Last week I decided to avoid white flour, white potatoes, and sugar for two weeks. What was I thinking? It’s torture for a gluten lover and sweet-a-holic like me. Plus, my beloved worships bread (mostly pizza) and potatoes the way some people worship a deity. While I have lost a few pounds, it is a test of willpower of the highest order.
Luckily, these multigrain pumpkin yogurt muffins came to the rescue. While not the scones or streusel-topped cake of my dreams, they are the closest I’ll get to sweets for another week. And they will keep me coming back for more.
Not to dis them – they did the trick. I downed one with coffee this morning and it came close to satisfying my craving. I just don’t want to mislead you. They are not sweet. Still, they are moist and lovely in a not-savory-yet-not-quite-sweet way.
Inspired by a New York Times Cooking recipe and the comments that follow, they are far from the original. That recipe called for only one type of flour – whole wheat – and mashed bananas. I used several types of flour and pumpkin purée rather than bananas. Plus, the original used sugar, which I didn’t, of course.
The overall technique is the same as for most traditional muffins. You combine the dry ingredients in one bowl and the moist/wet ones in another. Then you add the moist/wet ingredients to the dry ones, mix them gently together just until combined and then divide among the muffin tins. They bake up easily (without puffing up much) and cool quickly.
The comments to the original helped me shape this recipe, along with a cruise through my bulging pantry to find items that I might use for these muffins. The result is tasty enough that my beloved ate several, even though he hasn’t followed me down this “no white carbs” path.
These muffins do have a number of ingredients. But they are simple to pull together and bake quickly. So once you get the ingredients together, you can make them in less than an hour. And you could even eat them just a few minutes after they come out of the oven.
I’m just beginning to experiment with flours other than white but I have already come to one conclusion. Whole wheat flour can be heavy.
How to avoid white flour in baked goods, without the heaviness of all whole wheat?
- Use several different types of flour. That’s the route I chose for these Multigrain Pumpkin Yogurt Muffins. The combination of whole wheat, spelt, and oat flours yielded a nice texture in the muffins. Spelt flour is a type of wheat flour. This Bon Appétit article has a good description of how spelt flour acts, and what it tastes like. While it looks somewhat like whole wheat, spelt acts more like all purpose white and has a nutty taste that provides body without the heaviness we associate with whole wheat flour.
- Combine white whole wheat and “regular” whole wheat. I’ve done that before, especially when fooling around with my banana bread recipe. It works nicely in the right circumstances, but I didn’t have any white whole wheat on hand. What’s the difference between the two whole wheat flours? They are milled from different types of wheat, but both are whole grain flours and they are nutritionally the same. White whole wheat has a milder flavor and looks lighter in color.
- Use whole wheat pastry flour. Like white whole wheat, it is milled from different flour than “regular” whole wheat and is softer. with less protein than “regular” whole wheat, whole wheat pastry flour has a tender crumb and can be used whenever baking soda and/or powder are the leaveners (but not yeast.)
I’m looking forward to more experimentation with white flour and sugar substitutes. But in the meantime, I think I’ll have another muffin.
Multigrain Pumpkin Yogurt Muffins
Start your day or snack on these - either way Multigrain Pumpkin Yogurt Muffins will help you stay away from "white carbs" (i.e. white flour and sugar) while satisfying that urge for a muffin.
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour 2 oz./56 g
- 1/2 cup spelt flour 1 & 3/4 oz./50 g
- 1/4 cup oat flour 8/10 oz./23 g See note below to use oats instead of oat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
- 1 cup pumpkin purée (Not pumpkin pie filling, which is sweetened) 8 oz./227 g
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt, nonfat, lowfat or whole milk 4 oz./113 g
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar substitute (any 1-for-1 brand) or equivalent to 1/4 cup granulated sugar 1 & 8/10 oz./50 g
- 1/4 cup neutral oil (avocado, grapeseed, canola, etc) 60 ml.
- 1 teaspoon molasses
- toppings - e.g. pumpkin seeds, chopped nuts, shredded or flaked unsweetened coconut, unsweetened chocolate chips
Pre-heat oven to 375° F/190° C. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners
In a medium-large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flours, baking soda and powder, cinnamon, and salt.)
In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk together the sugar substitute and the moist/liquid ingredients (pumpkin purée, yogurt, egg, oil, and molasses.)
Pour the wet ingredients into the larger bowl of the dry ingredients and gently mix them just until you completely combine them. (No flour should be showing.) Scoop the batter into the muffin cups and add any toppings you desire.
Bake for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean. Let the muffins rest in the pan for 5 minutes, then carefully move them to a wire rack.
If you don't have oat flour, it is easy to make by grinding oats (either regular or quick oats work) in a food processor until they are a floury consistency. The oats do not have to uniformly ground. It is fine if a few bits are coarser than the rest.