There are bakers who have to follow the recipe exactly and then there are those who see the directions as suggestions. Either way, you place it in the oven or on the stove and hope for the desired results……yummy food.
This last month, we made pumpkin muffins and many loaves of pumpkin bread. This should not come as a surprise to those who know my pumpkin addiction and growing collection of fall memorabilia. Yes, I do have pumpkin earrings, and yes, people did give me pumpkin snacks and pumpkin baby clothes when my little one was born. If I had known that would happen, I would have planned all my littles to be born in fall just for the treats and cute clothes. Just kidding…
I make my bread with pumpkin from a real pumpkin (meaning not from a can) so I have to puree it first using my Oyster immersion blender and drain out the water. Then next is where the art part comes in. I love my pumpkin spice treats, but my desire to have the energy to raise my kiddos makes me eat healthier. I substitute coconut oil in most of my baking, cut the sugar by half or a third (or substitute coconut sugar), and use whole wheat flour for part or all of it. Flax seed or chia seed may also be snuck in there.
For me, baking is an art form. Dumping a little of this or that in the recipe and tailoring it how I like it. There’s no guarantee it will turn out perfect (my husband has vetoed using coconut oil in his chicken pot pie crust) but it’s always edible and healthier than the original recipe.
I wish parenting and life in general was more science than art form. I’d like guaranteed results and a five-step plan for raising amazing children. Often I feel like I do all the right things, but still don’t get the desired results. Lately, we’ve been adjusting the consequences for certain behaviors for our toddler as the previous ones don’t seem to change things. The new trick is putting all her stuffed animals in time out for a while when certain “naughty” choices are made. It’s frustrating when you can list off the things you’ve tried….and don’t see the hoped for results.
This definitely has increased my prayer life! I keep bringing these little ones to my Master Baker asking for help in choosing the right ingredients and methods. Parenting, baking, and life all involve trying different ingredients and methods, then trusting/praying that it turns out. I don’t always understand the ingredients He chooses to use in the recipe of my life, nor why he chooses certain methods, but I can trust Him for the end result.
So how did those pumpkin spice muffins with the altered ingredients turn out? Amazing! They are gone, along with many loaves of pumpkin bread since then. I’ll include the recipe (original version) below from the Pumpkin Lovers Cookbook in case you want to try it for yourself.
Enjoy and happy baking!
Pumpkin Nut Muffins
1/4 cup oil
1 Cup Pumpkin
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. cinnamon
Blend above ingredients. Add:
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped nuts
Mix thoroughly. Put in greased muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Makes 1 dozen.