Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Guest Post: Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins

Today's guest post comes from Ali, who lives in Vancou... you'll see.

Hi everyone.

My name is Ali, and I live in Vancouver, Canada with my boyfriend J. We are both graduate students, so we eat on the cheap, and we're both pretty active - I'm training up for a half marathon - so we're a couple of hungry buggers. The recipe below is a great way to use up pumpkin, if you've got it, and cranberries.

This muffin is one of our faves: It's cheap and healthy and good (what a coincidence!), and also portable, freezable, and toastable. CHGPFT! Also, let's compare this nutritional info with the info for a "Lowfat raspberry muffin" from a large international coffee chain that shall remain nameless. Their muffin (according to their online nutrition info): 340 calories, 6g fat, 2g fibre, 7g protein. This is their healthy muffin, people. And let's not even talk about the price...I'm not sure what they are charging for their muffins, but it sure as heck isn't $0.53. Yikes. So, save your money! Save your calories! Give the muffins below a won't regret it. Promise.

A couple of notes:

1) The inspiration for this recipe comes from a fantastic cook book called Re:Bar, but we've made loads of adaptations to it so I'm not sure you could call it the same recipe. Nevertheless, the idea of putting millet and pumpkin together in muffin form comes from those guys and their yummy restaurant.

2) Did you know that there is as much protein is 1/2 cup millet as there is in 2 eggs (11g)? I didn't. And the millet is a third the price. So there's that.

3) For the pumpkin: we bought a huge (10 pound) pumpkin from a farmers' market, cooked the sucker, mashed up its insides, and froze the resulting mush in 2-cup ziplock bags. I admit I do not remember the exact price of the pumpkin, but it was cheap. So what you have here is my best guess for price. I'm guessing that the pumpkin cost about $10, and we got about 7 frozen cups of mush from it, plus a cup or two of pumpkin seeds.


If this looks good, you'll surely love:

Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins

1/2 cup millet (uncooked)
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/8 cup vegetable oil
1.25 cups pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
1 cup flour (all white, or 1/2 white 1/2 whole wheat)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

1) Preheat oven to 375 degress. Grease a muffin tray, or line with muffin papers.

2) Toast millet in a hot dry skillet until it's lightly browned and starts to smell toasty. Set aside.

3) Beat together eggs, sugar, and vanilla until well mixed. Then add in yogurt pumpkin, and vegetable oil. Mix.

4) In a different bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and millet.

5) Combine wet and dry, and stir in cranberries. Don't overmix, or muffins will be tough - use minimal stirrage.

6) Bake at 375 for 20-25 mins or until a knife comes out clean.

Approximate Calories, Fat, Fibre, Protein, and Price Per Serving
155 calories, 3.8g fat, 3.1g fibre, 4g protein, $0.53

NOTE: Calculations are in Canadian dollars. Just add about 10% to convert to USD.

1/2 cup millet: 378 calories, 4.2g fat, 8.5 g fibre, 11g protein, $0.50
2 eggs (we used happy-organic-free-range-type, hence the price): 126 calories, 8.7g fat, 0g fibre, 11.1 g protein, $1.75
1/2 cup sugar: 387 calories, 0g fat, 0g fibre, 0g protein, $0.25
1 teaspoon vanilla: 12 calories, 0g fat, 0g fibre, 0g protein, $0.10
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt: 77 calories, 1.9g fat, 0g fibre, 6.4 g protein, $0.64
1/8 cup vegetable oil (we used grapeseed): 241 calories, 27 g fat, 0g fibre, 0g, protein, $0.20
1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree: 104 calories, 1g fat, 9g fibre, 3.4g protein, $0.75*
1/2 cup whole wheat flour: 203 calories, 1.1g fat, 7.3g fibre, 8.2g protein, $.0.18
1/2 cup white flour: 228 calories, .5 g fat, 1.7g fibre, 6.5g protein, $0.15
1 teaspoon baking soda: 0g everything, $0.05
1 teaspoon cinnamon: 6 calories, 0g fat, 1.2g fibre, 0g protein, $0.10
2 teaspoons fresh ginger: 12 calories, 0g fat, .5g fibre, .3g protein, $0.35
2 cups cranberries: 87 calories, 0g fat, 8.7g fibre, 0.7g protein, $1.35
TOTALS: 1862 calories, 45.5g fat, 36.6g fibre, 47.5g protein, $6.37
PER SERVING (Totals/12): 155 calories, 3.8g fat, 3.1g fibre, 4g protein, $0.53

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miriam said...

I've had some millet in my pantry that I keep meaning to make as a side dish but then I go back to the same old grains. Can't wait to try this. It sounds like just the kind of delicious and healthful treat that will keep me out of trouble.

Anonymous said...

Looks good. I will definately be making this soon.

Paige said...

Do you think that subbing quinoa for the millet would work? I have plenty of quinoa and no millet.

Ali said...

@Paige - My guess would be yes, but I'm not sure. If you do give it a go, let us know how it went!

@Miriam & Anonymous: Enjoy!

Sharon said...

Hmmm.....53 cents Canadian- with the exchange rate and some questionable math, that's got to be something like 8 cents in American cash!

Anonymous said...

Yum, just made these and they're great! I did sub quinoa for the millet and used a little less pumpkin and added in an overripe banana and used blueberries instead of cranberries. Hearty and delicious, thanks for the recipe.

Jessica said...

Yum! I LOVE cranberries and pumpkin (don't know if I've tried them together, but it sounds good). I've got a lot of butternut squash on hand at the moment though. I think that I'll try these with that and see how it goes. Thanks for the recipe.

sarah said...

Ingenious! What a great idea to put millet and pumpkin together. Thanks for the creation

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous: Glad to hear it works with quinoa - I would never have thought to try. Glad you enjoyed!

@Jessica: cranberries and squash definitely do go together well - something about the tang of the cranberries I think. Give them a try!

Jen said...

Just posting because I made these this afternoon. I didn't have millet so used quinoa as another commenter suggested. I also didn't have white sugar so I used brown. Not sure if it was the ingredient substitutions or something else, but the muffins never quite set all the way. I let them back for probably 35 minutes before I finally took them out thinking they MUST be done, but they're still a little underbaked in the middle. But the flavor is really great--not too tart and very hearty. I will definitely try this again with the proper ingredients to see if that makes an impact.

sarah said...

Thanks again for this clever recipe. I wanted to let you know that I linked to it in my weekend links post today. Cheers!

ebroe said...

Made these tonight and they're delish! Very moist and not too sweet. Apparently, I've been doing well at using up pantry items, because I had zero millet, quinoa or anything. So, I substituted steel cut oatmeal and used raisins and dried cranberries having no fresh berries. Texture was good and I think they'd be even better with fresh fruit vs. dried. Thanks for another great recipe!

Kathy Z. said...

Is there any easy way I can calculate carbs for your recipes? Weight Watchers uses carbs along with fibre, protein and fat to calculate points.

Anxious to try many of your recipes if I can just figure out carbs so I can stay on track.