Welcome December! Any other moms feeling just a little overwhelmed? It’s not even shopping for the kids, right? It’s all the other stuff that comes with being a mom and the holidays. Cue: bake sales and craft fairs and field trips and projects and concerts and gingerbread houses and school parties and activity parties and decorating and secret santas and... etc etc. Run-on sentence fully intentional. Whew.
This fall has been particularly busy for our family. Busier than any other year. So, I’m further behind this December than any other year! No decorations up, no lights, no tree, have some of my gifts but overall – not ready. Plus, our 4-year old has had a witch of a cold this past two weeks. Not sure if it was one cold that morphed into some awful beastly secondary life of the first, or two separate viruses. I always found the start of four-year preschool and kindergarten hit our kiddos’ immune systems the hardest. She sure had a tough run these past couple of weeks.
Where was I going with this? Oh, right: overwhelm!
While I know I should probably direct myself to some yoga and meditation to manage stress… instead I bake. And it typically involves chocolate. #nojudging
I’m still loving pumpkin, and from all the amazing feedback on my last pumpkin recipe, I gather you are too! So, let’s deal with our holiday stress and bake some Pumpkin Muffins with Chocolate Chips. Shall we?
I decided to test out an oil-free version for any plant-strong folks reading. There wasn’t much oil in the recipe to begin with, so the substitutions were easy and worked beautifully. The muffins are just as light and tender – and delicious! Below I have posted the original version with the oil-free modification. Enjoy!
Pumpkin Oat Muffins with Chocolate Chips Recipage link to print/share
Bring the enjoyment of pumpkin pie into delicious whole-grain muffins!
Topping (optional, not included in these photos):
2 tbsp unrefined sugar
1 tsp neutral-flavored oil (omit for oil-free version)
pinch sea salt
1 cup spelt flour
1 cup oat flour
1⁄2 cup rolled oats
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1⁄4 tsp sea salt
1⁄2 tsp cinnamon
1⁄4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice (optional)
3 tbsp coconut sugar or other unrefined sugar
1/4 – 1/3 cup mini non-dairy chocolate chips (optional… but really!)
3 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tbsp flax meal (or 1/2 tbsp ground white chia seed)
3⁄4 cup plain or vanilla non-dairy milk
1 cup pumpkin pie mix (I use Farmer’s Market Organic brand)
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
3 tbsp organic safflower, avocado, or other neutral-tasting oil (omit for oil free version, and add another 2-3 tbsp non-dairy milk and 1 tbsp maple syrup)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients and set aside until batter is ready. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients, sifting in the baking powder and baking soda. Stir until well mixed. In another bowl, first combine the maple syrup with the flax meal, and then add the remaining wet ingredients and stir until well mixed. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, and gently fold and mix until just combined (do not overmix). Spoon the mixture into a twelve-cup lined muffin pan (filling 12). Sprinkle a little of the topping on each muffin. Bake for 21-24 minutes (around 20-22 minutes for oil-free, they can dry out more quickly), until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven, let cool for a couple of minutes in the pan, and then transfer the muffins to cool on a cooling rack. Makes 12 muffins.
Adult-Minded: Bump up the allspice, add 1⁄8 to 1⁄4 teaspoon of ground ginger for extra spice, and try adding 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans.
Do you also stress-bake? Don’t leave me all alone! ;) Seriously, what things do you do to keep the stress in check during the holidays? Any tips to share? Or favorite stress-baking goodies?