Monday, September 19

Rosemary Cardamom Pumpkin Muffins

In a minute, muffins. But first...

I have a confession to make...

I have recently developed a huge nerdy obsession with shopping for spices.

In a super-food nerd sort of way, I found myself meandering through Penzey's Spices in Chestnut Hill for an hour or so this Sunday smelling every last spice. They display a jarred sample of each spice that features a description of the flavor and practical applications. I could get lost in there for days (and it's not even really that large). The place totally rules.

Some smell terrible, which is very interesting. But the majority are amazing. 

The best part about Penzey's is that the prices are really reasonable, with some even being cheaper than the grocery store (yea, I was shocked too, but cardamom is about 1/2 the price I've seen at Wegs). Most of the spices that aren't cheaper do actually say that you should use less anyway, as they are more potent.

The highlights? They have around four different varieties of Cinnamon (I needed it after my discovery of the Stop 'N Shop Cinnamon), Cardamom, Sweet Hungarian Paprika, Shallot Salt, Zatar... and then of course a long list of necessities for fall baked goods. 

The nerdiest part? Every time I go there or order online, I always try to grab one new spice or seasoning that I've never used before. Before I left on Sunday, I did a little research online to get some ideas. So I actually had settled on the shallot salt before I even left my house. I'm sure lots of people do this for lots of things. I don't. I don't plan well and I have no foresight. So this was huge for me, but it isn't the nerdy thing that I'm referring to. It's just the intro, but it's important because (take notes) I planned ahead.

I browsed around for a bit before finding the shallot salt. One whiff and I was convinced (it smells aaa-mazing) so I threw it in my basket (actually I placed it gently, since it's in a glass jar). 

So here's the nerdy part: I'm at the counter and the two (extremely nice) cashiers (who ruled) begin to comment on how much they love this shallot salt seasoning. I volunteer that I read about it online, etc, etc. They warned me to keep it away from humidity as it has a tendency to clump. Thank you, I explained, but I already knew this. I did my research. I was planning to keep it in the fridge. And then we had a pretty long intense conversation about well... shallot salt. It was beyond nerdy. 

Did I build that up too much? Maybe. Or maybe I just wanted to tell everyone how great I am now at being prepared. I'm so mature. Look at me!

Anyway, excited to use my new spices, when I got home I baked these delicious, yet healthy (as always! ok, ok, not always... ) pumpkin muffins. Some of you may have seen this basic recipe in a different incarnation here. I changed it up a bit, adapted if for fall. Still a very moist muffin, still very healthy, and maaayyybe an even better flavor this time around.

Soundtrack: Jamie XX - FACT Mix (No embed code, so ya gotsta click the link!)

Rosemary Cardamom Pumpkin Muffins
Yields about 20 muffins

3/4 c oat bran

3/4 c whole wheat flour
2/3 c sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp cardamom
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp salt
1 c. cooked pumpkin (I used a canned variety; just make sure not to buy pumpkin pie mix, that's different from canned pumpkin!)
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
2/3 c plain Greek yogurt
3 tbs vegetable oil
1/2 c apples, peeled and chopped finely
1/2 c walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oat bran, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, rosemary and salt. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, egg, egg whites, yogurt, oil and apples.

Add wet ingredients to dry and fold in with a spatula, just to combine. Add walnuts in as few strokes as possible.

Divide batter into muffin tins 1/4 c at a time. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Action Action Oat Bran
Mmm.. Cinnamon!

Don't you love my silicone baking cups!?

PS This is what Jagger does all day on Sundays...

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