Pumpkin Spiced Corn Muffins

Pumpkin Spiced Corn Muffins / loveandlemons.com

Currently – I’m sitting inside with three shirts on, one scarf and one coat. I’ve been in Chicago for the last few days visiting my family and it’s no surprise that I showed up just in time for the first snow. It always knows when I’m coming.

In my parents house, there are 3 options to get warm – first, don’t take your coat off, second, turn up the heat when no one is looking… but by far the most effective method is to BAKE. Crank that oven and when you’re done leave it open to feel every last bit of the heat. Today I’ll be keeping warm by baking Christmas cookies with my mom and sister – but these pumpkin corn muffins have been a favorite lately.

Pumpkin Spiced Corn Muffins / loveandlemons.com

This is a spin on my favorite corn muffin recipe – and a perfect use for a bit of leftover pumpkin puree that you might have now that you’re in the throes of Thanksgiving cooking. The pumpkin flavor is light here (if you’re craving pumpkin-ey pumpkin muffins, use this recipe), but it makes these corn muffins lightly sweet, slightly healthier, and very delicious. I love to eat them for breakfast or along with a hot bowl of chili.

Pumpkin Spiced Corn Muffins / loveandlemons.com

Buttercup Squash Crumble Bars

Buttercup Squash Crumble Bars / @loveandlemons

I had this buttercup squash (perhaps the funkiest looking squash of them all), sitting on my countertop for the longest time. It likely would have become soup had it not been for the name itself –  “buttercup” which spoke to me and said: let’s make a crumbly & buttery dessert! I won’t go as far to say this is healthy, but hey, it’s the holidays and we’re making dessert so let’s live a little. These bars are made with good quality organic ingredients (and remember: squash).

This recipe is loosely based on my recipe for raspberry crumble bars. I switched out the jam filling for a wintery buttery squash puree using Organic Valley Butter, plus a good amount of chocolate chips and snowy shredded coconut.

Buttercup Squash Crumble Bars / @loveandlemons

If you can’t get your hands on a buttercup squash – not to worry – this recipe works just the same with butternut squash, pumpkin and even mashed sweet potato. (I’ve made this one a lot lately if you couldn’t tell).

Buttercup Squash Crumble Bars / @loveandlemons

These bars are made with a walnut crust. The squash is smoothly mashed with butter, maple syrup and pumpkin pie-like spices… They’re sweet but not too sweet and I find them to be quite filling – although after we snapped the photo I turned around and Jack had inhaled 5.

Buttercup Squash Crumble Bars / @loveandlemons

And wait, there’s more! Check out this awesome video of the recipe in motion:

video by: dschwen

Gluten-free Blueberry Banana Muffins

Gluten Free Blueberry Banana Muffins / @loveandlemons

Bananas are one of the few foods I really don’t like. Bananas and cantaloupe, in case you were curious. Banana bread, however, is one of my favorite things ever. And because I’m impatient, I often make it in muffin form. Eighteen minutes is long enough to wait, don’t you think?

Gluten Free Blueberry Banana Muffins / @loveandlemons

These are gluten free but you wouldn’t know it. In fact, I didn’t even tell Jack until after he had already inhaled three. I used Pamela’s Gluten Free Baking & Pancake Mix and the texture came out just perfect. The flavor – sweet and banana-ey…everything you’d want in a muffin, gluten free or not. I added blueberries, but you could try chopped walnuts or even chocolate chips.

Gluten Free Blueberry Banana Muffins / @loveandlemons Gluten Free Blueberry Banana Muffins / @loveandlemons

Vegan Coffee Cake Muffins

vegan coffee cake muffins / loveandlemons.com vegan coffee cake muffins / loveandlemons.com

I’m heading to Chicago later this week and I’m trying to think warm thoughts… It’ll be all of 1 degree when I land… and, (brr), my skin just isn’t that thick anymore.

These muffins are a variation of my absolute favorite childhood breakfast: my Grandma Kissel’s coffee cake. On cold snowy mornings, there was nothing better than waking up to smell of warm cinnamon-ey cake wafting through the house.

Of course these are slightly healthier and also vegan – using almond milk instead of sour cream and coconut oil instead of butter. But this is cake after all, so whatever you do, don’t skimp on the best part – the crumbly walnut topping.

Moonshine Sweet Tea Cupcakes

moonshine sweet tea cupcakes / @loveandlemons moonshine sweet tea cupcakes / @loveandlemons

It’s a good thing I didn’t start the new year off with healthy resolutions because the past few days have been all about cupcake making. (I have a hard life, I know). And I’m sorry to say that these aren’t low-sugar, low-carb, low-fat… although they are low in “shelf life” because they’re likely to disappear soon after you make them. Everything in moderation right?

Remember this post about Moonshine Sweet Tea? Well it’s back, this time in cake form. These cupcakes are the perfect treat to cozy up with while you daydream about hot sunny days ahead. And – exciting news – you can now find Moonshine Sweet Tea in all Southwest Region Whole Foods stores.