Morning rituals are fascinating to me. And so fascinating how they change over time. And how each person’s morning ritual is so distinctive and individual and different from each other. Maybe your morning consists of paper-packed briefcases, rushed pourings of coffee into thermal mugs and half eaten pieces of toast as you rush out the door. Maybe it includes the chaotic preparing of breakfast while hungry children wait impatiently and spilled glasses of milk. Maybe your mornings are quieter now. Maybe they’re twice as hectic.
Mine have changed quite a bit over time. For years, they were pretty consistent. Wake up. Shower. Take the dog out. Grab a granola bar. Make coffee. Put said coffee into travel mug. Walk to the train stop. Take the train/Path/subway/bus to work. Maybe listen to some music on the way. Maybe doze off for a while. Read the paper. People watch. Check social media.
I got so caught up in this routine, like most people, that I wasn’t really even there. Whatever happened from Point A (waking up) to Point B (arriving at work) was a hazy fog of half asleep robotic choices and habitual actions. Especially during the many years that I went to school or worked in the city (New York is always and will always be “the city” in which I refer to as “the city”). I just tried to get out of the door as soon as possible, getting impatient with my dog if she was taking too long outside or if the toaster was taking a few seconds too long. You can never account for the subway or trains and the many delays. That’s all I cared about. That’s all most people care about. They’re rushing and running and cursing as a subway door closes a second before they can get on it. They’re stressed and angry and annoyed. They’re not taking the time to smile at their dog in the morning and enjoy the walk.
Now my mornings are different. But not by choice. They’re quiet now. And I miss the rush. I miss the purpose. I miss the deadlines. But I’ve also learned to appreciate it more. To slow down a little. And when the rush comes again, I’ll pause more. I’ll walk a little slower on my morning walk. I won’t get so impatient with my dog.
The morning I made these muffins, I decided to skip my usual everyday avocado-on-toast or granola-on-yogurt. I never make myself breakfast if it’s just me. I never really do anything for myself. But I’m learning to. I did restoration yoga, I walked Cocoa around the neighborhood and I let her sniff everything she wanted to, and I made muffins. Healthy, hearty and comforting muffins.
I had leftover pumpkin puree in the fridge and I wanted to create something healthy and filling. These coconut oil pumpkin muffins are made with natural sweeteners, whole wheat flour and coconut oil. They’re dairy-free and delicious and about 140 calories each.
They can also be whipped up pretty darn quickly, using only one bowl and a wooden spoon or whisk. No machine required. And there’s something so lovely and therapeutic about mixing batters by hand, I must say.
I hope that you can have a wonderfully slow, quiet morning to enjoy them soon.
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- ¼ cup agave nectar
- 2 tablespoons unsulphured blackstrap molasses
- 1 egg
- ½ cup pumpkin
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- 1½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ cup almond milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine both flours, spices, salt and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.
- Melt coconut oil and measure out ¼ cup in a bowl. Whisk in agave nectar and molasses until combined. Add eggs and vanilla. Add pumpkin puree.
- Whisk in the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the almond milk. Mix until just combined.
- Spoon batter into 8 muffin cups. Top with pepitas, if desired.
- Bake at 350 for 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.