I’ve been blessed with the support of some pretty cool folks.
It all starts when you’re born into this world, tiny and smelling like baby (Ah that smell!), and people start to decide what knowledge they would like to pass on to you.
They tell you stories from their youth, help you tie your shoes, pull the training wheels off your bike– and slowly but surely, they teach you greater and greater things. Many of those wonderful conversations were centered around something warm and delicious that came out of their kitchens. For me, the kitchen has always been that place of community, sharing ideas, and sharing in one another’s lives. It is a very special room in one’s home, where people are always gathering– and this has been especially true everywhere I go. I have grown up sitting on kitchen counter-tops, watching the brilliant women in my life fry an egg or steam some rice, asking plenty of ‘how‘ and ‘why‘ questions, as children do. They always had answers for me. When I finally had a stove and countertop to call my own, the gathering began all over again. That’s the power of food; it just draws people together.
Because I have been taught great things by an immense amount of great people, I hope to give back slowly.
My way is, of course, to feed them. So this is for you, my Aunts, who requested some pumpkin action here on Wise & Wonderful Cookery, and once upon a time were helping me buckle a seat belt and zip up my winter jacket.
Over the holiday season, I am also going to share as many family recipes as I can get my hands on, to highlight the awesome kitchen smarts of the people who have influenced me. So stay tuned.
Yesterday I posted the recipe for Spicy Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, which came out of the adorable little pumpkin I used for these muffins. The recipe is an adaptation from my own Sweet Potato & Dark Chocolate Muffins. Lotta lotta muffins here lately, and I love it.
Vegan Pumpkin Muffins.
-1 cup canned or fresh-cooked pumpkin (I used fresh, because it provides the most nutrition and flavor. Please give it a try.)
-1/4 cup water
-1/4 cup neutral oil
-1/4 cup black strap molasses
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-1 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
-1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate
-3/4 cup honey (honey is not ‘technically vegan’ because it is an animal product. I use it because it is sweet and very good for you.)
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
-1 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/4 teaspoon allspice
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wipe the insides of your muffin pan well with coconut oil. Mix wet ingredients in a mixer on high for about a minute. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients together. Combine dry and wet ingredients, then fold in chocolate. Distribute batter evenly into muffin cups, then bake for 30 minutes.
To Roast a Fresh Pumpkin: Chop your small pie pumpkin in half, and scoop out the guts. Remove the stem from the top of the pumpkin. Place in a baking dish with a half inch or so of water, cover with foil, and bake for about an hour, or until the flesh is tender and can easily be scooped out with a spoon.