Pumpkin and Feta Muffins

>> Monday, November 21, 2011

Whoa, this has been a foreign place to me lately! (And I didn't mean for it to be like that, really!)

Just need to cozy it up with a bit of sunshine in the form of...

Pumpkins. Feta. Spinach. Parmesan. Mustard seeds. Sunflower kernels. 

You still with me? I hope so.

So as we quickly approach the year end, life continues to (in short)...

* be busy and filled with decisions to make.
* teach me things like understanding and patience (and how to kill mosquitoes in the middle of the night).
* test me and my heart.
* display beauty in many shapes and forms (and also in the intangible!)

As much as I adore anything sweet (as this blog testifies), if I have a choice between a sweet or a savoury muffin, I'd pick the latter without a thought. 

And usually they (i.e. multiple savoury muffins) can completely replace a meal for me...but only if they are filled with loads of flavoursome ingredients like these Pumpkin and Feta muffins.

After I enjoyed a few of these colourful muffins (hmmmm sweet sweet pumpkins, salty feta, crunchy seeds warm from the oven...need I go on?), it suddenly occurred to me that apart from the bit of olive oil to roast the pumpkins in, I don't recall using a bit of butter or oil in the whole process at all. 

I panicked slightly. Either I read the recipe wrong. Or I have amnesia.

So I checked the recipe again. Phew I can read and memory still a-ok!

Happy that I discovered these delicious oil-free muffins. 

And thank you for visiting today. Make some muffins, grab a cup of tea and share some of your life and heart with me, won't you?

Pumpkin and Feta Muffins
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks
Makes 12 muffins
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (I omitted this as I used non stick muffin pan).
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups / 9 oz / 255g cubed pumpkin or butternut squash, 1/2-inch cubes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large handful of baby spinach, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley or cilantro (I omitted this)
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower seeds kernels
  • 3/4 cup / 1 oz / 30g freshly grated Parmesan
  • 100g / 3.5 oz / 1/2 cup cubed feta
  • 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup / 180 ml milk (I used around 2 extra tbsp on top of this)
  • 2 cups flour (I used 1 1/2 cup AP flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour)
  • 4 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 405F / 200C, with rack in the top third. Use the butter to grease a 12-hole muffin pan and set aside.

2. Sprinkle the olive oil and some salt and pepper over the squash. Toss well and turn onto a baking sheet or roasting pan. Arrange in a single layer and bake for 15 - 25 minutes or until cooked through entirely. Set aside to cool.

3. Transfer two-thirds of the squash to a large mixing bowl along with the spinach, parsley, sunflower seeds, Parmesan, two-thirds of the feta, and all of the mustard. Gently fold together. In a separate bowl beat the eggs and milk together and add to the squash mix. Sift the flour and baking powder onto the squash mix, top with the salt and a generous dose of freshly ground black pepper and fold together just until the batter comes together, be careful not to over mix.

4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan, filling each hole 3/4 full, top each muffin with a bit of the remaining squash and feta (see photo up above). Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops and sides of the muffins are golden, and the muffins have set up completely. Let cool for a couple minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack. I like these muffins cooled a bit, served just warmer than room temperature.

People cry out under a load of oppression; they plead for relief from the arm of the powerful. 
But no one says, ‘Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night
- Job 35:9-10

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