Food and Drink

People are crazy about these ‘must-try’ pumpkin spice superhero muffins

I occasionally receive new cookbooks from my publishing house, books they think I would appreciate and enjoy. When "Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow." by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky showed up in my mailbox, it came with a handwritten postcard that read, "You must try the pumpkin superhero muffins!" Underline the word ''must.'' I stashed away the eager suggestion, waiting for pumpkin season to arrive.

These are called superhero muffins because they are a dense, nutrient-packed muffin, perfect for a sustaining grab-and-go breakfast or afternoon snack. Shalane Flanagan is a four-time Olympic silver medalist and champion of the 2017 New York City Marathon; I knew these muffins had to be healthy. They are made with almond flour and rolled oats, and instead of refined sugar, pure maple syrup. The recipe has been so popular that the authors have adapted this recipe to make several different flavors, including apple carrot, another great fall option. For the pumpkin version, they suggest the addition of raisins or chocolate chips. I opted for a sprinkle of salted sunflower seeds on top, but I think pepitas would be great, too. If you like a sweeter muffin, enjoy them with a smear of honey butter, or go for the raisin or chocolate chip mix-in option. To make them gluten free, be sure to use gluten-free oats.

Pumpkin Spice Superhero Muffins
Makes 1 dozen

2 cups almond meal
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins or chocolate chips (optional)
3 tablespoons sunflower seeds or pepitas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper muffin cups.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the almond meal, oats, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin puree, butter, maple syrup and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until completely combined. If using raisins or chocolate chips, fold them in.

Scoop the batter evenly into the muffin cups, filling them to the top. Sprinkle the muffins with sunflower seeds or pepitas.

Bake for 32-35 minutes, until cooked through in the center and browned on top.

Recipe adapted from "Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow." by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky.

Maya Wilson

Maya Wilson lives and cooks on the Kenai Peninsula and writes the Alaska From Scratch blog. Her book, "The Alaska from Scratch Cookbook: Seasonal. Scenic. Homemade," was published in 2018 by Rodale Books.