot muffin.

Spiced Pumpkin Carrot Muffins
makes 12 muffins
(recipe adapted from A Meandering Mango)

Muffins:
1/4 cup oil (any non-fragrant oil)
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tbsp (30ml) milk
1/2 cup (200g) pumpkin puree
2 small carrots, grated (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup (30g) oats
1 cup (130g) plain flour
pinch sea salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg and ginger
1 tsp baking powder
Optional add-ins:
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
1/4 cup dried cranberries (or raisins)

Glaze:
Drizzle with honey warm out of the oven

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, place oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla and milk, and mix well. Add carrots and pumpkin and mix further. Next, add all the dry ingredients – oats, flour, spices, baking powder, sea salt, nuts, and dried fruit. Place batter into muffin cases or greased muffin tin and bake for 25-30 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean. Take out and let cool.

Drizzle with honey… take a bite into Fall!I love to bake with carrots, but every time I begin grating my first carrot I remember what a mess it makes.  All I can do is laugh when carrot flakes start shooting out at me, around my work surface, and on the floor.  If a recipe calls for a 1/2 cup grated carrot, I go ahead and do 3/4 cup since I can expect 1/4 cup of it to never make it near the bowl.

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