Written by Karin Reeves of Reeves Farms This is the time of year when things start to slow down a little on the farm: We’re done harvesting all of our vegetables with the exception of some pumpkins and winter squash. This means that we finally have a little time to do some cooking and baking. I’ve always enjoyed baking more than cooking. It’s nice to mix up a bunch of ingredients, pop a pan in the oven and wait to see how it come out. These pumpkin muffins are great because they’re really versatile. They can be used for a dessert, breakfast or tasty snack. We have tons of pumpkins and squash around the house this time of year. I usually spend a few hours on a rainy fall day baking up squash and pumpkins and turning them into puree to freeze for the winter. Everyone in our family is a pumpkin and squash fan including the cat (it’s strange but he loves butternut squash). For the pumpkin piece of this recipe I have used a lot of different things – pie pumpkins, butternut squash or even buttercup squash. They all work well so use whatever you like best. This recipe can also be a good way to use up leftover squash you made for dinner. Start by making the pumpkin puree, which is much easier than you might think. First cut the stem off the pumpkin or squash you have decided to use. Then cut in half and scoop out the seeds (I like to save the seeds to roast later.) Place on a baking sheet and bake them at 350 degrees for 60 minutes. You will know they are done when you can easily pierce the flesh with a fork. Allow to cool for about 20 mins or until its cool enough to handle. Scoop out the flesh leaving the skin behind. Put all the pumpkin flesh in a food processor and blend until smooth. If you don’t have a food processor, you can mash up the chunks of pumpkin with a potato masher or a fork. You will need one heaping cup of puree for this recipe. Depending on the size of the pumpkin or squash you are working with you will probably have more puree than you need. You can freeze it for later or you can easily double this recipe to use up more puree. Reeves Family Pumpkin Muffins Ingredients 1 ¾ cups flour ¾ cup granulated sugar ½ cup brown sugar 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon ¼ teaspoon ground ginger ¼ teaspoon ground cloves ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg 2 eggs 1 heaping cup of pumpkin or squash puree ½ cup vegetable oil 1 tablespoon milk 1 teaspoon vanilla Baking Instructions Preheat oven to 375 degrees Place paper liners in a muffin tin or grease tin using a paper towel with a little vegetable oil. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg. Make sure brown sugar is broken up so there are no chunks of sugar in the batter. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, pumpkin, oil, milk and vanilla. Whisk together until smooth Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and fold together gently until just combined Scoop batter into muffin tins so that each cup is about ¾ full Bake for 20 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean when inserted into the center of a muffin Let muffins cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan You can serve immediately or let muffins cool completely before storing in an airtight container Yield: about 18 medium size muffins. This muffin recipe is a great base for trying some variations and experimenting a little. You can add ½ cup raisins or walnuts to add some more interesting textures. For an extra rich dessert, sometimes I frost the muffins with cream cheese frosting or add a ½ cup of chocolate chips to the recipe. Enjoy!