~*~ PUMPKIN HAZELNUT WILD RICE MUFFINS ~*~
I make my muffins like I make my stir-fry—quick with lots of rice. This filling, on-the-go breakfast can be tailored to your taste or whatever you have in your pantry. Use any type of leftover rice, dried fruit, or nuts. You could even make literal stir-fried rice muffins by adding veggies and soy sauce. I wanted to make a fall-inspired muffin so of course pumpkin (and spice) was involved.
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup wild rice
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup hazelnuts
2 teaspoon fresh thyme
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup pumpkin purée
1/2 cup yogurt or milk
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice (or cinnamon + nutmeg)
Artist: George Winston
1. COOK WILD RICE
In a medium saucepan, cover the wild rice with 1 inch of water and bring to a boil. Cover the saucepan and reduce heat to a simmer for about 20-35 minutes. When rice is cooked and tender, drain and let cool. Alternatively, use a rice cooker.
2. PREP OTHER INGREDIENTS
Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a muffin tin with oil or fill muffin liners. Arrange hazelnuts on a baking pan and place in the oven (don’t wait for it to preheat). Every 5 minutes shake the pan until walnuts darken and grow fragrant. Taste to check they are soft and roasted through. Roughly chop.
Melt butter in a pot or the microwave. Set aside to cool.
Strip the thyme leaves off by sliding your fingers down the sprig. Finely chop.
3. MAKE THE BATTER
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin spice. Then add the hazelnuts and thyme. In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, pumpkin purée, rice, egg, and yogurt. Fold wet mixture into the dry and stir until flour JUST combines.
4. BAKE THE MUFFINS
Fill the muffin tins to the top, or third of the way for smaller muffins. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick or knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
*~* BENLIAN VARIATION ~*~
Swap the pumpkin, hazelnuts and thyme for 1 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes, 1/3 cup grated Parmesan, 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts, and 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning. Replace the butter with olive oil.
*~* HEALTHY VARIATION ~*~
Instead of wild rice, use black quinoa. And swap out the sugar for maple syrup or agave nectar. You can even lemon as your main flavoring to make “Poppy Seed” muffins.