Eagerly Welcoming the Day

I have a confession to make: I am obsessed with winter squash. Pumpkin, sweet potatoes, acorn, butternut – there are just SO many wonderful varieties to choose from! Fall and squash are synonymous in my book, and I love finding new ways to cook them. Wanting to bake a simple gesture for the office that everyone could enjoy (including my vegan friend Rosena!), I decided to make Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip  Muffins.
When buying the ingredients for last week’s Pumpkin Cake, I accidentally purchased a can of pumpkin pie mix rather than pure canned pumpkin. I was able to buy the pure variety in time for the cake, but was still stuck with the mix (I’d lost the receipt, and trying to convince the cashier at Whole Foods that pre-seasoned mixes are against my beliefs would be way too complicated). This muffin recipe, though, had just the right context for (hiding) the added flavors in the canned mix. I adjusted the sugars and spices accordingly to mask it.
Vegan baking may seem like an anomaly, but the results can be surprisingly similar to their non-vegan counterparts. The eggs in this recipe are replaced by ground flaxseed – when combined with water, flax acts as a binding agent. It also imparts a nutty taste to the final product, making it ideals for muffins and breads. These muffins had a wonderful texture, with a nice balance of flavors. So the next time waking up feels like an impossible task, consider having a batch of these on call – click HERE to see how to make these delicious fall treats!
To pair with these breakfast beauties, I wanted a piece that evoked images of dawn and sunrise. That led me to Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite no 1, Op. 46: No 1, Prelude “Morning.” The work was written as incidental music to the play by Henrik Ibsen of the same na,e. While it may be a literal pairing, the muffins are remarkably akin to the style of this beautiful movement. Grieg paints a colorful daybreak using rich harmonies and gentle melodies. These muffins are filled with flavor while still having a light, airy crumb. Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAMLCDnCLzs

Sources Cited:
“Peer Gynt (Grieg),” Wikipedia.com

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