Pumpkin and Feta Muffins

>> Monday, November 21, 2011

Whoa, this has been a foreign place to me lately! (And I didn't mean for it to be like that, really!)

Just need to cozy it up with a bit of sunshine in the form of...

Pumpkins. Feta. Spinach. Parmesan. Mustard seeds. Sunflower kernels. 

You still with me? I hope so.

So as we quickly approach the year end, life continues to (in short)...

* be busy and filled with decisions to make.
* teach me things like understanding and patience (and how to kill mosquitoes in the middle of the night).
* test me and my heart.
* display beauty in many shapes and forms (and also in the intangible!)

As much as I adore anything sweet (as this blog testifies), if I have a choice between a sweet or a savoury muffin, I'd pick the latter without a thought. 

And usually they (i.e. multiple savoury muffins) can completely replace a meal for me...but only if they are filled with loads of flavoursome ingredients like these Pumpkin and Feta muffins.

After I enjoyed a few of these colourful muffins (hmmmm sweet sweet pumpkins, salty feta, crunchy seeds warm from the oven...need I go on?), it suddenly occurred to me that apart from the bit of olive oil to roast the pumpkins in, I don't recall using a bit of butter or oil in the whole process at all. 

I panicked slightly. Either I read the recipe wrong. Or I have amnesia.

So I checked the recipe again. Phew I can read and memory still a-ok!

Happy that I discovered these delicious oil-free muffins. 

And thank you for visiting today. Make some muffins, grab a cup of tea and share some of your life and heart with me, won't you?

Pumpkin and Feta Muffins
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks
Makes 12 muffins
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (I omitted this as I used non stick muffin pan).
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups / 9 oz / 255g cubed pumpkin or butternut squash, 1/2-inch cubes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large handful of baby spinach, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley or cilantro (I omitted this)
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower seeds kernels
  • 3/4 cup / 1 oz / 30g freshly grated Parmesan
  • 100g / 3.5 oz / 1/2 cup cubed feta
  • 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup / 180 ml milk (I used around 2 extra tbsp on top of this)
  • 2 cups flour (I used 1 1/2 cup AP flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour)
  • 4 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 405F / 200C, with rack in the top third. Use the butter to grease a 12-hole muffin pan and set aside.

2. Sprinkle the olive oil and some salt and pepper over the squash. Toss well and turn onto a baking sheet or roasting pan. Arrange in a single layer and bake for 15 - 25 minutes or until cooked through entirely. Set aside to cool.

3. Transfer two-thirds of the squash to a large mixing bowl along with the spinach, parsley, sunflower seeds, Parmesan, two-thirds of the feta, and all of the mustard. Gently fold together. In a separate bowl beat the eggs and milk together and add to the squash mix. Sift the flour and baking powder onto the squash mix, top with the salt and a generous dose of freshly ground black pepper and fold together just until the batter comes together, be careful not to over mix.

4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan, filling each hole 3/4 full, top each muffin with a bit of the remaining squash and feta (see photo up above). Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops and sides of the muffins are golden, and the muffins have set up completely. Let cool for a couple minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack. I like these muffins cooled a bit, served just warmer than room temperature.

People cry out under a load of oppression; they plead for relief from the arm of the powerful. 
But no one says, ‘Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night
- Job 35:9-10


Erika Beth, the Messy Chef November 24, 2011 at 4:51 AM  

Ok. Gotta admit that this combo sounds strange to me. But I love that it's butter free. Fun!

Tina @ bitemeshowme November 24, 2011 at 8:06 AM  

I never would have thought of that combination but it sure does look like a treat! Love them in photos - they turned out so vibrant!

Chopinand @ ChopinandMysaucepan November 24, 2011 at 9:20 AM  

This seem like such an unlikely recipe to me but it looks so delicious!

Nic@diningwithastud November 24, 2011 at 10:23 AM  

Perfect! Such a great combination of flavours.

sweetsugarbean November 24, 2011 at 3:02 PM  

I was like 'Whoa' this is a crazy combo! But upon further reading, why not? All that cheesy goodness and lovely crunch - I bet the muffins would be delicious at breakfast, though I'd probably spread a little bit of butter just cuz I'm addicted.

Janine November 24, 2011 at 4:47 PM  

gosh these savory muffins do sound like a treat! good thing that I've some feta AND pumpkin sitting around in the fridge - although problem though, no wholegrain mustard! :( was mustard a vital part of the entire taste or do you think i can probably substitute it with those bottled mustards?

Viv November 24, 2011 at 5:44 PM  

Janine: THe mustard wasn't a prominent part of the taste of muffin so feel free to substitute with something else and just omit it :) Hope your batch turns out good!

Vivian - vxdollface November 24, 2011 at 6:32 PM  

Aaw Viv, you know how to bring the sunshine back into my life :)

Denise @ TLT - The Little Things November 24, 2011 at 9:47 PM  

I make a lot of savoury muffins/cakes and I'm such a pumpkin&feta-lover. But for a strange reason I've never combined those things. Thanks for inspiring me!!

Anonymous,  November 24, 2011 at 11:47 PM  

Yum!! All of my pumpkin and feta... these will definitely be made!

MyFudo™ November 25, 2011 at 1:33 AM  

I will always pick a sweet muffin over a savory one...but I think I will have second thoughts if asked to choose between your muffins and a sweet kind. Your mixture has all the autumn flavors combined. They look so delicious. Will definitely have to try this in my own kitchen...

Yi @ Yi Reservation November 25, 2011 at 3:28 AM  

I have to admit that I've never had a savory muffin in my life. I like the idea of using pumpkins and other vegetables. I wonder if the muffins can also be made "carnivorous"?

Von November 25, 2011 at 2:55 PM  

I'll always go for the sweet muffins over the savoury :) But I love savoury too- especially when they're as pretty and tasty as this!

Sophie November 26, 2011 at 7:23 AM  

Sure, I am going to try ! These muffins really are tempting even if the combination of ingredients seems unusual. And once again : what beautiful pictures !

GratefulPrayerThankfulHeart November 28, 2011 at 11:26 AM  

Hello Viv,

Finally some time to catch up on my favorite blogs... How are you?

Your Pumpkin and Feta Muffins sure do have lots of good things in them and a variety of flavors. A mini meal in a small package : )

I love all kinds of muffins!

Unknown November 29, 2011 at 2:59 AM  

I don't make nearly enough savory muffins, and I know I should, because if I think of it, I would totally be with you in eating just a couple of those for lunch! I have all the ingrendients now that I think about it...I should really make them!

Lisa @ Tarte du Jour November 29, 2011 at 8:38 AM  

Wow! Are theses muffins beauties! Colorful. Healthy. Delicious. I'm making these sometime. I can't believe there is no oil. Well done my friend!

Nami | Just One Cookbook November 29, 2011 at 9:56 AM  

I read this post last week and I somehow thought I already left the comment but I think I wasn't. I probably saw this post in my email. I've never seen pumpkin and feta in the muffin and this is such a nice savory dish that is a great afternoon snack with the kids! I always love your pictures.

Zoe November 29, 2011 at 10:12 AM  

So little amount of fat added in these muffins! Wow! This is the kind of food I like...all natural and healthy!...but my husband and son would complain if I bake these muffins because they want to eat meat and butter! It's so difficult for me to please everyone in my family. *sign*

Lori December 1, 2011 at 1:54 PM  

I rarely make savory muffins. I'm not sure why because these sound amazing. Not to mention they are some of the most attractive muffins I've seen!

JasmyneTea December 2, 2011 at 4:45 PM  

YUM. Tasty, guilt-free and comforting. Great recipe, will definitely be trying it when I get home!

Jeannie December 4, 2011 at 12:12 AM  

Oh so pretty! I have a cup of jasmine tea in hand but no muffins! These look so delicious!

Dolly December 4, 2011 at 11:59 AM  

that looks amazing... i cant wait to bake with you soon x

Anonymous,  December 5, 2011 at 2:02 PM  

How beautiful are these!!!! You make a savory muffin look so frickin fun!! I'm appalled! I'm shocked! You're a ball of creativity!

Anonymous,  December 6, 2011 at 11:08 AM  

Savory muffins is something that we don't see enough! I remember making a recipe a few months ago but never made one again. This is a good one to try!

sugarpuffi December 6, 2011 at 12:12 PM  

pumpkin and feta is such win

Aizi December 13, 2011 at 10:36 PM  

oh wow! these look amazing. and so colourful! totally in the spirit of the season.

Victoria July 3, 2013 at 10:56 PM  

Your blog caught my eye with your Japanese cheesecake (craving)... however, as I read on, I became more intrigued! We recently moved to Thailand and I am struggling to find things to cook up to satisfy my family's tastebuds and tummies. Looks like you have some good options for us here! I'm off to read more of your blog. Here's ours, if you'd like to take a gander... http://atatteredportrait.blogspot.com

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