Pumpkin packs a nutritional punch on a budget. Whether you use fresh or canned, there are lots of ways to get this potassium-rich food into your diet on a regular basis. Muffins are great breakfast fare and travel well for snacks at school or work, so make a double batch!

Preheat oven to 375°. Line 9 cups of a muffin tin with paper liners or grease the cups.

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup canola oil
1 large egg
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, allspice and salt.

In a large bowl, stir together the pumpkin, brown sugar, oil and egg until the mixture is smooth. Add the raisins and walnuts and incorporate well. Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and stir until well blended.

Fill the prepared muffin cups about 2/3 full and sprinkle with granulated sugar, if you like. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until a pick comes out clean. Cool cooked muffins on a rack and store in an airtight container.

Yield: 9 muffins

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An economical alternative to vending machine snacks, a quick batch of muffins also provides a great breakfast when you’re in a hurry.

1-3/4 cups unbleached flour
1/2 cup bran
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup shortening

Preheat oven to 357°. Prepare muffin tins by lightly buttering or adding paper baking cups.

Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Melt the shortening. Beat the egg and add the milk, molasses and melted shortening. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to dampen. The batter may be a little lumpy, which is perfectly fine and actually desirable.

Fill each muffin cup approximately 2/3 full. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes.

Yield: 12 muffins.

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The fragrance of orange coffee cake will bring your family and friends from the far corners of your home. This delicious and easy to prepare recipe is light and moist.

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup orange juice
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water** or vanilla

Topping:
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons grated orange peel
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter, softened

Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly grease a 9-inch square pan.

Place the topping ingredients in a small bowl and stir with a fork, pressing the ingredients lightly against the sides of the bowl to force some of the orange oil into the sugar. Prepare the coffee cake by sifting the flour, salt, baking powder and 1/3 cup sugar together into a bowl; stir in 1 teaspoon of grated orange peel. In a large bowl combine the 1/4 cup melted butter, milk, orange juice, egg and orange blossom water and mix well. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients; stir until all are just moistened. Pour into the prepared pan and sprinkle with the topping. Bake for 30 minutes.

Yield: 9 3-inch squares

*Magic: this recipe is exclusive to I Love You Recipes. It is from my personal, unpublished collection.

**Look for orange blossom water in Middle Eastern and European markets. In a pinch, you can often find it at your local liquor store, though you might experience sticker shock. You can delightfully enhance the flavor of purchased orange juice with just a few drops of orange blossom water.

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The aroma of piping hot blueberry muffins will chase away the chill of any winter morning. This is an easy recipe that works well with strawberries, too.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1-1/4 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen and thawed

Preheat oven to 375°. Prepare muffin tins by lightly buttering or adding paper baking cups.

Toss the blueberries with 1/4 cup of the flour. Lightly beat the egg, milk and melted butter in a small bowl. Mix the remaining flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to dampen. The batter may be a little lumpy, which is perfectly fine and actually desirable. Add the flour dusted blueberries to your batter and give a quick stir, just enough to distribute them through most of the batter.

Fill each muffin cup approximately 2/3 full. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes. The tops will just begin to turn lightly golden brown when they are done.

Strawberries, fresh or frozen and thawed, may be substituted for the blueberries. The strawberries do not need to be dusted in flour. Use all of the flour in the dry ingredient mix.

Tip: to keep your muffins piping hot, place a bread warmer, the bottom of your garlic roaster, or a few large clean stones in the oven while your muffins bake. Transfer the warmed elements to the bottom of a wicker bread basket and place a pretty towel over the basket. Nestle your muffins in the basket and fold the towel over to retain heat.

Yield: 12 muffins

*Magic: this recipe is exclusive to I Love You Recipes. It is from my personal, unpublished collection.

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Fresh hot coffee cake is always a treat, and this sour cream coffee cake recipe is no exception. It’s moist with just the right balance of flavor and is delicious served with fresh fruit.

Coffee Cake:
1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder

Topping:
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose unbleached flour
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Grease a tube pan. Preheat oven to 350°.

Coffee cake:
Combine the flour, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl and mix well. In another bowl, cream the shortening and sugar until smooth. By hand, add the eggs and vanilla to the creamed shortening and mix well. Add the sour cream; mix until thoroughly incorporated. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until well blended.

Topping:
Combine and mix well all topping ingredients.

Pour half of the coffee cake batter into the tube pan. Layer on half of the topping mix. Gently add the remaining coffee cake batter; finish with the remaining topping mix.

Bake for 45 minutes; until done. Insert and remove a tooth pick near the center of the cake. When it is done, the pick will come out without wet dough. The cake will be a little springy when lightly pressed.

Yield: 12 – 16 servings.

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