Beat the Winter Blues:
Pumpkin, Walnut & Poppy Seed Muffins with Cheddar Cheese
One of the things I love most about autumn and winter is the wonderful choice of seasonal vegetables that are on offer; brassicas and cabbages of all sizes and hues – with red being a particular favourite of mine. Potatoes, parsnips, kale and chard, as well as Brussels sprouts, beetroot and pumpkin – they all have a starring role to play in my kitchen. And, although I love all of these veggies in my every day kitchen for soups, stews, casseroles, salads and as tasty accompaniments to roast dinners and family suppers, I think it’s a shame to relegate them to these types of dishes all the time, so now and then I like to take a walk on the wild side and bake with them……..as in old-fashioned comfort baking.
I have a lovely pumpkin and brown sugar scones recipe, which I promise to share with you all soon, but it’s something savoury I was after this time, as an idea for Christmas morning brunch or as an accompaniment for chilli or a hearty stew. So, I came up with this idea for Pumpkin, Walnut & Poppy Seed Muffins with Cheddar Cheese using some roasted pumpkin that I had to hand, as well as some new margarine that I was asked to try to develop a recipe for, part of Clover’s new Additions range, Immunity Support – with Vitamin A, and a source of Folic Acid to help support a healthy immune system. . They also have Daily Boost and Strong Bones as part of the range too, all with added vitamins for certain target health benefits.
I must confess to using butter in my baking most of the time, but it is nice to investigate new spreads and especially ones that are made with buttermilk, as Immunity Support is, and with the benefits of added vitamins. I used some of the Immunity Support margarine in the recipe for these pumpkin muffins I’m sharing today, and I have to say that it worked out very well; I rubbed the margarine into the flour this time, but I may try melting it and adding it that way next time I make these, as it will be easier and quicker to make that way. I was pretty pleased with my flavour combinations and the moist pumpkin was perfect with the nuttiness of the walnuts and the poppy seeds, whilst the cheese added the necessary savoury hit I was looking to create.
I made a batch of these the other day when I had some friends coming over for a cuppa, and they both raved about them and asked for the recipe immediately, which was a great response! I popped the remaining half-dozen into the freezer and they will come in handy for a weekend brunch I have planned this Advent Sunday, with cold meats, cheeses and freshly squeezed orange juice. If you don’t have any cooked pumpkin and you don’t want to roast any for this recipe, then you can buy tinned or frozen pumpkin, but I prefer to use chunks of pumpkin and not the purée.
DO try these muffins, they are perfect when served alongside a bowl of soup and just great for lunch boxes too. I have worked with Clover in the past and you can see my other 2 recipes here: Sticky Ginger Marmalade Tea Loaf Recipe and Sun-Dried Tomato, Red Onion and Chorizo Pizza Recipe. Have a wonderful Advent weekend, and I’ll be back soon with more recipes, some festive book and hamper reviews and a new giveaway for Christmas. See you later, Karen
Disclaimer: I was paid to develop this recipe for Clover