[Mood Tip: One Ginger Pumpkin Muffin supplies more than 3,000 IU of beta carotene, an antioxidant that helps protect the brain from free-radical damage and age-related memory loss.]
A great breakfast or snack for the holidays, these muffins also are worthy of attention year-around. One muffin is a meal. Serve with peanut butter or applesauce and a cup of warm milk flavored with almond extract.
4 + 2 tablespoons candied ginger bits
1/2 cup dried cherries (you also can use cherry-essence dried plums, cut into bits)
2 tablespoons dark rum or 5 teaspoons water and 1 teaspoon rum extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
pinch of salt
2 large egg whites
1/4 cup liquid egg substitute (equivalent of 1 whole egg)
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup apple butter
1/4 cup canola oil
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 12-muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
1) Place 4 tablespoons of the ginger bits, the dried cherries, and rum in small bowl. Blend and set aside.
2) In large bowl, mix with a wire whip flour, ground ginger, pumpkin spice, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
3) In small bowl, whip egg whites until frothy, but not stiff. Add egg substitute and blend. Set aside.
4) In medium bowl, blend pumpkin, buttermilk, vanilla, 3/4 cup brown sugar, apple butter, and oil. Add egg mixture and blend. Fold ginger bit-rum mixture into batter.
5) Pour pumpkin-egg mixture into flour mixture and mix until dry ingredients are wet. (Don’t over mix, since this will result in flat, tough muffins.) Divide batter evenly between 12 muffin cups.
6) Mix remaining 2 tablespoons ginger bits and 1 tablespoon brown sugar and sprinkle over tops of muffins before placing in oven. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into muffin comes out clean. Makes 12 muffins.
Nutritional Analysis per muffin: 213 Calories; 21 percent fat (4.9 grams); > 0.5 gram saturated fat; 8 percent protein; 69 percent carbohydrate; 1.4 grams fiber.