Is there anything that is not available in pumpkin spiced flavor this time of year? Coffee, soap, candles, dips, oreo cookies and even hand sanitizer are pumpkin spiced these days. Now a little pumpkin here or there is not a horrible thing (except maybe the oreos), but the tough part for me is that this scent goes hand in hand with the ending of summer. I’m a summer girl. Give me flip flops and shorts, fresh air and sunshine. While the rest of my friends are buzzing about hoodies and hot chocolate, I am bemoaning that pumpkin spice soap means old man winter is on his way. I know, I know…I shouldn’t let the worry of tomorrow ruin my enjoyment of today, but still the thought of freezing temperatures just snatches all the fun from me.
But I must confess, even I caught a smidgen of fall fever this week, and I spent a little time in the kitchen with a new pumpkin muffin recipe. My old standby was pretty heavy on the oil, making it moist and wonderful, but not too healthy. This revamped version, minus the oil and plus a dollop of honey from the Bee Sweet girls, came out pretty scrumptious, if I do say so myself. It got high marks with all the little beekeepers here and my husband too.
As I was measuring out the honey for this recipe, I got thinking about how hard our girls worked to make each little drop of liquid gold. It takes 144 bees their entire lifetime to bring in enough nectar to make 1/4 cup of honey. Wow! What if that were your life’s work? What if it took you and 719 of your closest friends your whole life to harvest enough nectar to fill the jar in the photo. That’s a pretty powerful work ethic for such a tiny creature. Now before you start feeling too sorry for the hardworking ladies at Bee Sweet Bee Farm, remember that these babees will make honey, whether we eat a single golden drop of it or not. That is what they love to do. In fact, if they are trapped inside during bad weather, they get grumpy. (Much like little kids stuck inside on a rainy day with no access to electronics.) We do our best to not even open the hives unless the weather is bright and beautiful, meaning most of the workers are out happily gathering nectar. Nobody wants to open up a box boiling over with disgruntled worker bees unless you absolutely have to.
Anyhow, if you’ve got a hankering for something pumpkin spiced, give this oil free recipe a shot, and while you are cooking, take a moment to think about all the hard work that bees put into making the honey we all enjoy!
Honey Maple Pumpkin Muffins
- 1/4 c Bee Sweet Bee Farm honey
- 1/4 c maple syrup
- 1/4 c brown sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Directions: In your mixer, beat honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, applesauce, eggs, pumpkin and milk. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Add the dry ingredients slowly to pumpkin mixture and blend until just combined. Spoon into 12 greased or lined muffin tins. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cooler weather is coming, whether I like it or not. At least the chill in the air is a good excuse to have a muffin and a second cup of (non-pumpkin spiced) coffee. Y’all snuggle up and Bee Sweet!