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Pumpkin spice is one of those things people love or hate (and love to hate), but me? I've got nothing but love. Pumpkin spice is a flavor combo that dates back to the flippin' Age of Enlightenment, so I don't want to hear any flak about it being trendy. Good food is all about celebrating seasonal flavors and traditions, thus I'm all about pumpkin spice in its many forms.
My favorite incarnation by far is the pumpkin spice muffin. For starters, not even cable-knit sweaters can compare to the comforting warmth of a freshly baked muffin on a crisp autumn morning. Now throw in the scent of cinnamon and cloves, the beauty of pumpkin seeds, and a scattering of buttery streusel, and you've got yourself the coziest breakfast in town.
The basic recipe looks a lot like the one for my Banana Bread, with plenty of Greek yogurt and whole grains to keep the batter thick, but it differs in a few important ways.
Whether you roast your own winter squash or grab a can at the store, pumpkin purée contains more water and less starch than mashed bananas, so the batter doesn't need oil to keep the muffins moist. It can also stand up to a heartier dose of spices, since we're not aiming to enhance the subtleties of pumpkin so much as trying to mimic pie.
Those changes result in fluffier muffins, with a velvety crumb backed by the gentle heat of cinnamon and ginger. Doubling down on the theme of pumpkin spice, I've also topped them with an oatmeal streusel that's loaded with cinnamon and toasted pumpkin seeds.
Even so, with only a tablespoon of butter per muffin, they're not obnoxiously rich, like a cupcake in disguise—you can enjoy one at breakfast or with your afternoon tea and not feel completely bogged down. They're not overly sweet, either; true muffins in every way.
So don't let haters shame you out of enjoying the season's most comforting indulgence, and enjoy every chance to savor pumpkin spice while you can.
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