The last time I blogged, it was a stormy day. That was more than a month ago, and I’m sorry to say the weather still hasn’t changed much; we are supposed to get as much as 25 cm overnight. So despite the fact it’s officially spring, we still have awhile yet to wait for the warm sun. But that’s Alberta for you, right?
For those who are choosing to stay warm and are lazing inside today like me, take the time to try this sweet treat: the Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffin with Blueberry Compote.
The muffins are made with steel-cut oats and the recipe doesn’t call for sugar, butter or flour. One thing to keep in mind is storage. These are quite moist because of the pumpkin mixture. I stored mine in a Tupperware container and they had a lot of white fuzz by the end of the week. So if you don’t have a large family consider freezing them or bringing them to work to share.
You will also want to start a day before you plan to eat these because the steel-cuts need to be soaked overnight.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 cup steel-cut oats
- 1/2 cup oat bran
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup pumpkin purée
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (you’ll also need an additional 2 tablespoons later)
- 2 cups frozen blueberries
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 teaspoon cornstarch
- Soak the oats in water overnight, covered with a tea towel or cloth
- The next day when you’re ready to prepare them, preheat the oven to 350
- Drain oats and add place in large bowl. Add oat bran, walnuts, allspice and salt
- In a separate bowl beat eggs and mix in pumpkin, milk and two tablespoons of maple syrup.
- Add wet ingredients to dry and stir
- Grease muffin tins (approx 12). Pour in batter to rim. Bake for 20 mins
- Cool before taking muffins out of mould.
To make the compote:
- Place blueberries, water, 1/3 cup maple syrup, cinnamon and almond extract in medium saucepan.
- Heat on stove top on medium and stir occasionally for 20 mins
- Add cornstarch to water and mix. Add the saucepan and heat for 1 min.
- Pour over muffins.
Fun facts for every two muffs with compote: 11g protein, 10 g fat, 50g total carbohydrates, 138 mgsodium
Here is the second part of yesterday’s blog post — the Baby Spinach with Avocado, Pomegranate and Sunflower Seeds salad. This recipe wasn’t taken from the Moosewood. I took it from Jillian Michaels’ Master Your Metabolism Cookbook. (Michaels was one of the personal coaches featured on the Biggest Loser back in the day and is apparently coming back in January 2013 for all you fans).
This is a great time to cook with pomegranates because they’re currently in season until about January. You can buy the juice all year but not the fruit. And the seeds are juicy and crunchy and a great addition to salads.
Read more here about the health benefits of this fruits but to shorten it for you here is the summary — “a glass of pomegranate juice has more antioxidants than red wine, green tea, blueberries, and cranberries.”
This recipe asks for spinach and I find a plain spinach salad can be a little slimy tasting so I purchased a mixed greens and herb package from Planet Organic. It had some dill in it, which added a great flavour.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 large shallot, quartered
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 pomegranate
- 10 oz baby spinach leaves
- 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds toasted (something I never do, I just toss them in)
- 1 avocado
1. Throw the orange zest and juice, lime zest and juice, shallot, olive oil, chili powder, salt and pepper into a blender. Mix until smooth and set aside.
2. Fill a large bowl with cold water. Cut the pom in half. Holding on half under the water and remove the seeds with your hands. Drain the seeds well, discarding the membrane. Set aside 3/4 cup. Use the rest another time. (I don’t always need the bowl of water but I do find it helps with rubbing off the membrane).
3. Combine the greens and all but 2 tablespoons of the pom seeds, the sunflower seeds, and about 1/4 cup of the dressing. Toss gently to coat. Dish salad out onto plates (To roast the seeds: place on baking sheet and cook for 2 minutes in preheated 350 degree oven).
4. Pitt, peel and slice the avocado thinly before arranging on top of the salad. Spinkle the rest of the seeds on top with remaining sauce.