Whole wheat pumpkin muffins with a healthy dose of toasted millet, studded with raisins and toasted pumpkin seeds, sweetened with date syrup, and spiced with ginger.
Recently I was chatting with a friend about how the kale scene in Stockholm has really improved over the last year. It used to be basically impossible to find other than for a few weeks around Christmas time, but now it’s everywhere. We’re hopeful this is a sign of the times and it means that the squash scene is also on the up and up.
Until now, butternut is basically the only squash that has been readily available. Just like the lack of kale used to, the lack of squash really baffles me, especially in a country with a deep fondness for foods like cabbage and potatoes that weather the winter well.
But this year there was a better than before selection of squash at the farmer’s market, so right now I’ve got a butternut, a spaghetti, and a smattering of some cousin of the acorn squash on layaway. There’s still nary a delicata or kabocha to be found, but I’m optimistic that times are changing.
Pumpkin spice and everything nice is the theme of the internet right now, and I’m doing my part to keep up. Remember when I roasted up that big beautiful pumpkin a few weeks back? These muffins are part of what happened with it: pumpkin muffins with a healthy dose of toasted millet, studded with raisins and toasted pumpkin seeds, sweetened with date syrup, and spiced with ginger.
Toasting the millet and pumpkin seeds is an extra step, but well worth it. It brings out the nutty flavours in both seeds, and makes the millet extra crunchy which is fun when you’re chomping down on these muffins. The raisins aren’t essential, so if you’re one of those people with strong feelings about raisins in baked goods, you can leave ‘em out. I do encourage you to toss them in otherwise, as these muffins are just barely sweet and a raisiny bite can make all the difference.
I’ve used date syrup here, my new favourite sweetener. Made of nothing but dates, it delivers a blast of caramelly sweetness and a deep dark colour that I adore in baking. If you can’t find it (check food stores, in Middle Eastern shops, or order online) you could sub in another liquid sweetener such as honey or brown rice syrup, or go in with just plain old brown sugar (I’ll note the amount in the recipe below).
However you sweeten them, I encourage you to give these muffins a go. Warm pumpkiny muffins on a crisp Saturday morning is pretty much perfect, right? And you can stash leftovers in the freezer for busier days. Consider this your weekend project – bonus points if you roast your own pumpkin!
Pumpkin, and other yellow fleshed winter squash, are jam packed full of carotenes, which is the compound ultimately responsible for their colour, and also is a pre-cursor to Vitamin A (you need that so you can see). Pumpkin also contains a good dose of fibre, potassium, vitamin C, and manganese. But the pumpkin goodness doesn’t stop there!
Pumpkin seeds are a very good source of phosphorus, magnesium, and manganese. They are also a good source of other minerals including zinc, copper, and iron. Additionally, pumpkin seeds are a good source of protein. Pumpkin seeds have long been valued for their anti-microbial benefits, including their anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Research points to the role of unique proteins in pumpkin seeds as the source of many antimicrobial benefits.
pumpkin millet muffins
- 2 eggs beaten
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup date syrup or ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 ½ cups pumpkin puree
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup plain yoghurt
- ½ cup rolled oats
- ½ cup millet toasted
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds toasted
- ½ cup raisins
- 1 ¾ cups whole wheat pastry flour or 1 cup whole wheat + ¾ cup all purpose
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- Preheat your oven to 350°F / 180°C.
- Liberally grease 12 muffin cups (or 15 if you prefer slightly smaller muffins), or line with parchment muffin liners.
- Set a small, dry frying pan over medium heat. Place the millet in, and toast for 5 minutes or so, until it is fragrant and nutty. Transfer the millet to a small bowl.
- Set the same frying pan back on the heat, and now toast the pumpkin seeds for about 5 minutes, until fragrant and nutty. Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs together with the olive oil, date syrup, milk, yoghurt, and pumpkin puree.
- Add the oats, and stir well to combine.
- In a smaller bowl, sift together whole-wheat pastry flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
- Stir the dry mix into the wet until just barely combined.
- Now fold the toasted millet, ¼ cup of toasted pumpkin seeds (reserve the rest for sprinkling on the muffin tops), and raisins into the muffin batter.
- Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared muffin tins, then sprinkle the tops with the remaining toasted pumpkin seeds.
- Set in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let cool in the muffin tins for 5 minutes before removing the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.
Adapted from Rebar.