Recently, I had another “first-time” food experience. This time it was with pumpkin. Back in the day, and I’m talking way back in elementary school…grade 5 to be precise, was the last time I had had any experience with pumpkins. It was in Mr. McFarlene’s class and we were carving pumpkins for Halloween. Now, we didn’t really celebrate Halloween, but because this was a class activity, my parents let me drag a pumpkin to school and carve it with my classmates. I remember sticking my hand inside my pumpkin and feeling all of the gushy, thready goo, and giggling/cringing as I scooped out the seeds and flesh until the insides were smooth. I was no artist, so I drew out a very simple Jack O’ Lantern design- a face with a very toothy grin. After school, I dragged the pumpkin back home and planted it on the front porch. When my dad came home that night, we lit a candle and put it inside the pumpkin and had that stupid grin shine up on the wall. Ahh…life was so simple back then……
Flash forward a “few” years (ahem..) and pumpkin has re-entered my life yet again. This time in the form of a can. I thought I would have to cut, clean out, and cook a pumpkin to make this, but luckily this recipe from Gina’s Skinny Recipes called for good ol’ canned pumpkin puree. The first time I tried this recipe, I followed it to a T. Unfortunately, I found the taste to be very OVERWHELMING because of the amount of pumpkin pie spice used. The second time I made them, I cut the pumpkin pie spice in half and found the flavour to be much more appetizing. If you like your pumpkin baked goods to be very spicy, go right ahead and use the original measurements. But if you want a more delicate taste, use the measurements from below.
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin puree
1 1/4 cups Nutri-Blend flour (same as white whole wheat flour)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking soda
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp oil
2 large egg whites
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp pepitas
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray mini muffin tins with some oil.
In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, pumpkin spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl beat together egg whites, pumpkin puree and vanilla at medium speed until thick.
Add flour mixture and mix at low speed until wet and dry ingredients are just combined.
Scoop out batter into mini muffin tins using an ice cream scoop. Sprinkle pepitas on tops of muffins and bake on the centre rack for 8-10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove muffins and place on cooking rack.