Happy Sunday y’all! Sunday has always been my favorite day of the week – sometimes I choose to rest, sometimes I spend the day in the kitchen, sometimes I clean the house and run errands…
But most of the time I spend my Sundays outside with Bryan. If you haven’t already figured it out, Bryan and I love the outdoors. We are nature freaks if you will. 🙂
Today was another nature–filled Sunday for us. We went on 5-mile hike which led us to a bald eagle nest occupied by a few eaglets.
We also saw a few alligators, including this little juvenile.
I know a lot of people fear alligators, but they continue to be one of my favorite species. I can’t get enough of this prehistoric looking reptile.
We even found a shark tooth on the trail! Shark teeth can be found in sandy creek bottoms and riverbends and in coastal areas around Florida because, as you may or may not know, millions of years ago the state of Florida was submerged completely underwater. As time passed, layers of limestone and phosphate began building up and eventually receded and the present-day sunshine state emerged. Bryan taught me this today, interesting isn’t it?!
After our hike, we came home and I spent some time in the kitchen while Bryan watched the Penguins hockey game. I did a lot of baking! And baking makes this girl happy. 🙂 I’m so excited to share that I finally made my own homemade dog treats – something I’ve been meaning to do for quite some time now. Perhaps if you’re nice, I’ll share the recipe. 🙂
They were so simple! And they turned out great.
Lily approved. 🙂
After making the dog treats I had some leftover canned pumpkin so I quickly had to decide what to do with it.
Muffins of course!
I’ve been in a breakfast lull lately so I knew muffins would be the perfect choice. They would get me away from my usually morning bagel with cream cheese and/or peanut butter.
These healthy pumpkin muffins are made with fiber-rich whole grains and are sweetened with real maple syrup. Plus, they have some coconut oil for hold-over power.
Side note: did y’all know this fact about coconut oil? It can actually reduce your hunger. This may be related to the way the fatty acids in it are metabolized, because ketones can have an appetite reducing effect (source). One more reason (as if we needed more) to love coconut oil.
Healthy Pumpkin Muffins
Yield: about 10 large muffins (I cut recipe in half because I was low on pumpkin after making dog treats)
Adapted from: Cookie & Kate
- ⅓ cup melted coconut oil
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup pumpkin purée
- ¼ cup milk of choice (I used almond milk)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling on top
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- 1¾ cups whole wheat flour (pastry is best)
- ⅓ cup old-fashioned oats, plus more for sprinkling on top
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease ten cups of your muffin tin with butter or non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, beat the oil and maple syrup together with a whisk. Add eggs, and beat well. Mix in the pumpkin purée and milk, followed by the baking soda, vanilla extract, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.
- Add the flour and oats to the bowl and mix with a large spoon, just until combined.
- Divide the batter evenly between the ten muffin cups. For these muffins, it’s ok to fill the cups a little higher than you normally would. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a small amount of oats, followed by a sprinkle of cinnamon. Bake muffins for 23 to 26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
- Place the muffin tin on a cooling rack. These muffins are delicate until they cool down! Spread some nut butter or regular butter (or eat plain) on them and enjoy!