I have many quirks as anyone close to me knows but one major pet peeve I have (that I’m sure I’ll never be rid of) is wasting food. It realllyy bothers me when people buy more than they can actually eat and it actually stresses me out when I have a lot of leftovers and not enough time to eat them all. I have a tiny freezer and basically no option to freeze things so when I have food in the fridge I have to plan meals in order to get it all eaten. Food waste is a serious serious problem (Canada alone wastes over $31 BILLION in food every year!) It’s hard to comprehend just how much we waste when it seems like so little in our own homes but this applies to everything we eat and everywhere we do it. I spent years working in the restaurant industry and have probably cleared hundreds of plates nearly full of food; taking out garbage bags full of only food at the end of every night. It’s not something that can be solved overnight but if everyone took small steps to plan their grocery shopping and meals in advance it could really add up. Anyway I have a lot to say on the issue but this post is about muffins not garbage so let’s move on!

I ended up with a lot of random leftovers this week after baking for a market this past weekend. This includes leftover pureed pumpkin, tons of black beans and chickpeas (after using the aquafaba from them) along with whatever else is in my fridge that I haven’t had time to eat due to literally being too busy. At times like these I need to be strategic and think of every option… Pureed pumpkin is extremely versatile and can be added to bowls, smoothies, overnight oats, lattes, etc. Black beans and chickpeas can be used in vegan bowls, are excellent sources of protein for morning breakfast, and can also be transformed into amazing and healthy desserts.

On this particular night I decided to tackle the pumpkin and throw together some pumpkin muffins! I wanted to adapted my banana muffin recipe to use pumpkin instead but I only had 1/2 cup puree so I decided to use that in addition to one mashed ripe banana. I also decided to throw some cacao powder in the mix and top with vegan chocolate chips for a pumpkin-chocolate-on-chocolate-muffin. I was pretty stoked about these buuuut they didn’t turn out quite as amazing as I imagined.

First of all, the buckwheat flour I’m using right now isn’t milled very fine and is making my baked goods really dense and… not able to rise? I don’t usually have a problem with my recipes but since I started using this particular flour I’ve noticed a change. After this I’m going to reserve it for other things as it doesn’t work the best especially in muffins.

Second, I didn’t make up for the lack of sweetness from less banana. I didn’t even think of it (silly me) but it now seems obvious that subbing pumpkin for banana will lead to something less sweet… Because of this they’re a bit bland. Moist-wise they’re fine and texture is good but they’re lacking a lot of flavour. This could have also been improved by mixing chocolate chips throughout but I just sprinkled them on the top so it wasn’t quite enough.

On the bright side, these will make a good breakfast muffin as they’re less sweet and have extra fiber and goodness from the added pumpkin. I’ll set this recipe aside with changes for the next time I’m left with leftover pumpkin 🙂

At least I know what I’ll be eating tomorrow morning! Now onto those chickpeas and black beans.. 🙂

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