This past weekend, I did a race in Raleigh that I'd been looking forward to for weeks. Because of the running, sure, but mostly because of the carbo-loading the day before. Bagels, pizza, animal crackers, Starbursts. The foods of champions, my friends. But my favorite carb of the weekend? Pumpkin muffins.
I adapted my recipe from one by Mark Bittman, published in Runner's World a few months back. Mark is super-smart and knows good food, so you can totally trust the original, which uses sweet potato. But if you're looking to cut out a little fat, my version uses applesauce instead of oil. (I've tried this recipe with both, and they tasted the same to me.)
I'll warn you: these aren't Starbucksy muffins. They aren't cakey. Or all that sweet. But they are incredibly fluffy, especially for a baked good made with whole grains. And the pumpkin keeps them super moist. (I really hate the word "moist" but I love these muffins so much I'm willing to use icky words to deliver an accurate description.)
And if you're a runner who likes to track carbs and calories and all that stuff, I've done the nutrition figuring for you.
Check that vitamin A. Yowzah!
Pumpkin muffins for runners and other humans
- 2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour (about 300 grams)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 c wheat germ
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
Heat oven to 375° F. Grease 12 muffin cups.
Combine flour, sugar, wheat germ, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk together butter, applesauce, pumpkin egg and buttermilk. Fold the butter mixture into the flour mixture until just combined. The batter will be very thick.
Fill muffin cups about three-quarters full and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for about 20 minutes.
The food: Pumpkin muffins
The verdict: Gourds never tasted so good