The seasons more than any other single factor impacts what goes on in my kitchen. A wander through the farmers’ market or a peek inside a CSA delivery makes my imagination go into overdrive. With squash of every stripe abundant in markets these days, it’s just the time for a batch of tender pumpkin muffins.

So how then, do blueberries fit into this eating-with-the-seasons equation? Aren’t they a summer fruit?

Here’s how: these blueberries were picked at their peek and frozen just after harvesting, which means they retain not just their sweet berry flavor, but nutritional value as well. Freezing is one of the smartest ways to preserve our fresh produce, and frozen blueberries are one of the healthiest “convenience foods” money can buy.

Pumpkin Blueberry Muffins

For me, frozen blueberries are a year-round affair.  I always have a stash in my freezer for smoothies, sauces, and baked goods. This time of year, they add sweetness and color to these tender pumpkin muffins, resulting not just in a tasty muffin, but a nutrition powerhouse too.

Pumpkin Blueberry Muffins

Each muffin delivers more than a third of your daily needs for vitamin A, along with antioxidants, fiber, and other key nutrients. Best of all, each one comes in at about 160 calories, which is half the calories (or more) of the muffins you might pick up at your local coffee house.

For more ideas on using frozen blueberries, you might like these Blueberry Oatmeal Muffin Cups.

Pumpkin spice blueberry muffins
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Pumpkin Spice Blueberry Muffins

Using frozen blueberries means you can make these moist and tender muffins all year long, and most especially in the fall during pumpkin season. Each muffin deliver about one-third of your daily needs for vitamin A, all at about 160 calories each (far less than the typical store-bought muffin).

Ingredients

  • Paper muffin liners, or non-stick oil spray for greasing muffin tins
  • ¾ cup raw almonds
  • 2/3 cup whole wheat flour, spooned and leveled
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • ¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1/3 cup canola oil or grape seed oil
  • 1 heaping cup frozen blueberries (no need to defrost)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 16 muffin cups with paper liners or grease them with non-stick oil spray.
  2. Put the almonds into a food processor and run until they grind into the texture of coarse flour, being careful not to overdo it or you’ll have almond butter. Transfer to a large bowl and add the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Whisk well.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, pumpkin puree, milk, honey, and oil until smooth and blended. Pour over the flour mixture and use a rubber spatula to blend until smooth with no streaks of flour remaining.
  4. Add the frozen blueberries to the batter and stir just to combine.
  5. Pour the batter into the muffin cups, filling them to about ¼-inch shy of the top.
  6. Bake until just firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 26 minutes.
  7. Let cool for a few minutes. If you didn't use paper liners, run a knife around the edge of each one and wedge it out of the pan. They are delicate, so be gentle. Finish cooling on the counter.

Adapted from my Double Pumpkin Pie Muffins in Rise & Shine.