Winter Light [Oatmeal Spice Pumpkin Muffins]

winterlight1winterlightIt’s early days, but I’m going to go ahead and guess that “polar vortex” will be one of the biggest buzz words from 2014. Normally a steadfast staple and clichéd topic for small talk, we have somehow sensationalized the weather. winterlight2Yes, it’s been cold. Frigid, even. But isn’t that just “winter” in this part of the world? In any case, this Friday we’re ringing in the weekend with balmy temperatures — only -7°C! It’s the first day in a couple weeks that I left the house without long underwear under my jeans.

Beautiful plates made by my Aunt Lois.
Beautiful plates made by my Aunt Lois.
To tell you the truth, I feel unabashedly patriotic shuffling through the snow with my layers of clothing and rosy cheeks; and I think our poodle likes this weather, too.dunlopsnowwinterlight4
Dunlop and I like to go for our walks just before the sun sets, as the winter light is sticking around for longer these days, and I think it’s one of the most beautiful times to be outside.
If you’re in Ottawa this weekend, it looks like it will be a perfect start to Winterlude! Wherever you are, I hope the weekend treats you well. Stay warm! xopumpkinmuffins
pumpkinmuffins2My favourite combo of cacao nibs, dried cherries, and walnuts are what I included in the recipe below, but you can play around with the add-ins for the muffins; instead of dried cherries try cranberries, you can substitute chocolate chips for the cacao nibs, and pecans for walnuts, etc…

Oatmeal Spice Pumpkin Muffins, adapted from
Makes about 12 large muffins


1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup milk
One large egg
One large egg white
1/2 cup cacao nibs
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped dried cherries

-Preheat your oven to 375F, and line a muffin tin with wrappers.

-In a large bowl, mix together the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and spices.

-Whisk the wet ingredients together in another bowl.

-Mix the dry and wet ingredients together. Once the batter is evenly moist, add the nibs, nuts, and dried fruit.

-Fill the muffin cups evenly and bake for 15-18 minutes.

-Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from muffin tins. Remove muffins from tin and place on a cooling rack.

-These muffins might taste best after a good ski/snowshoe/dog walk/stroll/snowman building outside, with a hot cup of something and some wintry tunes. Enjoy:)


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