Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Homemade Goodness "Pumpkin muffins and cookies*

I'm so happy Fall is almost here. Fall to my family means pumpkin muffins and cookies galore. We LOVE the taste of these. If you do not have pumpkins ready available, any large squash will work. I'm using acorn squash right now due to pumpkins not in season just yet. Plus acorn squash only cost about 50 cents each so its super budget friendly. I cook 2 at a time and freeze any extra I have. Just make sure to put about 2 cups in each container in the freezer. This way you don't have to measure later.
Steps to cooked pumpkin or squash puree
1. Start oven at 350 degree's
2. Cut pumpkin in half (or squash)
3. Take large spoon and scoop out seeds. You can
rinse and dry these for planting next year if you wish. Just rinse them and lay on paper towel to dry them. Store in air tight container.
4. Brush or drizzle olive oil on flesh that will be touching the pan. You will cook flesh side down.
5. Bake for about 30min-1 hr. Use a fork to poke the squash. If easily pokes in, then its done.
6. Let cook for 20 minutes flesh side up
7. Scoop all flesh out into freezer safe containers. 2 cups increments.
8. Done!
Note:You do not need to mash or put into a blender. When baked, baking does all the work for you. Pumpkins might need cooked one half at a time. Depends on the size of it.

Pumpkin Cornmeal Muffins

1/2 cup butter 2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup brown sugar 1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup milk 1 tsp cinnamon
4 eggs 1/2 tsp salt
15 oz pumpkin puree 1/2 tsp cloves (optional)
1 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour 2 tbsp ground flax seed

Mix all wet ingredients together in a bowl. Mix all dry ingredients into a separate bowl and mix well. Mix the wet with the dry ingredients until blended. Do not over mix. Scoop into cupcake papers or oil up your cupcake pan for rustic muffins and save some tree's in the process.
Bake at 350 degree's for 20-30 minutes till golden brown. Poke with fork and if fork comes out clean, they are done.

Pumpkin Cookies

1/2 cup sugar 2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup of brown sugar 1 tsp baking powder
1 cup butter 1 tsp baking soda
1 cup cooked pumpkin puree 1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla 1/4 tsp salt
1 egg 3/4 cup of nuts (optional)
2 tbsp ground flax seed

Mix all wet ingredients till blended. In separate bowl mix all dry ingredients. Mix dry and wet ingredients till blended. Scoop spoonfuls on a pan and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes till golden brown.

Not only will you be making super healthy treats for the kids and you, you will also be making your house smell so yummy for a few hours. Who doesnt love the smell of Fall? I LOVE IT!

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