|Pumpkin Granola Muffins|
Maple sugar and I have a love-hate relationship. For the most part, I love it, but in certain applications, I just can't do it. Flashback to childhood when an adult would approach with a box full of chocolates and offer one. We all know, thanks to Forrest Gump, "...you never know what you're gonna get". Now, some companies have markers for their chocolates, either in the form of a swirl or lines added to the top of the coated candy to clue you in as to what's in them, or they have a "map" on the inside of the box that corresponds to the layout of the chocolates.
I don't recall knowing either of those tricks as a child, so I would take what looked pretty or good and then be completely shocked, often times pleasantly so, but sometimes not so pleasantly. It was that way with the maple flavored candies. One bite and I was struggling to find a place to spit out the candy and dump the uneaten half (we all eat them in two bites ... admit it).
That is one instance in which I decidedly do not like maple sugar. Add maple syrup to pancakes, waffles, French toast, bacon, sausage etc. and I'm in heaven. Breakfast is not the same without it and I know most people feel exactly the same.
My other favorite is in granola, but I always felt as thought I were adding an inferior sugar without much nutritional value when I topped or added it to foods. Imagine my surprise when I found that is not the case. Maple sugar is very full of trace minerals, antioxidants and very good things. Look at this information from the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association.
Maple Syrup Nutritional Information
- Maple syrup contains an abundant amount of naturally occurring minerals such as calcium, manganese, potassium, riboflavin and magnesium.
- Maple syrup is a natural source of beneficial antioxidants, which have been shown to help prevent cancer, support the immune system, lower blood pressure and slow the effects of aging.
- It’s more nutritious than all other common sweeteners, contains one of the lowest calorie levels, and has been shown to have healthy glycemic qualities.
- Researchers have found that pure maple syrup contains numerous phenolic compounds, which according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information play an important role in cancer prevention and treatment.
- Phenolic compounds are also commonly found in plants and in agricultural products known as “super foods,” such as blueberries, tea, red wine and flax-seed.
- During a recent study at the University of Rhode Island, 34 new beneficial compounds were discovered in pure maple syrup.
- Additional research is being conducted to synthesize some of these compounds into medications that could fight fatal diseases, including diabetes.
- For more information, please visit http://vermontmaple.org
Pumpkin Granola Muffins
Makes 24 standard sized muffins or 12 large
1 c white sugar
1 c brown sugar
l can pumpkin (15 oz.- about 2 cups)
3/4 c vegetable oil like canola
3/4 c olive oil
1 t vanilla
3 c flour
2 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
l t ground cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
l t salt
2 cups granola - divided (Earthbound Farms Famous Maple Almond Granola is perfect here)
1. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oils until smooth.
2. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt-add to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Fold in 1 1/2 cups of granola.
3. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full and top with a sprinkling of the remaining 1/2 cup of granola.
4. Bake at 400 degrees F for 16 to 20 minutes or until muffins test done. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.