Pumpkin Muffins Good For Any Season

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - November 04, 2009
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If you know someone who works in the restaurant industry, then you know that person works incredibly long hours. Garret Kamei is one of those hard-working souls who toil to bring delicious food and an unforgettable dining experience to us.

As if his job as administrative director and part-owner of The Willows restaurant wasn’t demanding enough, Garret also is food booth chairman at next Saturday’s Hanahauoli Children’s Fair. His children Avery and Kestan are enrolled at Hanahauoli, so this great dad didn’t hesitate to volunteer.

Garret will be cooking up traditional fair grinds like chili, hamburgers and hot dogs, and is working with other Hanahauoli parents to provide specialty food booths from D.K. Kodama of Sansei and Ed Kenney of town restaurant. There’s even a Waiola Shave Ice booth.


 

This column is dedicated to Garret and all of the parents who make the annual fair so special. And it’s free! Don’t miss it Nov. 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the corner of Makiki and Nehoa streets; free parking and shuttle at Roosevelt High School. Information: 949-6461 or http://www.hanahauoli.org.

It’s November, and that means Thanksgiving is upon us. You can bake up a batch of these moist, delicious muffins and freeze them to serve at your Thanksgiving table. Just wrap securely in plastic wrap and place in freezer bags. Defrost at room temperature overnight, or unwrap and pop into the microwave for a few minutes before serving.

Pumpkin contains the antioxidant beta-carotene, which is converted to vita-min A in the body. Some studies have shown that a diet rich in foods containing beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer, help protect against heart disease, and offer protection against other diseases, as well as some degenerative aspects of aging.

Pumpkin is loaded with fiber and is an excellent source of vitamin A and potassium. It also contains vitamin C, zinc, magnesium, folate, vitamin E, selenium, iron, calcium and niacin.

SCRUMPTIOUS PUMPKIN FRUIT MUFFINS

* 3 1/8 cup unbleached flour

* 2 1/4 cups sugar

* 1 teaspoon baking powder

* 1 teaspoon baking soda

* 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

* 2 whole eggs and 4 egg whites, beaten until frothy (or egg substitute to equal 4 eggs)

* 2/3 (29-ounce) can pumpkin

* 2/3 cup applesauce

* 1/2 cup golden raisins and 1/2 cup dried cranberries, soaked in hot water to plump and drained well

* chopped pecans or walnuts, for tops of muffins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat two 12-cup muffin tins with cooking spray.


Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and pumpkin pie spice until well-mixed. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, whites, pumpkin and applesauce until well-combined. Add wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir thoroughly to make a smooth batter. Do not overbeat, or muffins will be tough. Stir in the raisins and cranberries. Spoon batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling 1/3 full, and sprinkle with nuts, if desired. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean from center of muffin.

Makes 24 muffins.

Approximate Nutrition Information Per Muffin (without nuts):

Calories: 210
Fat: 3.5 grams
Cholesterol: 20 mg if using 2 whole eggs and 0 milligrams if using egg substitute
Sodium: 200

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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