Sunday, September 20, 2015

Fall Freezer Muffins {ReDux}

September is often a month to get reorganized and 'fall' back into routine. We've had a mix of cool/rainy weather and warm/sunny weather which has affected what I've been inspired to cook. I find that I start making more soups and using my crockpot more often as the temperature comes down. The Recipe ReDux theme this month was also along these lines: Fantastic Freezer Meals:
Share your tips and tricks for making one – or more freezer meals. It’s the end of the gardening season for some of us; let’s store away that produce in heat-and-eat-from-the-freezer-meals. Show how convenient healthy freezer breakfast, lunches or dinners can be!

My time in the kitchen can still be hit or miss since our little one is 10 months old and I try to get my work in while she sleeps. I ended up baking my recipe in the evening just to be able to fit it into my week. This is a good reason to cook in big batches and freeze! Based on a recent Saskatchewan food tour (which I plan to blog about soon), I was inspired to try to use some ingredients that come from our local commodities (eggs, flax, canola, lentils) in this recipe as well as fall flavours like pumpkin, apple, carrot, and spices. These can be a quick snack or part of breakfast on the way out the door (if necessary). They are hearty and full of all kinds of goodies. If you're lucky, you may even have some garden carrots or a pumpkin patch to use for your ingredients.

Makes 12 muffins
1/4 cup split red lentils, drained
1/4 cup large flake oats
1 cup water
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 Tbsp ground flax
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp each, cloves, all spice, nutmeg, and ginger 
1 tsp cinnamon, ground
1 egg
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
3 Tbsp canola oil
2-3 carrots, grated (about 1 cup)
1 apple, diced (I used fuji)
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
1-2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds, raw


1. Combine lentils, oats, and water in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and reduce heat; simmer about 8 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 375F. Line muffin tin with paper liners or spray with oil.
3. Meanwhile, combine dry ingredients (flours, sugar, flax, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices) in a medium bowl.
4. In a large boil, combine egg, pumpkin, oil, and the lentil/oat mixture (with any remaining water).
5. Add the dry ingredients gradually to the large bowl with the egg mixture. Stir just until combined. 
6. Add carrots, apple, and walnuts. Stir to distribute. Top with pumpkin seeds.
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for a few minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely before freezing. 
*I usually freeze muffins in groups of 2 or 4 as that is how we tend to consume them. I don't mind muffins from frozen because it's nice to heat them up before eating anyway. Defrost in fridge or in microwave. Follow these instructions from Quaker Oats if you would like more detail on freezing and thawing muffins. 
See below for other freezer meal/snack ideas and comment to let us know your own!
Stay warm and enjoy the changing colours of the season!
Steph Langdon, RD