Pumpkin (or squash or yam or applesauce) Bran Muffins

On Sept 14, 2013, I published a long, self-congratulatory item about all the work I got done in the kitchen on one day, a day largely free of MS fatigue.

One of the things I did was roast a Sugar Pie pumpkin. I ended up with a bit less than two cups of pumpkin puree. Over the next week, I found a use for all of it.

First up,

Pumpkin Bran Muffins

A version of this recipe appeared in the October 2013 edition of Women’s Day. I have substantially changed the directions and added some ingredients, so the recipe is now mine. These are surprisingly light considering they contain no white flour. Buttermilk has a lot to do with it, I think. A good choice for a low-carb diet.


  • 3/4 cups wheat bran
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée (from a fresh Sugar Pie pumpkin, roasted; Delicata squash, roasted; or from a can)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup canola or olive oil
  • 2/3 to 3/4 cup chopped pecans, walnuts, or raisins. Try other dried fruit, chopped, such as apricots or prunes.


Heat oven to 400° F. Line with paper liners or grease 12 large or 18 medium muffin tins. This recipe made 12 medium muffins and 12 mini-muffins the first time I tried it. Most muffins, you don’t want to use paper because browning the bottoms and sides in important. That’s not the case with this recipe

Mix the bran and the buttermilk together in a small bowl; let mixture soak while you prepare the other ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of a Cuisinart, combine the pumpkin, eggs, and oil. Add the bran-buttermilk mixture and combine. Add the dry ingredients and combine quickly. Pour into a large bowl and fold in the nuts or fruit.

Fill the muffin cups pretty full with the batter, which does not really rise very much. Bake for about 20 minutes in the convection oven, until a cake tester comes out clean.

The original author of this recipe, Lydia Smyth, added an orange cream to serve with the muffins. It called for whisking together 1/2 cup sour cream, 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, and 2 teaspoons grated orange zest. I like the muffins with butter. You might try them with cream cheese or yogurt cheese.

Here is the nutritional analysis for the original muffins; however these muffins are smaller and have the added fruit and nuts, so the figures are approximate: 159 cal, 6 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 32 mg cholesterol, 258 mg sodium, 4 g protein, 25 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber

The rest of the pumpkin . . . Pumpkin-Leek Ravioli

DSCF2019The original recipe is from Epicurious, but again, I substantially changed the ingredients and the preparation. The leeks made a real difference–delicious!

This small recipe makes only about 15-18 ravioli, enough for 3 or 4 servings depending on whatever else is on the menu. Ours included cream of cherry tomato soup with carrots, thyme, basil, the leftover leeks, and shallots, loosely based on Mark Bittman’s tomato soup in How to Cook Everything, as well as several leftover salads and vegetable dishes.


  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree, fresh or from a can
  • 1/4-1/2 cup finely chopped leeks, browned in regular (not clarified) butter
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan or Italian cheese mix (ours was Pecorino, Romano, and Parmesan)
  • 3/4 teaspoon or so sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Round won ton wrappers


Combine pumpkin, leeks, cheese, salt, and pepper. Lay out several round wrappers on a flat surface and place a tablespoon or so of filling on each. Brush edges with water, top with another set of rounds, and seal carefully. Cook 5 to 6 minutes in a big pot of boiling water.

Serve with more cheese (not much!) and Sage Butter: 2 or 3 tablespoons clarified butter, 6 small to medium sage leaves. Cook leaves in butter 3-4 minutes to blend. Keep warm. I also made some garlic-browned butter sauce, but both Robert and I liked the sage butter better.

The recipe for ravioli with pumpkin is from Epicurious, but the leeks and round wrappers were my idea. The sage butter recipe is from Williams-Sonoma.

Makes 15-18 ravioli


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